Caring for our community

This page was created after the Oct. 25 shootings in Lewiston. It will continue to be updated with information and resources to help support one another and the Lewiston community.

Nov. 17: Announcing the October 25th Remembrance and Resource Fund

In the aftermath of the tragic events in Lewiston on October 25, 2023, the Bates Board of Trustees and Cheney Society joined together to establish a new fund for the Harward Center for Community Partnerships. The October 25th Remembrance and Resource Fund will permanently support and strengthen the Harward Center’s mission “to weave together campus and community for the enrichment of both liberal education and public life.” Growth that will be made possible through this fund will include:

  • Fortify the Bonner Leader Program, which equips students with financial need with Bates-sponsored support to become civic leaders by working throughout their four college years for Lewiston non-profit organizations.
  • Significantly expand the Carignan Community Grants Program, which provides grants of up to $2,000 to support promising/needed local projects in the Lewiston-Auburn community.

If you would like to support this fund, please go to and choose the “Harward Center October 25th Fund” from the Designation drop-down menu.

Nov. 2: Love Lewiston Day

A longtime Lewiston community partner of the college, Tree Street Youth Center, led the Nov. 2 effort dubbed Love Lewiston Day, joined by numerous other organizations and many Bates students. Julia Sleeper Whiting ’08 is co-founder and executive director of Tree Street Youth Center.

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Nov. 1: Vigil for Grief and Remembrance

On Nov. 1, a Vigil for Grief and Remembrance in Gomes Chapel offered silence, candle lighting, poetry, interfaith prayers, and communal grief on the one-week anniversary of the tragedy in Lewiston. 

Bates students holding candles in a church building
Bates students hold lit candles during the campus Vigil for Grief and Remembrance in Gomes chapel on Nov. 1, 2023, the one-week anniversary of the Lewiston shootings. (Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)
Oct. 31: Halloween Event for Local Children

Children and families from the Lewiston community were met with an outpouring of emotion, support, and bagfuls of treats from hundreds of Bates students who, on short notice and in response to the tragedy, tripled the size of a planned community trick-or-treat event in order to support their Lewiston community.

trick or treating with students in costumes
In front of Smith Hall on Bardwell Street, Bates students greet children and families from the Lewiston community during a Halloween trick-or-treat event held to support the community following the Lewiston shootings on Oct. 25. (Huck Triggs ’24 for Bates College)
Oct. 25–27: Bates Emergency Communications

For the period starting 8:47 p.m. on Oct. 25 and ending at 9:50 p.m. on Oct. 27, the Bates College Emergency site displays all messages and statements to the campus community regarding the college’s emergency response to the Lewiston shootings.

Ongoing: Bates Student Support

On Oct. 29, the day before the resumption of classes, Dean of Students Erin Foster Zsiga wrote to students on the topic of “Offering and Accessing Support.”

She said, “The past few days have been stressful, fearful, and painful for many members of our community. It has been so heartening to see the care and compassion you continue to show for one another…. I want to remind you of some of the ways in which staff at the college can support you — or peers you are worried about — as you navigate the days and weeks ahead.”

Ongoing: Bates Employee Support

Information and resources for Bates employees are available through Human Resources

Ongoing: How to Support Lewiston