Bates College Alumni Association Bylaws



The purpose of the Alumni Association (hereinafter the “Association”) shall be to establish and perpetuate fellowship among the alumni and mutually helpful relationships between them and the college, and to unite all alumni in supporting the college promoting its welfare, and encouraging education as a way of life through ties to the college.


All persons who have graduated from Bates College or have received Honorary Degrees shall be considered members of the Alumni Association.

In addition:

Section 1. Persons may, by nomination or written application, be admitted by majority vote at any meeting of the Alumni Council of the Alumni Association (hereinafter the “Council”).

Section 2.  Any student who has completed at least one semester will be considered a member.

Section 3.  Any person who has received a master’s degree pro merito from the college may be admitted to membership.

Section 4.  Any surviving spouse of a deceased Bates alumnus/a will be offered honorary membership to the class of the deceased spouse.

Section 5.  All members of the Association shall be entitled to equal rights and privileges and shall assume equal obligations except that only persons holding a bachelor’s degree from the college may be nominated to serve on the Board of Trustees of the college.


Section 1.  The annual meeting of the Association shall be held at such time and place within the City of Lewiston as shall be determined by the Council.  Notice thereof shall be mailed to the members of the Association by the Secretary at least four weeks prior to the date of the meeting.

Section 2.  Special meetings shall be called by the Council or upon the written request of one percent of the members of the Association.  Such meetings shall be held at a time and place to be designated by the Council, notice thereof to be mailed at least four weeks prior to its date.  The notice shall state the nature of any and all business to be acted upon.

Section 3.  One hundred members of the Association shall be necessary to constitute a quorum.


Section 1.  The officers of the Association shall be a President, Vice President (the president elect), Secretary, and Past President.  A senior member of the College’s Advancement Office, or comparable office, staff shall serve as the Secretary Ex Officio. The President and the Vice President shall not be members of the Bates staff or faculty.

Section 2.  The officers shall be elected at the annual meeting; their terms of office shall begin on the day following their election and shall continue for two years.  The president may serve an optional year as past president.

Section 3.  The Council shall submit at the annual meeting of the Association a list of nominations for the several offices, but other nominations may be made from the floor.

Section 4.  Vacancies occurring in the list of officers of the Association through death, resignation, or otherwise, except for Secretary, shall be filled by appointment by the Council based on a majority vote of the Council members.

Section 5.  It shall be the duty of the President to preside at all meetings of the Association, and of its Council.  As President of the Association, he or she shall appoint all officers and committees for whose election or appointment other provision is not herein made.

Section 6.  In the absence or disability of the President, the President Elect shall perform all duties incident to the office of President.

Section 7.  The Secretary shall conduct the official correspondence of the Association, and of its Council.  The Secretary shall keep a complete register of the members of the Association and of the Council and shall be the custodian of all papers and reports of the Association, and its Council.  It shall be the Secretary’s duty to notify the officers of the Association of their election and the Chairperson of each special committee of his or her appointment and provide the Chairperson with the names of the committee members.


Section 1.  The business and affairs of the Association shall be administered by a Council, the membership of which shall consist of the officers specified in Article IV, S. 1, and the persons elected or selected as hereinafter provided.

Section 2. (a) The members of the Council shall consist of the following: President of the Association, Vice President (president elect), Immediate Past Presidents, the Secretary Ex Officio, and, at the discretion of the Council, up to forty (40) members of the Association in three classes:  twelve members of the Association at large; members of the Association (except a representative of the Parents Association) who represent other Bates alumni and service groups; and may include student members.  At-large members of the Council shall be elected for three (3) year terms commencing with the fall meeting.  Student members shall serve for one year.  The President may have his or her term extended for an additional one (1) year term so that he or she may serve as a Council member in the capacity as Past President.  All of these Council members will be considered voting members.  Successor Council members shall be elected at the annual meeting upon expiration of term of Council members.

