Maine Gov. John Baldacci’s "Bates College Day" proclamation

Text of Maine Gov. John E. Baldacci’s “Bates College Day” proclamation, May 2, 2005, honoring the College’s 150th anniversary of its founding

WHEREAS, Maine’s educational leaders in the 1850s saw a great, unmet need in the state – to broaden the educational opportunities for young men and women through the founding of a new institution of higher learning; and

WHEREAS, Maine citizens then petitioned the Legislature to incorporate and endow a “Literary Institution…of a high order, on a broad basis, and centrally located”; and

WHEREAS, the Maine Legislature granted a charter and financial support for this new school, at first called the Maine State Seminary, and Governor of Maine Anson P. Morrell signed the legislation on March 16, 1855; and

WHEREAS, the seminary was located in Lewiston, and by an act of the Maine Legislature became Bates College in 1864, its new name and status honoring the philanthropy of Benjamin E. Bates, an industrialist and early developer of Lewiston manufacturing, who believed in the power of education to benefit the economic and social weal; and

WHEREAS, Bates College has stood throughout its history for the pursuit of social justice and equality, broadly defined, reflecting the beliefs of its founders, who were fervent abolitionists and reformers, thus its graduates have linked education with service, leadership, and obligations beyond themselves; and

WHEREAS, the motto of Bates College, the Latin phrase Amore ac Studio, “with ardor and devotion,” complements the spirit evoked by the State of Maine motto, Dirigo, “I lead,” admirable qualities embodied by Bates graduates who have served the public good of our state and our nation, epitomized by the late Edmund S. Muskie of the Class of 1936, Maine governor, U.S. senator, U.S. Secretary of State, and son of Maine; and

WHEREAS, thousands of Bates College graduates exercise these qualities of leadership, citizenship, and collaborative spirit, helping sustain and make better the communities, careers, and endeavors in which they strive; and

WHEREAS, the first college class to graduate from Bates College comprised eight students, all native-born Mainers, today Bates enrolls 1,700 students who represent forty-eight states and the District of Columbia, including 72 countries around the world, and with great pride continues to enroll more than 150 students each year from the State of Maine; and
WHEREAS, Bates College is today a national college of the liberal arts and sciences that prizes the profound usefulness of learning and understanding; and

WHEREAS, Bates College commits its efforts to both the dignity of the individual and, by means of scholarship aid, to access by qualified learners to its programs and opportunities; and

WHEREAS, Bates College celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2005 and is to be honored for its unswerving commitment to providing an education in the liberal arts and sciences, recognizing their critical role in a just and civil society,

NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOHN ELIAS BALDACCI, Governor of the State of Maine, do hereby proclaim May 2, 2005 as BATES COLLEGE DAY throughout the State of Maine, and urge all citizens to recognize this observance.