Getting ready: James Reese and the dean's office

James Reese has been a Bates dean since most current students’ parents were in college. This weekend during Orientation, Reese will give a few of the same talks to new students and their parents, using many of the same quips and jokes as years past. “If a line doesn’t work any more, you make a note and change it for next year,” he says.

But if parts of a new academic year are routine, those unchanging routines bump up against “a whole new set of characters” that turns the Bates campus into a long-running, fascinating human drama, Reese says.

“There are the new personalities in the entering class,” Reese explains. “Fresh sophomores have new thoughts and new energies. And there are the seniors who have really crossed that line to become the mature individual that they wanted to be, and were moving toward since their first year.”

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