Students urged to embrace creativity

Quoting authors ranging from William Blake to E.B. White, scholar Catharine R. Stimpson on Wednesday told the class of 2000 to embrace creativity as one of the highest purposes of life.
In an outdoor convocation opening Bates’ 142nd academic year, Stimpson, who heads the MacArthur Foundation’s “genius grants” program, told nearly 500 first-year students among an audience of some 1,000 that both individuality and community must be nurtured for creativity to flourish.

“Lively colleges need not choose between these two pictures of creativity and community,” she said. “Having both means that everyone shares a commitment to doing creativity within the framework of a community, but that different individuals can act freely on this commitment in different but mutually enhancing ways.”

Bates President Donald W. Harward also spoke, citing the college’s creation of a professorship in environmental studies, the 10th anniversary of the Olin Arts Center and plans for a new academic building as examples of Bates’ encouragement of expressions of creativity.

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