Creative, Generous, and Fearless Leadership

A transformative leader for Bates, Clayton Spencer gave new shape and meaning to the enduring power of a Bates liberal arts education for today’s world.

Guiding the college through extraordinary challenges with exceptional clarity and a steady hand, Spencer departs a college that is measurably stronger than when she arrived. She imagined the best for Bates, inspired others to do the same, and accomplished lofty goals through creative, generous, and fearless leadership.

Spencer and the Bates Community

President Clayton Spencer, Eighth Bates President, 2012 to 2023

About the Eighth Bates President

Clayton Spencer identified the forces shaping society and higher education and found opportunities for creative action.

President Clayton Spencer escorts a group of Bates students to the polls on election day, Tuesday, Nov. 6.
In an effort spearheaded by Bates Democrats, Bates Republicans, and the Harward Center for Community Partnerships, Bates students led a bipartisan effort to get out the vote. Volunteers led walking groups from Commons on the hour and every 15 minutes during peak times to the Lewiston Armory on Central Avenue.

Student IDs:

In red jacket, Maya Seshan
In blue jacket with blue jeans, Elektra Smicka
In maroon pants, Elise Grossfeld
On scooter, Michael Ratzimbazfy
Student in blue hood, Harkirat Lally 
In glasses, long blondish hair, tied VOTE shirt and bean boots, Maya Chessen

His name is Michael Ratzimbazfy. The girl in the blue jacket 's name is Elektra Smicka, the student standing on the far right in maroon pants is Elise Grossfeld, the student in the bean boots is Maya Chessen, and the student behind her with dark brown hair is Ella Westerfield.

Slideshow: Moments and Milestones

Some of our favorite images of Clayton Spencer, capturing a Bates leader in her community.

President Spencer in One Word

“The word is extraordinary. She is an extraordinary leader of extraordinary people.”

Michael Bonney ’80, Bates Trustee Emeritus, Board Chair 2010–2019

Thank you, Clayton!

Share your well wishes as we say goodbye to our eighth president.

Move-In Day

The Class of 2023 arrives on campus. Students move into their new residences, attend meetings, eat lunch, pick up AESOP equipment, hear the President's Greeting on the Historic Quad, and say goodbye to their families. _____________________

Opening Day

“I have loved my time at Bates. I have felt so lucky to be part of this community, and I am proud of all that we have accomplished together.”

Clayton Spencer