Back to Bates Events for Families

October 6-7, 2023

During Back to Bates, we invite family members of current Bates students to experience life on campus, visit with their student, and enjoy the wonders of fall in Maine.

2023 Schedule

We’re delighted to share this schedule with families to help you plan your Back to Bates visit. We will continue to add details, event times, and more. Please note that specific events, times, and locations are subject to change.

Friday, October 6

Time Location Event Description Ticket Required
8am-4pmBates College StoreNeed new Bobcat gear? Stop in at the store during open hours!No
10am -5pm
Bates College Museum of ArtVisit the current exhibitionSelections from the Diversify the Collection Program,” featuring new acquisitions in oil, prints, photography, and other media.

Also on display: Who Are They? Who Am I? Portraits of Artists and Artist Self-Portraits from the permanent collection.
2–7pmChase Lounge, Chase HallFamily Check-In
Make this your first stop when you arrive on campus to pick up name tags and pre-ordered tickets or to register as a walk-in.
3:30–4:30pm Keck Classroom (G52), Pettengill HallUnleashing Potential: The Power of Inclusive Teaching for Student Success
Faculty members at Bates College strive to create an inclusive environment that fosters community and empowers students to succeed. When classrooms are inclusive, students from diverse backgrounds can fully engage in the learning process, bringing their unique perspectives and experiences to enrich discussions and foster critical thinking. 

In this symposium, three faculty members will discuss their experiences in creating an inclusive curriculum, utilizing inclusive pedagogical practices, and implementing inclusive assessment methods.

Moderator: Malcolm Hill, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty
4:30–5:45pm Perry Atrium, Pettengill HallStudent Summer Research Poster Session
More than 40 students who received Bates grants and fellowships to conduct research in the summer of 2023 will talk about their discoveries. Stop by, ask questions, learn, and be amazed by these phenomenal student-scholars!
Family Dinner Options
· Dine in at Commons. Family members can use one of their student’s guest passes or pay by credit card.
· Eat off-campus at a local Maine spot.
6-7pmBates College Museum of ArtArtist Lecture: Randy Williams
Please join us for a lecture with Randy Williams, visual artist and Professor Emeritus of Studio Art and Art Education at Manhattanville College. Williams’s work, My Vanishing Country Also, is featured in the Selections from the Diversify the Collection Program exhibition, on view until October 7.

Hosted by the Bates College Museum of Art
6:30–8pm Memorial Commons, Chase HallShabbat Evening Services & Dinner
In partnership with the Jewish Student Union. Jewish student leaders will lead a Shabbat service before dinner is served.

Capacity for this event is 120. No charge, but advance tickets are required for family members and for Bates students.
6pmAlumni GymWomen’s Volleyball vs SmithNo
8:30pmClifton Daggett Gray Athletic Building (Gray Cage)Acapella Concert
A Bates tradition! Soak in the atmosphere and the amazing sounds of student acapella groups.
Seating for 1,000 is first come, first served.

Saturday, October 7

Time Location Event Description Ticket Required
8am-7pmChase Lounge, Chase HallFamily Check-In
Make this your first stop when you arrive on campus to pick up name tags and pre-ordered tickets or to register as a walk-in.
8-10:30amChase Lounge, Chase HallCoffee Station
Grab a quick coffee, tea, or cool drink as you stay hydrated on a busy Bates day!
8am-4pmBates College StoreNeed new Bobcat gear? Stop in at the store during open hours!No
8:45amLobby, Olin Arts Center Volunteer with Bates!
Meet fellow Bates parents, enjoy some coffee or tea, and hear from current parent volunteers and staff as you explore ways to be involved as a parent volunteer.

Rain plan in effect: This will take place in the Olin Arts Center Lobby.
9am, 10am, 11amLindholm HouseAdmission tours and info session
Do you have another possible Bobcat in the family? The Bates Admission office will offer their usual Saturday tour and info sessions; pre-registration is required via the Admission portal.

Note that these are Admission-specific tours for prospective students and families, not general campus tours.
9:30–10:30amOlin Arts Center AuditoriumArmchair Conversation with President Jenkins
Join us as President Garry Jenkins shares impressions from his first months at Bates, offers perspective on the potential of the liberal arts, and discusses what makes the Bates community so special. President Jenkins will take audience questions as time allows.

Seating for this event is limited to 300. Overflow seating will be provided in Olin 104/105 for viewing of the event livestream.
10am-5pmBates College Museum of ArtVisit the current exhibitionSelections from the Diversify the Collection Program,” featuring new acquisitions in oil, prints, photography, and other media.

