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Litany for the Class

Written by Jennifer A. Ambrose, Edwin P. Amonoo, Amy E. Burkhardt , Carrie L. Masur, Benjamin B. Prevas, Sarah E. Tressel;
Led by Rachel D. Booty, Stephanie L. Borges, Saida L. Cooper, James F. Fischer, Ramon E. Garcia, Nathaniel G. Holt, Elizabeth C. Jackson, Lauren P. Jacobs, John Scott R. Johnson, Meghan E. Johnston, Michael J. Lopez, Michael B. Philbrick, Benjamin B. Prevas, Megan A. Price, Cresa L. Pugh, Benjamin H. Takai, Valerie Z. Wicks

Our roots are grounded in the Bates community, and though the time has come to leave, we will be forever grateful for the memories that root us to this place. We are grateful for those who made Bates our home, who supported and protected us, who inspired and encouraged us, who challenged us to see the world from a different perspective, who made us question everything and who taught us to take nothing for granted. We thank all of you who are here with us, and we also take a moment now to remember and to thank in silence all those who are not with us today.

Response of the Senior Class:

Our years at Bates are a gift from which we will continue to grow.
As separate voices we come together for a common purpose;
as roots we are all of a common tree.

Blissful peals each hour sound from Hathorn, urging students to the challenge of learning. We have attended enlightening lectures, engaged in provocative discussions, and shared thoughtful exchanges on Coram’s steps with our professors. We remember our late nights in Pettengill where we penned the final thoughts of our theses under the soft glows of Olin’s illumination that spilled over the banks of Lake Andrews. And now this season is at an end, and Bates is releasing us to new beginnings. We will remain steadfast to the heightened principles acquired over our four momentous years of learning.

Response of the Senior Class:

As separate voices we come together for a common purpose;
as roots we are all of a common tree.

Athletes dedicated their bodies and time with grace and ferocity. We were proud Bobcats, ardently competing or screaming from the stands. And there was night, hard work’s reward. We were on Bates time and the hours flew by like ping pong balls. We belted Bon Jovi, chatted with Security, braved the frozen air to find warmth in a packed hallway. We plunged into the icy puddle, confident and wild. We danced for Halloween, for the Eighties, for an excuse to play in foam, and for tuxedoed strawberries at Gala.

Response of the Senior Class:

As separate voices we come together for a common purpose;
as roots we are all of a common tree.

It is a small space in Chase Hall from the glass doors to the Commons ramp. One night it is a table of Rugby T-shirts for sale, the next, “Men of Water Polo” calendars. There are letters to write to Congress, petitions to sign, and registrations for fund-raising fasts. Tickets to Counting Crows, Guster, international dinners, or the triple rhythms of Triad call out for our attention. Around the corner, Chase Lounge invites students to join in forums and debates. Over the years, the room has heard the words of authors and poets mingling with the hushed tones of a capella and seen the twisting shapes of modern dancers and the easy swinging of contradancers. It has even seen the call for a revolution of student government. Outside, buses whisk us away to nights in the Old Port and clambakes on sandy Popham while, upstairs, the eyes and ears of the Student, the Mirror, the John Galt Press observe. But don’t blink because it will all be new tomorrow.

Response of the Senior Class:

As separate voices we come together for a common purpose;
as roots we are all of a common tree.

Friends who lived next door and with whom we ate breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Late night fire alarms. The irretrievable burgers that fell through the grill and onto the coals at picnics on Rand field. Radiators that advertised six temperature settings on the dial but only produced two: “off” and “too hot.” Conversations on the amphitheater that doubled as a procrastination technique during the warmer days of autumn and spring. Long minutes and hours we spent with books when people were preferred. Free apple juice and cough drops that the Health Center believed cured any ailment, even Athlete’s Foot. And everywhere, familiar faces.

Response of the Senior Class:

As separate voices we come together for a common purpose;
as roots we are all of a common tree.

We survived difficult elections, hard Septembers, fear of war, and news of continued suffering in the world. We saw candles light the way to recovery and growth through reflection. On soils both far and near, we explored the culture that surrounds us. We shared meals with people in Africa, Europe, South America, Asia, Australia, Portland, and Commons. In Lewiston we were challenged to look inside ourselves and reconsider the term “neighbor.” We showed, through the Many and One Rally, that we embrace the diversity of experience that Somalis bring to our community. We reached out, and in, to those who are different from us and found people who shaped us, people who helped to make us who we ourselves have become throughout the past four years.

Response of the Senior Class:

As separate voices we come together for a common purpose;
as roots we are all of a common tree.

Our roots have held onto this Maine soil through all seasons, and we will cherish every one. We have spent afternoons reading on the Quad beneath red and gold trees and warm evenings flinging Frisbees through the air like stars. We have all fallen on the ice while making our way to the Library or class or Commons, and we have all been helped up again by a friend, recognizable only by their winter coat or hat. We have seen the daffodils bloom outside Lane Hall and watched through the windows of Perry Atrium as ducklings swam across the Puddle. We have breathed the Maine air, felt the Maine cold, seen the moon glow in the Maine sky. And we will remember.


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