Ok, the topic is “Croquet”. Ready, set, Debate!
This issue’s back cover shows several Quimby debate alumni, quite happy to be back at Bates in March to judge a tournament. My first thought when I saw the photo—probably yours, too —was, “What’s with the croquet mallets?” I e-mailed a student debater, who forwarded the question to Quimby alumna Barbara Raths ’96. “During Short Term,” she wrote, “Bob Branham used to have a barbecue at his house for the team and we would play croquet. The team enjoyed the game so much that we bought a set and would play during Short Term.”
Raths’ story (one of the many bittersweet anecdotes about the late Branham we hear) illuminates just a tiny bit of Bates history; yet it also reminded me of the Founders Day talk last year by Wellesley president Diana Chapman Walsh. “Living our stories well” was her theme. She talked about how a community’s stories—known, told, and lived well—help us “build character and community.”
This issue includes several such stories, including Merry Stockwell ’65 telling the story of her husband, Dan ’64, a two-time Carnegie hero who understands the ambivalence of heroism.
Relevant, too, is the page-72 column by Alumni Council president Jamie Merisotis ’86. He describes Batesnet, the new Web-based resources for alumni. Such technology, though new, is merely the latest tool to help Bates alumni build their community and—to use Walsh’s words—”explore the common truths that reside somewhere in the spaces between us.”
H. Jay Burns
[Note: BatesNet services have been folded into the Bates Alumni Community.]