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Bates College is a private liberal arts college located in Lewiston, Mainemarker, in the United Statesmarker. The college was founded in 1855 by abolitionists. Bates confers Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) or Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degrees. Bates College is one of the first colleges to be coeducational from establishment. The college is also the oldest continuously operating coeducational institution in New Englandmarker. The college enrolls about 1,700 students. Originally a Free Will Baptist institution, Bates is now a nonsectarian institution.

Bates is a leader of the SAT optional movement for undergraduate admission. It was one of the first schools to become a part of this movement in 1984.

History

Founded in 1855, Bates was New England's first coeducational college. The founders of Bates were active abolitionists, and several of the college's earliest students were former slaves. The college was originally called the Maine State Seminary and replaced the Parsonsfield Seminarymarker, which burned under mysterious circumstances in 1854. The Parsonsfield Seminary was founded in 1832 by Free Will Baptists and served as a stop on the Underground Railroad. Parsonsfield's Cobb Divinity School, founded in 1840, merged with Bates in 1870 and eventually became Bates' religion department. Therefore, Bates' religion department is 15 years older than the College itself.

As with many New England institutions, religion played a vital role in the college's founding. The Reverend Oren Burbank Cheney founded and served as the first president of Bates. He was a Freewill Baptist minister, a teacher, and a former Mainemarker legislator. Cheney and Rev. Ebenezer Knowlton steered through the Mainemarker Legislature a bill creating an educational corporation initially called the Maine State Seminary. Dr. Alonzo Garcelon convinced Cheney and Knowlton to locate the school in Lewistonmarker, Maine's fastest-growing industrial and commercial center.

Cheney assembled a six-person faculty dedicated to teaching the classics and moral philosophy to both men and women. In 1863 he received a collegiate charter, and obtained financial support for an expansion from the city of Lewistonmarker and from Benjamin E. Bates, the Boston financier and manufacturer whose mills dominated the Lewistonmarker riverfront. In 1864 the Maine State Seminary became Bates College. The College consisted of Hathorn Hallmarker and Parker halls and a student body of fewer than 100.

1857 lithograph image of Bates College from an early college catalogue
Nearly 200 students and alumni of the College and Seminary served in the American Civil War (1861–65), and only two students from Georgia fought for the Confederacy. With Cheney's support, the first woman to graduate from a New England college was Mary Wheelwright Mitchell, class of 1869. Cheney also ensured that no secret societies or fraternities were allowed on campus. One secret society was founded at Bates in 1881, but the society was not sanctioned by the President or the College. By the end of Cheney's tenure, in 1894, the campus had expanded to and six buildings.

In 1894 George Colby Chase, Class of 1868, succeeded President Cheney. Known as "the great builder," Chase oversaw the construction of eleven new buildings, including Coram Library, the Chapel, Chase Hall, Carnegie Science Hall, and Rand Hall. Chase tripled the number of students and faculty, as well as the endowment. The Cobb Divinity School and Nichols Latin Schoolmarker departments of the College were discontinued under President Chase. In 1907 at the request of Chase and the Board, the legislature amended the college's charter removing the requirement for the President and majority of the trustees to be Free Will Baptists, allowing the school to qualify for Carnegie Foundation funding for professor pensions.

In 1920 Clifton Daggett Gray, a clergyman and former editor of The Standard, a Baptist periodical published in Chicago, succeeded President Chase. On campus, renovations were completed on Libbey Forum and the Hedge Science Laboratory, and the Clifton Daggett Gray Athletic Building, Alumni Gymnasium, Stephens Observatorymarker telescope, and Women's Locker Building (now the Muskie Archives) were constructed. During World War II, when male students abandoned college campuses to enlist in the armed forces, Gray established a V-12 Navy College Training Program Unit on campus, assuring the College students - men and women - during wartime. When he retired, in 1944, Gray had increased the student enrollment to more than 700 and doubled the faculty to seventy; the endowment had doubled to $2 million.

