AIA Overview

The goal of the Bates College Office of Admission is to enroll students with strong academic potential, special talents, and excellent personal qualifications. These students should represent diverse social, economic, and geographic backgrounds. Your role as an AIA volunteer is to assist the Office of Admission as we strive to reach this goal.

Bates Alumni in Admission was founded in 1977 in response to a growing demand for interviews from students across the country who were unable to visit the campus for a personal interview. The network has grown to over 1,500 volunteers all across the U.S. and in many foreign countries. The activities of AIA volunteers encompass all aspects of the admission process.


Bates admission deans, senior fellows and staff conduct several thousand interviews on campus every year. Each year several hundred students are unable to visit the campus for an interview or are unable to schedule an interview for the day they can visit, and so they request an alumni interview. An alumni interview carries the same weight in an applicant’s folder as does an on-campus interview.

The hallmark of Bates Admission experience is the personal connection we make with every prospective student. As the Bates inquiry and applicant pools have grown significantly in recent years, the AIA network has become an increasingly important element in maintaining our commitment to a personal admission process. In recent years, upwards of 25% of Bates admissions interviews were conducted by AIA volunteers.

College Fairs

The purpose of a college fair (or college night) program is to give a large number of students, parents, and guidance counselors the chance to talk with college representatives and to be placed on college mailing lists. Many of these programs are regional, drawing students from several high schools; some are simply single-school programs.

Bates is invited to several hundred college nights and fairs each year. The admission staff will represent Bates at many of these, but other travel commitments make it impossible for our staff to be at all of them. The Office of Admission evaluates the invitations and selects those programs where we would like to have an alumni representative.

Most college nights occur during the fall to serve the new seniors and early-bird juniors. Some programs take place in the spring to get the college search underway for the soon-to-be seniors. Our office will supply you with all the necessary materials when you represent Bates at a college fair/night.

Personal Contact

There are many possible sources of qualified students for Bates. The children of your business associates, friends and neighbors, and young people working part-time or summers in your offices might become interested in Bates due to your involvement with the College. Many of you also have hobbies or special interests which bring you in contact with interesting, young people. Encourage them to visit Bates!


During April, the Office of Admission hosts several receptions for accepted students and their families. Alumni participation is extremely valuable as many of these students are choosing among several excellent institutions and your personal anecdotes and experiences are very powerful.


Each year, the Office of Admission presents the David G. Russell ’66 Award to exemplary AIA volunteers. Usually presented during Homecoming weekend, the David G. Russell Award is named in honor of our late Hartford, CT chairperson. David was devoted to the AIA program, and this award is intended to celebrate those in AIA who embody David’s same loyalty to Bates.