Commentary

It’s time for Maine’s private colleges to step up

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Bowdoin College, in Brunswick, is surely among the wealthiest institutions in Maine. Its capital assets, combined with its endowment, total well over $2 Billion, and conversely, its non-profit status subjects it to very little in tax obligations at all levels.

Bowdoin prizes its stature as a paragon of diversity, inclusion, and multiculturalism. It seeks to infuse its students with a lifelong commitment to advancing the common good and a devotion to service to others.

It’s facilities are expansive and ever growing. Housing, food services, field houses, gyms, ice rinks, common/social spaces, museums, arts rehearsal spaces (remember Longfellow Elementary?), and others too many to list define the luxurious accommodations on campus. Medical and counseling services are part of the basics on campus, as are focus centers serving various minorities.

Given the above, shouldn’t it be expected that Bowdoin will publicly step up to the challenge of welcoming and providing for the needs of refugees and asylum seekers now arriving in Maine from other U. S. locations? The College has the expressed mission, the financial wherewithal, and the spacious and varied facilities to take this challenge on with grace and aplomb.

In the same vein, Colby and Bates should be stepping up to the pressing needs as well. Perhaps the office of Governor Janet Mills could call upon leaders of all three to inspire them, seek their help, and convince them that others need them like never before. Wouldn’t it be something to see these three historic, mission oriented colleges practice serving the common good as they have long preached?

This piece was originally published by The Times Record.

About Pem Schaeffer

Pem Schaeffer is a retired engineer who progressed to a position in business development leadership in defense electronics. He lives and writes in Brunswick, Maine, and blogs at: http://othersideofbrunswick.blogspot.com/ He can be reached at pemster4062@yahoo.com or you can always buy him lunch at an MHPC luncheon. He's easy that way, and he'll still respect you if you do.

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