Class of 2000 arrives

Bates begins the new academic year with some 1,694 students. That number includes 493 first-year students and eight transfers, according to dean of admissions Wylie Mitchell.

They will begin classes on Wednesday, Sept. 4. The distinguished scholar Catharine R. Stimpson, director of the MacArthur Fellows program of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, will speak during an all-college convocation the same day to mark the opening of the college’s 142nd academic year.
Among Bates’ new students are:

  • A woman from New Jersey who is developing a computer-based method of teaching Braille to blind children and who hopes to patent her invention.
  • A man from the tiny Maine lumbering town of Jackman who is a fully qualified emergency medical technician and whose parents are both EMTs. He told Bates officials he intends to become a doctor, in part because of his admiration for two doctors in Jackman who are Bates graduates.
  • A man from Massachusetts who suffered a severe eye injury while playing basketball; his father designed an improved face shield that has enabled the student to continue in athletics. He plans to play sports at Bates. The shield has been adopted by several players in the National Football League.
  • A woman who is among the top-ranked amateur water skiers in the nation and who will join the champion Bates water-ski team.
  • A Florida man who was recruited as both a soccer player and placekicker in football. He intends to play both fall sports at Bates.

The class of 2000 at Bates includes 266 women and 227 men from 45 states and 14 other countries. Of the total, 50 percent are from New England, 10 percent from Maine.

Stimpson, a Bates trustee, will speak at 4 p.m. on the main quadrangle in front of Coram Library.

A leading expert on women’s studies, Stimpson formerly served as dean of the graduate school at Rutgers University, where she remains a professor of English. In her post at the MacArthur Foundation, she administers the so called “genius grants” awarded annually to outstanding achievers in a variety of fields.

She is a former president of the Modern Language Association and founder of Signs, the interdisciplinary journal of women’s studies. She last spoke at Bates in 1990, when she received an honorary degree.

Also speaking at the ceremony will be Bates President Donald W. Harward; Martha A. Crunkleton, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the faculty; and the Rev. David Wood, interim college chaplain.

Music will be provided by the Bates College Choir under the direction of Marion R. Anderson, professor of music.

The new students are spending the days before classes begin in a variety of orientation activities. Many are taking part in the Annual Entering Student Outdoor Program (AESOP), which includes hikes and canoe trips to remote locations around Maine and New Hampshire.

Others are participating in activities sponsored by the college’s volunteer office, including clearing trails at Thorncrag Bird Sanctuary in Lewiston and repair and paint work at local churches and social-service agencies.

Following the convocation exercises, students and faculty members will take part in an all-campus picnic and an evening of music on the college’s main quadrangle.

In the event of rain, convocation will be held in the Clifton Daggett Gray Athletic Building.

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