In 1944 Charles Franklin Phillips, a professor at Colgate Universitymarker and a leading economist, became Bates' fourth president. He initiated the Bates Plan of Education, a liberal arts "core" study program. He also directed expansions of campus facilities, including the Memorial Commons, the Health Center, Dana Chemistry Hall, Pettigrew Hall, Treat Gallery, Schaeffer Theatre, and Page Hall. When he retired in 1967, Phillips left a student body of 1,000 and an endowment of $7 million.

In 1967 Thomas Hedley Reynolds assumed the presidency. His greatest achievement was the development and support of faculty, which brought Bates recognition as a national college. In addition to recruiting teacher-scholars, Reynolds championed better faculty pay, an expanded sabbatical leave program, and smaller classes.

The modern day chapel, home to many lectures and musical performances throughout the year.


Additions to the campus under Reynolds' presidency included the George and Helen Ladd Library, Merrill Gymnasium and the Tarbell Pool, the Olin Arts Center and the Bates College Museum of Artmarker, as well as the conversion of the former women's gymnasium into the Edmund S. Muskie Archives and the acquisition of the Bates-Morse Mountain Conservation Area. Many of the early twentieth-century houses on Frye Street that now accommodate students, a popular alternative to larger residential halls, were acquired at this time.

Donald West Harward began his service as sixth president of Bates in 1989. During Harward's presidency, students received greater opportunities to study off campus with Bates faculty or in College-approved programs. He integrated more fully into student academic and intellectual life the senior thesis, the important capstone experience that has been a part of the Bates curriculum since the early twentieth century but is now a focal point.

Under Harward, Bates for the first time in many years reached out institutionally into the community of Lewistonmarker-Auburnmarker. Bates students and faculty built relationships in the community through one of the most active service-learning programs in the country.

More than twenty major academic, residential, and athletic facilities were built during his tenure, including Pettengill Hall, the Residential Village and Benjamin E. Mays Center, and the Bates College Coastal Center at Shortridge.

Elaine Tuttle Hansen became Bates' seventh president in 2002. Her immediate goals included securing resources for financial aid, competitive faculty and staff salaries, increased diversity of the faculty and student body, technological advances, and new curricular initiatives. Hansen's accomplishments include a successful major fundraising effort, "The Campaign for Bates: Endowing Our Values," which ended in June 2006 and raised nearly $121 million, $1 million more than its stated goal; and a comprehensive facilities master plan whose realization began in 2006 with construction of new student residences and a new dining commons.

Academics

Academic program

Pettengill Hall, home of the Social Sciences


Bates College is widely regarded as a leading liberal arts college. The college has been ranked in the top 25 liberal arts schools in U.S. News and World Report for the past 20 years. The Princeton Review named Bates the No. 1 "Best Value College" in the United Statesmarker in its 2005 ranking.

Bates operates on a 4-4-1 schedule: two semesters and a month-long "Short Term." Bates offers 22 department majors, ten interdisciplinary program majors, and 25 secondary concentrations. The most popular majors at Bates are politics, psychology, economics, biology, English, and history. Of all the students graduating in 2007, 11% had a double major while 32% of students had a secondary concentration (minor). Only 8 students in the Class of 2007 graduated with an individual interdisciplinary major.

Almost all first-year students register for a first-year seminar. With a wide variety of interdisciplinary topics, each course enrolls 15 or fewer students.

Currently, all tenured or tenure-track faculty members hold Ph.D.s or other terminal degrees. Bates students work directly with faculty; the student-faculty ratio is 10:1, and faculty members teach all classes.

Every Bates student has an opportunity to work one-on-one with faculty through programs including independent study, senior thesis, and research. Of the seniors of the Class of 2007 97% completed a senior thesis or project. Sixty-three percent of Fall 2007 class sections had nineteen or fewer students

The Bates College Department of Economics has been cited as being particularly strong ranking second in the nation in the number of times its faculty's scholarly research is cited by other researchers.

Admissions

Admission to Bates College is selective with acceptance rates at 29.5% for the Class of 2011. Bates has been called one of the top 20 "toughest to get into" schools by The Princeton Review in 2002. The college is listed as one of thirty Hidden Ivies and one of the "Little Ivies."

