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Slideshow: 27 Commencement moments

At Commencement on May 25, the seniors’ four years culminated in a few very joyous hours on the Historic Quad.

Twenty-seven photographs by Phyllis Graber Jensen capture the Commencement experience for the Class of 2014.


8:50 a.m.: She registrars her approval

Registrar Mary Meserve gives a final look to the soon-to-be granted Bates diplomas.

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8:49 a.m.: Stop fussing. It’s perfect!

Hank Schless ’14 of Old Greenwich, Conn., adjusts his mortarboard in the company of Logan Greenblatt ’14 of South Berwick, Maine, and Madeline Smit ’14 of Lawrenceville, N.J., as seniors begin to line up on Alumni Walk.

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9:07 a.m.: Happy anticipation

Associate Professor of Psychology Krista Aronson and Associate Professor of African American Studies Myron Beasley await the academic procession.

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9:18 a.m.: We’ll never forget you

Shortly before the procession begins, Bethel Kifle ’15 of Chicago shares a moment with Associate Professor of Spanish Claudia Aburto Guzman on Alumni Walk.

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9:19 a.m.: Senior staff selfie

Dean of Admission and Financial Aid Leigh Weisenburger photographs herself with, from left, Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty Matt Auer, Vice President of College Advancement Sarah Pearson ’75 (hidden) and Dean of Students Tedd Goundie.

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9:25 a.m.: Get me to the Quad on time!

Just before takeoff, a student runs along Alumni Walk to take his alphabetically determined place in line.

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9:27 a.m.: The pipes, the pipes are calling

Led by student marshals from the Class of 2015, the academic procession moves from Alumni Walk to the Quad. Here, the seniors walk between Hathorn and Parker halls.

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9:29 a.m.: Y’all come back!

It’s traditional for staff from Facility Services to gather on the Hathorn Hall lawn to greet seniors as they pass by.

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9:30 a.m.: Entering the Quad greensward

Omosede Eholo ’14 of New York City enters the Quad with her classmates.

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9:32 a.m.: High regard

Associate Dean of Students James Reese regards the procession of seniors in the Class of 2014.

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9:37 a.m.: Walking along Gomes

Members of the faculty in their academic regalia pass by the Peter J. Gomes Chapel.

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9:45 a.m.: Leader of the pack

Led by macebearer Sawyer Sylvester, professor of sociology, the platform party, including President Clayton Spencer and the Commencement honorands, approaches Hathorn Hall.

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9:45 a.m.: Hand to hand

Professor of Geology Dyk Eusden ’80 high-fives a student as faculty walk between two lines of graduates.

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10:26 a.m.: Seniors sorted by row

These graduating seniors requested a “row” portrait.

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10:04 a.m.: Something to say

Collin McCullough ’14 of Plattsburgh, N.Y., strides to the dais to deliver his senior address.

Senior class speaker Collin McCullough. (Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)


10:26 a.m.: But is it fleece?

Commencement speaker and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Isabel Alexis Wilkerson receives her academic hood, signifying her honorary Doctor of Letters degree.

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10:26 a.m.: A message in all caps

Before a sea of mortarboards, including one with a clear message, the Commencement Choir, under the direction of John Corrie, performs Lennon and McCartney’s “In My Life.”

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11:06 a.m.: Crowd source

Seen from high in Coram Library, a sea of faculty, seniors and guests fill the seats on the Historic Quad.

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11:14 a.m.: With a degree of pride

Jivko Kozorov ’14 from Plovdiv, Bulgaria, takes a closer look at his sheepskin.

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11:30 a.m.: Read it and weep, peeps

Alexandra Sejersted Bodtker ’14 of Zurich, Switzerland, shows off her diploma.

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11:36 a.m.: Score!

Melanie Watson ’14 of West Granby, Conn., makes the most of the moment as she waits on the ramp to the stage to be called for her diploma.

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11:44 a.m.: Unidentified flying caps

In a moment of celebration, graduates hurl their caps as the platform party departs at ceremony’s conclusion.

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11:48 a.m.: Embracing the future

After the ceremony, a faculty member embraces Josh Ajamu ’14 of Breinigsville, Pa.

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11:55 a.m.: Only a smile apart

Dan Remillard ’14 of Hanover, N.H., shares a hug with Sonja Favaloro ’14 of Morrisville, Pa.

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11:57 a.m.: Hug it out, guys

Lorenzo Bonacini ’14 of Modena, Italy, says goodbye to Jack Gonsalves ’14 of Rye, N.H.

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11:59 a.m.: Like daughter, like father

Kristy Han ’14 of Los Angeles shares her cap with father, Victor Han, for a photograph.

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12:08 p.m.: This guy, right here!

Sean Woods ’14 of Gypsum, Colo., poses for a photograph with aunts Kathryn Simmons and Barbara Walpole as his older brother Chris Woods mugs for the camera.

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12:13 p.m.: About faces

Cecilia Pina ’14 of Boston poses with her extended family during a photo session at the conclusion of Commencement 2014.

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2 Responses to “Slideshow: 27 Commencement moments”

  1. William R. Matteson says:

    Seems like only yesterday that my parents and grandparents gathered on the quad for my graduation in 1971. Sawyer Sylvester (carrying the mace in above photo) was a new young professor in the sociology dept. Thomas Hedley Reynolds was president. Coretta Scott King was our commencement speaker. Great to see the traditions continue at Bates. It is a special place and continues to turn out thoughtful, caring individuals. Thanks for all the wonderful pictures of this special moment.

    Bill Matteson ’71

    • Jay Burns says:

      And your class, Bill, is credited with convincing Reynolds to move Commencement from the prior years’ indoor location (the local armory) to the gorgeous and classy current location on the steps of Coram on the Quad.

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