Also on display: Who Are They? Who Am I? Portraits of Artists and Artist Self-Portraits from the permanent collection.
11–11:30am Chase Hall 212Class of 2024 Families Gathering
Meet other senior class parents to hear about this year’s Senior Parent Gift effort and see the space our generosity will support. Open to all Class of 2024 parents and guardians, and hosted by the Senior Parent Gift Committee.
11-11:30amMemorial Commons, Chase HallCoffee with the Coaches
Families of current softball, women’s lacrosse, and men’s lacrosse players are invited for coffee with the coaches and to meet fellow team parents.
11amCampus Avenue FieldBates Field Hockey vs. HamiltonNo
11amRussell Street Track and FieldBates Women’s Soccer vs. HamiltonNo
11:30am – 2pmCommonsBBQ Lunch
Enjoy a relaxed picnic BBQ lunch for all ages. 

Tickets must be pre-purchased: $20 per adult, $15 per person 12 and under. Bates students must present their ID.

Rain plan in effect: BBQ lunch indoors at Commons. Guests must have a ticket (no cash sales for the lunch), and Bates students present their ID. Overflow seating at the Bardwell Tent.
1pmGarcelon FieldBates Football vs. AmherstNo
1-2:30pmMarcy Plavin Studio, Merrill GymnasiumBack to Bates Student Performance Showcase
Join us to see a lively showcase of their engaging artistry! Seating is limited to 150 and is first come, first served.
1-5pmBardwell StreetCurb Cats Food Truck

Rain plan in effect: Canceled
2pmAlumni GymBates Volleyball vs. TuftsNo
2pmRussell Street Track and FieldBates Men’s Soccer vs. HamiltonNo
2–3pmKeck Classroom (G52), Pettengill HallPurposeful Work Student Panel
Preparing students for lives of meaningful work lies at the heart of the liberal arts mission. Join us as a panel of students discusses their internship experiences as part of this signature Bates program.

Panelists: Aaliyah Moore ’24, Ben Morse ’24, and Harris Ramlee ’25

Moderator: Allen Delong, Senior Associate Dean and Director of the Bates Center for Purposeful Work
4–5pmBonney Living Room, Bonney Science CenterMOSAIC Families, Students, and Alumni Networking
Our MOSAIC family and alumni events seek to build community among the family members, guardians, and support networks of underrepresented racial, ethnic, LGBTQIA+, first-generation-to-college, and international Bates students, and among those members of our alumni network who identify as MOSAIC community members.
5–6pmMount David Society Reception
This invitation-only event is an opportunity for Bates to thank families, alumni, and friends who make the college a philanthropic priority through leadership gifts.
5:30–8pm Clifton Daggett Gray Athletic Building (Gray Cage)Harvest Dinner
Autumnal meal featuring local Maine produce. There is no program, so feel free to arrive anytime between 5:30 and 7:30pm. Beer and wine will be served for parents only.

Capacity for this event is 800. Tickets must be purchased in advance: $28 per adult, $17 for children ages 12 and under, $10 for Bates students.

Commons will also be open for dining (pay through the line or use a student guest pass).
6-9pmBardwell Field TentHorse-drawn wagon rides
Canceled due to inclement weather
7:30–9pmPerry Atrium, Pettengill HallDessert Fair
Finish your day with something sweet! Join families, students, and alumni for tasty treats provided by the talented Bates dining team.

Rain plan in effect: This event has been moved to Perry Atrium.

Frequently Asked Questions


Where should I park?

You may park in any legal spot on campus or on nearby public streets. The largest campus lot is located between Underhill Arena and the Russell Street Track (enter from Russell Street). Please respect handicapped parking signs.

What should I wear?

Maine is a relaxed place! Pack comfortable clothes with plenty of layers so you will be ready for sunny days, cool evenings, and rain.

In case of rain, will the schedule be adjusted and updated?

Yes! We have already made some schedule adjustments to account for this year’s weather forecast. Event locations and descriptions have been updated, with significant changes highlighted. We will continue to post updates to the web, and you can always get the latest from staff at the Check-in Center.

Where should I go when I first arrive?

Please make the Family Check-in Center at Chase Hall your first stop! We will have your name tags and any tickets ready for you if you registered in advance. If you are a walk-in, we can get you squared away.

What are our dining options?

We will have several ways to dine on campus throughout the weekend, listed in the schedule above. We also have pulled together a list of places off-campus for dining and activities to check out while you are in the area.

Can I bring my dog to campus?

We certainly welcome your leashed pet on campus, but with the exception of certified service animals, pets are not allowed in any area where food is being served or in residence halls. Please read the full policy here

How do I address my accessibility needs?

We want to ensure that Back to Bates: Family Weekend is an inclusive experience for all. If you anticipate a barrier on campus or within any of the programming, please contact Christine Schwartz at To ensure that we are able to implement any accommodations in a timely manner, please reach out to us by September 12 if at all possible.