The highest number of applicants for admission to the college was 5,160 for the Class of 2012. It was an 11% increase from the year before. This number is up from 4,650 for the Class of 2011.

The record number of applicants for Early Decision to Bates College was 527 for the Class of 2012. There was a 22% increase in applications for Early Decision compared to the Class of 2011.

SAT optional policy

In 1984, Bates instituted one of the first SAT optional programs in the United Statesmarker. In 1990, the Bates faculty voted to make all standardized tests optional in the college's admissions process. In October 2004, Bates published a study regarding the testing optional policy to the National Association for College Admission Counseling. Following two decades without required testing, the college found that the difference in graduation rates between submitters and non-submitters was 0.1%, that Bates' applicant pool had doubled since the policy was instituted. With approximately 1/3 of applicants not submitting scores, non-submitting students averaged only 0.05 points lower on their collegiate Grade Point Average, and applications from minority students raised dramatically. Today, Bates remains a leader in the SAT optional movement.

The Bates College study prompted a movement among small liberal arts colleges to make the SAT optional for admission to college in the early 2000s. Indeed, according to a 31 August 2006 article in the New York Times, "It is still far too early to sound the death knell, but for many small liberal arts colleges, the SAT may have outlived its usefulness."

Coram Library, built in 1902 it currently houses the Imaging and Computing Center


Graduation and retention

Almost 90% of students graduate within six years.

Bates College is tied for the fifth highest freshmen retention rate of all liberal arts colleges. According to U.S. News and World Report, the average percentage of freshmen entering Bates between 2002 and 2005 who returned for sophomore year was 95%.

Graduate school

Ninety-one percent of Bates College seniors or alumni applying to graduate programs in the health professions were accepted for matriculation in the fall of 2005. Bates students and alumni are consistently accepted to the top tier of law schools, including Columbia, Cornellmarker, Dukemarker, Harvardmarker, Georgetownmarker, Northwesternmarker, University of Michiganmarker, UC Berkeleymarker, and New York Universitymarker. More than 70% of recent alumni earned graduate or professional degrees within 10 years of graduation.

In a controversial article published by the Wall Street Journal in 2003, Bates College was ranked as one of the top schools in the nation for percentage of students entering the top five graduate programs in Business, Law, and Medicine.

In 2003, A response to this article by Bates College President Elaine Tuttle Hansen stated:

Study abroad

The percentage of Bates students who study off-campus is among the highest in the nation, with 63% of the Class of 2007 receiving credit for off-campus study. In 2007, the Institute for International Education ranked Bates 14th among baccalaureate institutions for semester-length study abroad, and 15th for full-year study abroad (2005-2006 data)

Since 1990, Bates students have participated in study-abroad programs in almost 80 countries. The five most popular countries for the study abroad program in descending order are Italy, United Kingdom, China, Austria, and Spain.

Campus

Dana Chemistry Hall, houses classrooms and laboratories of the chemistry department


Bates' campus includes the George and Helen Ladd Library; the Olin Arts Center, which houses a concert hall, the Bates College Museum of Artmarker; and the Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library, which holds the papers of the former governor of Maine, U.S. Senator, United States Secretary of State, author of the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act, and member of the Class of 1936.

The Library’s collections include approximately 620,000 catalogued volumes, 2,500 serial subscriptions and 27,000 audio/video items. There are more than 80 Web-accessible research databases and more than 4,000 electronic journals, full-text titles or other electronic resources accessible through the catalog.

An automated system links the Bates Library to those of Bowdoin and Colby colleges. Users can search the Web-based catalogs of all three libraries, and request delivery of books and other items directly. Bates students and faculty have borrowing privileges at the Bowdoin and Colby libraries, in person or electronically.

Within the Bates Campus lies Mount David — a tall rock outcropping. This wooded hill, just five-minutes from the center of campus, offers beautiful views of Lewiston and the surrounding area.

