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New College mission statement: thoughts from participants

Concluding a three-year review instigated by President Elaine Tuttle Hansen as part of a larger institutional planning process, the Bates College Board of Trustees unanimously approved a new College mission statement at its spring meeting. The subcommittee from throughout the College that developed the mission statement offered some thoughts on video clips, below, and in text about what the different words and phrases mean to them.

The new Mission Statement of the College:

“Since 1855, Bates College has been dedicated to the emancipating potential of the liberal arts. Bates educates the whole person through creative and rigorous scholarship in a collaborative residential community. With ardor and devotion—Amore ac Studio—we engage the transformative power of our differences, cultivating intellectual discovery and informed civic action. Preparing leaders sustained by a love of learning and a commitment to responsible stewardship of the wider world, Bates is a college for coming times.”

The mission statement replaces the much longer statement (283 words versus the current 77 words) that guided the College successfully since 1990. ( The 1990 mission statement wording can be seen here.)

Click here  for text comments on the meaning of the words and phrases in the new  College mission statement.

The group leading the mission statement revision was  the Mission and Purposes Subcommittee of the ongoing NEASC accreditation process.

“Throughout the development of the new statement, the Subcommittee’s guiding intent was to establish and maintain a broadly inclusive and participatory process,” said subcommittee chair Rebecca Herzig, professor of women and gender studies.  “We are confident that we succeeded admirably in that goal.”


Rebecca Herzig

Subcommittee chair Rebecca Herzig thanks her fellow “missionistas” and reads a letter of appreciation from President Elaine Tuttle Hansen.


Joseph Hall

“…emancipating potential of the liberal arts…” comments by Joseph Hall, associate professor of history.


Paul Gastonguay ’89

“Bates educates the whole person…” comments by Paul Gastonguay ’89, head coach, men’s and women’s tennis.


Leslie Hill

“…we engage in the transformative power of our differences…” comments by Leslie Hill, associate professor of politics and special assistant to the president.


Michael Pasek ’12

“…we engage in the transformative power of our differences…” comments by Michael Pasek ’12.


Rebecca Sommer

“…cultivating intellectual discovery…” comments by Rebecca Sommer, associate professor of biology.


Rebecca Herzig

“Bates is a college for coming times.” comments by Rebecca Herzig, professor of women and gender studies and group chair.



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