How can I address my dietary restrictions?

Bates Dining labels food served for the following common allergens: nuts, dairy, egg, pork, fish, shellfish, vegan, coconut, gluten-friendly, and soy.

However, it is important to note that manufacturers may change the formulation of foods without our knowledge. Additionally, because food is prepared in a commercial kitchen and presented in a self-service environment, there is a possibility of cross-contact with allergens. Anyone concerned about food ingredients should be aware of these risks and be proactive about their food choices. While it is ultimately your responsibility to decide whether or not to eat certain foods, we encourage you to direct specific questions to the chef on duty at the station or a manager.

If you have food-related allergy concerns, we also strongly encourage you to contact Cheryl Lacey, Director of Dining, to discuss your needs.

How do I contact campus safety?

Campus Safety: 207-786-6254

Emergency Only: 207-786-6111 (dial 6111 if using an on-campus phone.)

How do I contact campus health services?

St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center and Central Maine Medical Center are within a mile of campus if you need medical attention during the weekend. Please call Bates Campus Safety (6254 from a campus phone, other­wise 207-786-6254) if you need a ride or other assistance.

Is there a lost and found?

Inquiries about articles lost on campus may be made at Family Check-in located in Chase Hall, Chase Lounge until 7pm on Saturday and thereafter at Bates Campus Safety, 245 College Street. Following the event, all unclaimed articles will be taken to the Office of Parent Giving and Engagement. Bates College and the Office of Parent Giving and Engagement are not responsible for lost or stolen items.

What are the smoking regulations?

Smoking – the burning of any type of pipe, cigar, cigarette, or similar product, and chewing tobacco is prohibited in all campus buildings – including residence halls. This policy also includes, but is not limited to battery-powered e-cigarettes, vaporizers, vape pens, atomizers, and electronic nicotine delivery systems. 

Smoking is prohibited within 50 feet, approximately 20 paces, of all campus facilities, including residence halls and athletics grounds. 


What does registration for Back to Bates include?

By registering for Back to Bates: Family Weekend, you will automatically have access to several aspects of the weekend, but select events are ticketed.

When you fill out the registration form, please be sure to note those events where you need a ticket and those events where you will need to secure a ticket for your current Bates student.

Many events are also open to all families without the need for tickets.

I missed pre-registration but still want to attend. What should I do!

We look forward to having you join us as a walk-in! Make your first stop the Family Check-in Center in Chase Lounge (Friday for families from 2-7pm, and Saturday for families 8am-7pm). We would be happy to get you registered, print your nametags, and help you with any BBQ lunch ticket purchases.

The Harvest Dinner has sold out. Will more tickets be made available? What are my options?

Tickets to the Harvest Dinner are no longer available. Local dining choices can be viewed here.

If you would like to eat on campus on Saturday evening, you have several options:

  • Many families share via Bates Facebook groups at the last minute that will not be using their Harvest Dinner tickets and offer them to other families. Families make their own arrangements about on-campus ticket transfer and any reimbursements. 
  • Commons is open for dinner from 4:30-8pm, and families are welcome. You can use your student’s guest passes, or you can pay by credit card ($14 per adult; $7 children ages 5-8; free for children 4 and under).
  • Curb Cats – the college’s food truck – will be available for casual outside options on Bardwell Street from 1 – 9pm on Saturday, October 7. Payment is by credit card only.

I can no longer attend Harvest Dinner and want to give my tickets to another family. How do I do this?

Now that both the registration and refund dates have passed for Back to Bates, we remind you that our team can no longer manage any changes or transfers for tickets. To give your Harvest Dinner tickets to another family, you must do so by giving them the physical tickets.

If you are attending the weekend in person, arrange to meet the family taking your tickets at a time/place that is convenient for you both so that you can hand them your tickets.

If you are no longer attending the weekend, please have your Bates student bring their student ID to the Check-in Center, and we will give them your tickets. You, your student, and the family receiving your tickets can make arrangements to physically hand over the tickets.

We regret given the record-breaking number of pre-registered and walk-in guests expected for Back to Bates, registration staff cannot be the point of transfer for physical tickets between families.

My student-athlete has an away contest during Back to Bates. Is there another time we can visit?

This quirk of athletic scheduling does happen every few calendar cycles. We encourage you to keep current with the campus visitor policy when planning a visit with your student on campus and with NESCAC/college guidance on athletic spectators when attending home or away games. We hope to see you on campus soon!

What is the refund policy for this event?

To request a refund, your email must have been received in the inbox and time stamped by 5pm Eastern on Wednesday, September 27. We cannot make exceptions to this deadline.