The College also holds access to the 574-acre (2.32 km²) Bates-Morse Mountain Conservation Area, in Phippsburg, Mainemarker, which preserves one of the few undeveloped barrier beaches on the Atlanticmarker coast; and the neighboring Bates College Coastal Center at Shortridge, which includes an woodland and freshwater habitat, scientific field station, and retreat center.

The campus hosts Gordon Research Conferences during summer.

Environmental sustainability

The Puddle, the place of the traditional "puddle jump"


In recent years, Bates College has taken major steps to reduce its impact on the environment. In 2009 Bates was one of 15 colleges in the United States named to the "Green Honor Role" by Princeton Review. The United States Environmental Protection Agency honored Bates as a member of the Green Power Leadership Club because 96% of the energy used on campus is from renewable resources.

The New Dining Commons, opened in February 2008, is "green" in many ways. Ample access to daylight and occupancy sensors that control room lighting help control energy consumption. "Dual-flush" toilets can reduce water for flushing by two-thirds. Recycled and certified-green building materials were used in the building's construction, and its design facilitates recycling of a variety of materials during the everyday use of the building. The building's summer ventilation is primarily natural — air is cooled mechanically only in the hottest parts of the kitchen.

Another "green" building opened in August 2007. The new student residence boasts sustainability features that minimize water, heat and electricity use, reduce stormwater impacts and encourage students to recycle. In 2005 Bates committed itself to purchasing its entire electricity supply from renewable energy sources in Maine, specifically biomass generating plants and small hydroelectric producers.

In February 2007, Bates President Elaine Tuttle Hansen signed the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment. She is one of 62 chief executives in the coalition's Leadership Circle, which provides guidance, peer encouragement and direction to the effort.

Bates College and Zipcar, the world's largest car-sharing service, announced a partnership to make Zipcars available on campus to faculty, staff and students as an environmentally friendly alternative to the costs and hassles of keeping a car on campus. The Zipcar is a Hybrid Toyota Prius. The partnership extends Bates' commitment to provide sustainable transportation options that decrease the parking demand on campus.

Bates's Dining Services department states that 28% of its purchases are locally grown or all-natural, a figure it hopes to increase to 35% within the next two years. Dining Services sends both pre- and post-consumer food waste to local farmers to be composted, and it operates a community outreach program that allows extra food portions to be served at local shelters.

The environmental sustainability efforts undertaken by faculty, staff, and administrators at Bates earned it a "B" grade on the 2009 College Sustainability Report Card; the school earned "A"s in the Administration, Climate Change & Energy, Student Involvement, Food & Recycling, and Green Building categories.

Student life

The approximately 1,700 students at Bates come from 46 states and districts, and 70 foreign countries. The state with the highest percentage of students enrolled in the college is Massachusetts with 26.7%. New York comes in second with 13.4% and Maine in third with 10.8%.

Most students live in one of the 13 dormitories or 25 Victorian houses on campus. Bates does not and has never had fraternities or sororities. All campus organizations are open to any student who wishes to join.

There are nearly 90 student-run clubs and organizations at Bates, chief among them the Bates College Student Government ( BCSG). The BCSG acts as the voice of the student body and oversees all other student organizations. Some of the most active clubs include:
  • WRBC Radio Bates College, one of the highest-rated college stations in the country (The Princeton Review).
  • The Chase Hall Committee (CHC), the campus programming board, sponsors a wide range of social activities - concerts, comedians and dances.
  • A cappella groups such as the Deansmen (all male), the Merimanders (all female), the Manic Optimists (all male), the Crosstones and TakeNote (both co-ed).
  • Students for Peace and Justice in Palestine
  • The Bates Outing Club.
  • The internationally ranked Brooks Quimby Debate Council.
  • The Strange Bedfellows, an improv comedy group.
  • Robinson Players, a theater group and Bates' oldest student group.
  • Bates' Christian Fellowship, Muslim Organization, and Hillel
  • The Bates College Democrats and Republicans.
  • The Bates Sailing Team
  • New World Coalition, a radical social justice group.
  • The Bates Musician's Union, a student-run group that organizes events featuring a number of student bands.
  • OUTfront, a group for LGBTQ students and their allies.