(b) Representative members of the aforementioned alumni service groups shall serve at the pleasure of the Executive Committee. They are nominated for the Council by the appropriate alumni organization, and approved by the Executive Committee.  When there is a vacancy among the representative members, the Executive Committee may approve a replacement.

Section 3.  Candidates for at-large membership on the Council must be active as a volunteer in at least one, and preferably two or more, of the alumni networks:  Alumni-in-Admissions, career internship sponsors, class agents, and club leaders and class officers; must have demonstrated a keen interest in Bates through volunteer service or contributions of time, expertise, or financial support; must have leadership potential with their classmates or other constituencies; must be sensitive to alumni issues and be able to articulate them to the administration on behalf of the alumni population they represent; must have time to devote to the goals of the alumni program.

These nominees shall, to the fullest extent possible, be residents of areas which, when considered along with the areas of residence of incumbent holdover members of the Council and of officer nominees, will maximize the representation of all Bates Alumni on the Council giving consideration to diversity in geography and class representation of the Bates Alumni population.  In addition, the Council shall attempt to maintain representation from groups consisting of class officers, class agents, club officers, current or former Trustees, and other representative alumni groups.

Section 4.  At-large members of the Council must be informed about the College, about new programs, and developments.  Members must attend meetings and come prepared by giving some thought to the items under discussion.  Members will serve on at least one committee of the Council and use the assignment as an opportunity to enhance communication between alumni and the College.  Members shall generate ideas to facilitate the implementation of committee goals.  Members should strive to play an active role in class reunion efforts, support the alumni network, and support the College financially to the best of their ability.  Members also should serve as a resource about the College and be an effective spokesperson to classmates and the community.

Section 5.  There shall be a nominating committee and such other committees as the Council or its Officers may designate in their discretion. The nominating committee is charged with soliciting and receiving nominations received for various alumni awards, Council membership, and the nomination and election of members of the Association to the Board of Trustees.

Section 6.  There will be at least three regularly scheduled meetings each year. The first meeting of the new Council will take place after Reunion.  A meeting may be held to coincide with trustee weekend.

Members are expected to attend all meetings unless there are extenuating circumstances.  After two absences by a member, the Secretary will notify the member to discuss if he or she wishes to be replaced for the remainder of the term.

Members are lodged in a local motel for one night, and meals on campus are provided.  Travel expenses are not reimbursed, but one night’s motel cost may be applied to travel if a member traveling a distance does not require lodging.

Section 7.  Vacancies occurring among the officers and at-large members of the Council shall be filled for the balance of the term by action of the Council, provided that each person shall be selected on the basis of the criteria set forth in Section 2, which apply to the position being filled.   A vacancy among the student members shall be filled by appointment by the Executive Committee.  The President shall give prompt notice of the occurrence of a vacancy to the nominating committee, so that action to fill a vacancy can take place at the earliest practicable time.

Section 8.  In addition to the foregoing, the Council shall act as an Advisory Board to the Office of College Advancement, or such comparable subsequent office of the College.  The members shall play an active role in local alumni groups, attending their functions and supporting their leaders.  The members shall cooperate in the observance of Reunions and participate in and promote other programs involving alumni sponsored by the office of Admissions, Office of Career Services and Advancement, or comparable office.  The Council may appoint such special committees as it deems advisable in order to carry out most effectively the purposes of the Association and any of its programs.  The Council shall submit an annual report of its activities and recommendations to the Association.

Each year as part of the orientation process for new members and the dissemination of information to current members the Secretary will coordinate a meeting of the various offices (Admissions, Office of Career Services, Advancement) dealing with alumni to report on the programs each office is involved in.

Section 9.  The following awards shall be approved by the Council as a whole and may be given by the Council each year:

1. Bates Club Attendance Award and Club of the Year Award.  Award winners are notified by the President of the Council or his or her designee.

A. The Attendance Award of a Bates banner is given to the club that has the highest percentage of its club population attend any one event. When there is no clear recipient, it has also been given to a club with the overall best attendance in order to reward hard-working club leaders.

