Class of 2005 arrives at Bates
The first students arrived at Bates in a trickle. Junior adviser Jason Touhey of Franklin, Mass., met the first of his 20 incoming first-year students, a student from Jordan, in Roger Williams Hall on Aug. 26 while both were moving in. From there, the two made the trek to the fourth floor of the 106-year-old dorm in tandem as they carried hefty belongings up three flights of stairs.
At the southern tip of campus, another junior adviser, Gregory Weaver of Londonderry, N.H., took his first Clason House first-year to the Den for breakfast before showing the student where to pick up his room keys and dispensing vital information: the departure time of his Annual Entering Student Outdoor Program (AESOP) trip.
The trickle of arrivals would become a steady stream by Sept. 1, as all members of the 583-person Class of 2005, Bates’ largest-ever incoming group, arrived to kick off their first — and the College’s 147th year — with orientation, a week designed to create an immediate sense of community between new students and Bates.
Elsewhere on campus before orientation, the staff of the Deans of Students office was busy preparing for junior adviser/resident coordinator training. The intensive one-week program includes a day of leadership activities at Camp Kieve in Nobleboro as well as campus speakers addressing various topics: dispute mediation, multicultural living, alcohol awareness and basic information to help incoming students discover and use all the Bates resources around them.
Fun making friends
Behind Hathorn Hall, the ground-level office of the Bates Outing Club, known as the equipment room, or “e-room,” was quiet as most AESOP trips were under way. A group of students carrying large backpacks waited as leaders helped students fill a van with camping equipment. The typically three- or-four-day trips bring students to scenic outdoor spots in Maine and New Hampshire. “The idea is to get first-years into a small group from the start and to give them a core group of people they will get to know well on their trip, while having fun in the process,” said AESOP co-coordinator Sam Chamberlain ’03.
“For us, the goal is to welcome first-years into the Bates community and answer any questions they have.” Approximately half of the 580 members of the Bates Class of 2005 participated in 28 trips in the outdoor pursuit of their choice, be it biking, canoeing or hiking. Bates students serve as leaders of the trips, most having completed an AESOP trip themselves in previous years with the student-run Outing Club. All AESOP trips returned to campus on Friday, Aug. 31.
Meanwhile, a contingent of first-years and upperclass students broke in some of the new athletic facilities on campus. As the men’s and women’s tennis teams celebrated the one-year anniversary of the James G. Wallach Tennis Center, a pack of cross country runners launched into a spirited run, crossing nearby Russell Street into a Lewiston neighborhood, while the women’s field hockey team ran windsprints amid teammates’ cheers of support on the year-old Campus Avenue Field, featuring an AstroTurf surface.
Once on campus after AESOP trips, all incoming students will participate as a community in orientation activities: On Saturday, Sept. 1, in Pettengill Hall’s Perry Atrium, new students register from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.; from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., students may visit the Ladd Library circulation desk to receive a password for e-mail and network service access; from 7:45 to 8:45, students will convene in their dorm lounges and meeting areas for a discussion on dorm and campus policies.
In addition, the selection of dorm officials typically will take place at this time. From 9 p.m. to 10:15 p.m. is “First Night,” for students: Mike Green, former professional football player and nationally recognized speaker on alcohol and drug issues, will speak in the Gray Cage. Orientation continues on Sunday, Sept. 2 in the college Chapel with Joe Bertolino, associate dean of students at Barnard College, and Bill Leipold of Rutgers University-Newark as they present “When Gays Move into Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.” On Wednesday, Sept. 5, classes begin at 8 p.m. and conclude at 4 p.m.
At 4:10 p.m., award-winning composer, saxophonist and best-selling author James McBride will officially open the 147th academic year at Bates College with the convocation address The Color of Water: A Meditation on Identity.
Class of 2005 at a glance
Bates has had its third consecutive record year for new student applications, with 4,424 applications received for the incoming Class of 2005.
Just under a third of these applicants were offered admission, and approximately 600 are expected to be enrolled when fall semester starts September 5.
The ratio of women to men in the new class remains near parity, with 52 percent women and 48 percent men.
The Class of 2005 includes 55 U.S. citizens who identified themselves as racial or ethnic minorities, 37 international students, and another 22 students who hold dual citizenship in the United States and another country.
The top foreign countries represented in the first-year class include Japan with eight students, Jamaica with three and Korea and Thailand with two apiece. In all four class years, Bates has 90 students from 66 countries.
The Class of 2005 has the largest-ever representation of U.S. states: 41.
New England states provide 53 percent of the total, with 150 students from Massachusetts, 66 from Maine, 55 from Connecticut, 38 from New Hampshire and 10 each from Rhode Island and Vermont.
Other states with ten or more students include New York (66), Pennsylvania (19), New Jersey (19), California (18), Maryland (17), Colorado (11), Minnesota (10) and Washington (10).
Of those students who were ranked in their high school classes, 89 percent ranked in the top 20 percent of their graduating classes.
This is the third year in a row that Bates has received a record number of applications. Bates received 4,384 applications in 2000 and 3,955 in 1999.