The Bates Student has been the main student newspaper since 1873. The John Galt Press, a conservative/libertarian newspaper, was founded and published at Bates and distributed at a number of other colleges and universities though it hasn't been printed at Bates since the Winter semester of 2005. The Bates College Mirror has been the student yearbook since 1909, although annual class photo books date to 1870. Also, the Garnet, a literary magazine, has been published at Bates since 1879.

Bates has many official and unofficial annual traditions including WRBC's Annual Trivia Night (since 1979), Puddle Jump, Ronjstock, Senior Pub crawl Parade to the Goose, Lick-It, President's Gala, "Ivy Day" (also known as the Baccalaureate, where class Ivy Stones have been chosen since 1879), Eighties Dance, Trick-or-Drink, Halloween Dance, Class Dinner, Triad Dance since 1981, Stanton Ride, Newman Day, Mustachio Bashio, Clambake at Popham Beach and Winter Carnival by the Outing Club since 1920, Alumni Reunion Parade since 1914, and the annual Oxford-Batesmarker debate since 1921.

Athletics

Soccer is popular at Bates
The Bates Bobcats compete in the NCAA Division III New England Small College Athletic Conference, and Colby-Bates-Bowdoin Consortium. The official school color is garnet (the Garnet was the original mascot), though black is traditionally employed as a complement. Bates is home to one of the oldest college football teams and fields in the United States, Garcelon Field. The first college football game in Maine was played versus Tuftsmarker in 1875.

Bates fields thirty-one varsity teams. There are also intercollegiate club teams in cycling, ice hockey, rugby, sailing, ultimate frisbee, men's volleyball and water polo. The men's rugby team placed second in the nation in 1997 and has made it to the nationals or regionals all but one year since then. The women's rugby regularly makes it to the regionals and made it to the nationals in 2003. The men's club ice hockey team has won the league championship four straight years (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009) and won the 2008 and 2009 NECHA Cup. Recent NESCAC champions include men's track and field (2000). The 2004 women's basketball team was ranked the number one NCAA Division III team in the United States for most of February 2005 and finished the year ranked number six by the USA Today/ESPN Today 25 National Coaches' Poll. They lost to University of Southern Mainemarker in the Sweet 16. In the spring of 2007 the Varsity Women's Rowing team's first boat finished 3rd at the NCAA Championship. Together the first and second Varsity boat earned 3rd place for team points. In winter of 2008 Bates Nordic Skier Sylvan Ellefson was the highest ranked skier in the EISA, and placed a record 4th in NCAA Division I championships. The best ever for a Bates skier.

The Bates College athletics department was ranked 19th out of 420 in the 2005 NCAA Division III winter rankings.

In addition to outdoor athletic fields, Bates has indoor and outdoor tracks, a swimming pool, squash courts, an ice hockey rink, a boathouse, several basketball courts, indoor and outdoor tennis courts, an independent weight room with treadmills and elliptical machines, and an astroturf field.

Alumni of Bates

Many notable individuals have attended Bates College, including Civil War hero Holman S. Melcher (1862), prominent biologist and professor Herbert E. Walter (1892), mentor to Martin Luther King Jr., Benjamin Mays (1920), U.S. Secretary of State, Edmund Muskie (1936), U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy (1944–45 as part of the Navy's V-12 program), Harvardmarker preacher and theologian Peter J. Gomes (1965), president of Playtex, Rick Powers (1967), television personality, Bryant Gumbel (1970), U.S. Representative, Robert Goodlatte (1974), CEO Medco Health Solutions David B. Snow Jr. (1976), corporate vice president of Microsoft Zune brand Rick Thompson (1981), published bioengineer John R. Hetling (1989), editor of Time Magazine Online, Joshua Macht (1991), and blues musician Corey Harris (1991).