B. The Club of the Year award, a plaque, is given to the most outstanding alumni club in the country based on three criteria:

  • the quality of programming, that is the variety and number of events;
  • the greatest percentage of alumni reached in the course of the year based on the total club population;
  • the quality of the leadership: the number and commitment of the leaders

2. Alumni Service Awards.  Nominees for the alumni service awards are presented to the Council by the Nominating Committee of the Council..  Awardees are notified by the President of the Council or his or her designee.  While it is the preference of the Council to confer one award per category, it is at the Council’s discretion to confer more than one award per year in each category.

A. The Distinguished Young Alumni Award is presented to a graduate of not more than 15 years for exceptional volunteer service to Bates and distinction in his or her career.  In exceptional cases, the Young Alumni Award may be given to a graduate of greater than 15 years if the specific circumstances warrant.

B. Helen A. Papaioanou ’49 Award for Extraordinary Service to Bates.  The service must be truly distinguished in both quantity and quality.  Since we now have a Distinguished Young Alumni Award for a graduate of the last 15 years, this award is usually given to a graduate or graduates of greater than 15 years.

C. The Alumni Community Service Award is presented to a graduate who has exhibited outstanding leadership and commitment to serving the community in which they live or work.  It is conferred at the discretion of the Council.

D. The Benjamin Elijah Mays Medal is the highest alumni award of the College to honor the alumna or alumnus who has performed distinguished service to the larger (worldwide) community and been deemed a Bates College graduate of outstanding accomplishment.  It is conferred at the discretion of the Council.

E. The Sesquicentennial Award, established in 2005 in honor of the College’s 150th anniversary, is made for a single academic, artistic, or scientific achievement by an alumna/us. It is conferred at the discretion of the Council.

F. The Bruce Stangle Award for Distinguished Service to the Bates Community honors Bruce E. Stangle ’70, P’96 for his decades of remarkable service to the worldwide Bates community. The award celebrates truly distinguished assistance, support, and advocacy on behalf of Bates alumni, parents, and students in their professional development. It recognizes and honors Bates leaders whose intention, efforts, and actions affect many members of the Bates community in deep and lasting ways, specifically by helping them succeed in their professional careers and/or their volunteer work. It is conferred at the discretion of the Council.

G. The Faculty Award, established in 2012, recognizes a Bates faculty member whose service to alumni programs, through active participation in regional and on-campus events, is extraordinary. It is conferred at the discretion of the Council.


Section 1.  The Council will annually nominate two candidates for Board of Trustees of the College. The candidates nominated need not have been suggested or have applied under Section 2.

Section 2.  The Council shall invite suggestions for persons to be considered for nomination and applications for consideration through Alumni publications, the alumni web site, email to alumni with an email address on record, and similar means that may develop in the future. To assist the Council suggestions for candidacy should be accompanied by a brief statement of the person’s qualifications; applications should be accompanied by a resume. Lack of such documentation, however, will not prevent consideration of the individual.

Section 3.  An trustee elected on nomination under this article may serve up to two five-year terms, according to the terms in the Charter of the College.


These bylaws may be amended by a 2/3 majority vote of a quorum of the Council.

Reasonable notice of bylaw changes must be published to the alumni body 60 days prior to a Council meeting.  Any alumni wishing to comment on the proposed change may do so in a manner prescribed by the Council.  Any comments will be compiled by the Secretary or other designee and distributed to the Council prior to its meeting.

The Association shall be provided notice of all by law changes approved by the Council within 30 days of their approval.  An alumnus may then submit to the Secretary a petition within 60 days of notice of a bylaw change to call a referendum on such bylaw change during the next immediate annual meeting of the Association.  A petition shall require a referendum if it contains signatures of 3% of the Association.  If a qualifying petition is received by the Secretary within 60 days of notice of the bylaw change, the bylaw change will be suspended until the vote.  A referendum will then be drafted by the Secretary and approved by the President of the Council.

A majority of alumni at the annual meeting of the Association will approve the Referendum question.

Revised & Approved, October 2012.