A Message to Alumni From President Spencer

Dear Bates Alumni,

As the COVID-19 crisis deepens and finds us all searching for new ways of navigating our worlds, I wanted to reach out to let you know that we are thinking of you, our Bates community. I hope that you and your families are safe and well.

As you know, on March 13 we announced that our students would need to leave campus and complete their course work for the winter semester remotely. Since then, we have been focused on easing the stress of the transition for our students. Dedicated teams provided assistance with packing, storage, and making arrangements to travel home. While our students—particularly the seniors—were sad to leave each other and this place, the generosity of spirit exhibited across campus has been remarkable. 

The winter semester resumes today, and our faculty have spent the past week preparing to complete their classes in new forms. There has been much to think about—synchronous vs. asynchronous sessions to accommodate different time zones, how to complete laboratory and performance courses remotely, and how to organize group work to build community when the texture of face-to-face interactions is no longer an option.  
In the midst of it all, Bates alumni are rallying around our college community with generous offers of help. A COVID-19 Fund has been established to provide support to our students and faculty through this new and uncertain time. If you are able to make a contribution to this fund, it will be deeply appreciated. And thank you to those who have already given so generously. 

The Bates Center for Purposeful Work also continues to support students, especially the Class of 2020. The staff is conducting virtual appointments, reviewing resumes, and hosting virtual workshops. If you have not already done so, we encourage you to share career guidance with our students on Bates Bridge, our online professional development platform. If you have job or internship leads, please contact Sheila Anderson at purposefulwork@bates.edu.

While we are unable to gather in person at this time, I hope that you will remain connected with the college as well as with your Bates classmates and friends. Please check in with each other, share news, and keep the Bobcat spirit alive. We are exploring new ways to stay virtually engaged with our alumni community and will share our plans with you in the days and weeks ahead. In the meantime, I encourage you to keep abreast of what is happening at Bates through our website and social channels.  

Many of you have also inquired about alumni events and programs scheduled for the spring and summer.
  • As you know, Bates has postponed Great Day to Be a Bobcat. We hope to reschedule that community giving day later this spring.   
  • All regional alumni events through May have been postponed or cancelled. More information can be found on our website. 
  • We have not yet made decisions about Commencement or Reunion Weekend. Please do know that if Reunion Weekend is cancelled or postponed, we will provide refunds to all registrants.

I am so grateful for the support and strength of the Bates alumni community as we navigate this unprecedented period of change and challenge. We will get through this together. 


Clayton Spencer