Bates in literature, film, and culture

  • The Sopranos (1999) — In an episode entitled "College," Tony Soprano and his daughter Meadow visit Bates, where Meadow remarks that Bates students claim "Bates is the world's most expensive form of contraception." Tony and Meadow also visit Colbymarker and Bowdoinmarker, but Meadow is waitlisted and goes to Columbia
  • The Bates campus was filmed in The Letter, a movie about the pro-diversity rally for the local Somali population in Lewiston, Mainemarker.
  • The College gained national notoriety in the New York Times in 2004 for its celebration of Newman Day.
  • Dave Matthews referred to a concert he performed at Bates in 1995 on the Charlie Rose Show, claiming that the concert "at this little college in Maine" sparked his career.
  • During World War II, a Victory ship was named the S.S. Bates Victory, after the College.
  • In a July, 2006 article in Sports Illustrated, Bates students are credited with inventing "One Ringing." One Ring is a game where friends torment each other by calling and then hanging up immediately during sport matches.
  • A January 6, 2008 New York Times article mentioned Bates' annual Mustachio Bashio tradition which celebrates "fanciful facial creations."


See also



Notes

  1. Mary Caroline Crawford, The College Girl of America and the Institutions which make her what she is, (LC Page, Boston: 1904), pg. 284
  2. "Race relations at Bates College"
  3. http://books.google.com/books?vid=0sJkkT9w7iRYiZPNsLPwM6r&id=LkEOAAAAIAAJ&pg=RA1-PA771&lpg=RA1-PA771&dq=%22parsonsfield+seminary%22&as_brr=1
  4. "Class at Bates College"
  5. Paul Monroe, A Cyclopedia of Education (Published by Gale Research Co., 1911) Item notes: v.1, [1], pg. 331
  6. U.S. News Rankings Through the Years
  7. Bates College | Academics
  8. http://www.bates.edu/aia-factsheet.xml
  9. BatesNow | Oct. 25, 2001 | Bates economics department ranked at top of leading liberal arts colleges
  10. Bates College | Admissions
  11. http://www.nescac.com/releases/presidents/Bates_Tuttle-Hansen.htm
  12. Bates College | BatesNews February 2008
  13. Early Decision Option Proves Increasingly Popular for Bates Applicants - News
  14. http://www.bates.edu/Prebuilt/bates.facts.07.08.pdf
  15. USNews.com: America's Best Colleges 2008: Liberal Arts Colleges: Schools whose freshmen are least (and most) likely to return
  16. BatesNow | 3/19/2004 | Graduate programs in law, health accept more than eight in 10 Bates College applicants
  17. http://www.wsjclassroomedition.com/pdfs/wsj_college_092503.pdf
  18. Bates College | Off-Campus Study
  19. Bates College | Fast Facts
  20. Bates College | Mount David
  21. Princeton Review Green Honor Role 2009(accessed July 26, 2009)
  22. EPA Honors Bates College for Leadership in Renewable Energy Use | U.S. Newswire | Find Articles at BNET.com
  23. BatesNow | 3/7/2008 | A year later, U.S. Rep. Michaud inspects completed Commons
  24. BatesNow | 3/7/2007 | Bates joins nationwide carbon-neutrality pact
  25. BatesNow | 9/5/2007 | Bates partners with Zipcar to bring car-sharing to campus
  26. http://www.greenreportcard.org/report-card-2009/schools/bates-college
  27. Tufts University: "Fired up Bates will be waiting for jumbos in week 2"
  28. See
  29. See [2] for results.
  30. SopranoLand.com: Episode #5 "College"
  31. Nancies.org: "The DMBTA Song Catalog"
  32. http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2008/01/06/education/edlife/20080106_STYLE_SLIDESHOW_2.html


References

  • Alfred Williams Anthony, Bates College and Its Background (Philadelphia: Judson Press, 1936).
  • Bates College Catalog 2004-2006, Lewiston, ME: Bates College, 2004.
  • Bates Student, 1873-2006
  • Emeline Cheney. The Story of the Life and Work of Oren B. Cheney (Boston: Morning Star Publishing, 1907).
  • Mabel Eaton ed., General Catalogue of Bates College and Cobb Divinity School: 1864-1930 (Lewiston, ME: Bates College, 1930)


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