Greetings and Salutations

As Bates welcomes President Clayton Spencer and the Class of 2016, we invite you to express your pride in Bates — your hopes for Bates’ future, advice to the newest Bates students or a special message on the occasion of President Spencer’s inauguration.

Your note will be delivered to President Spencer and the Class of 2016 and published on this page after a brief review process. Thank you!

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“Clayton – This is a less direct route to you than I’d hoped for, but I suspect it will serve to tell you, if belatedly, how very proud of you we are and how sorry we were to miss your inauguration We had some badly timed health problems that are now gone. And I admit that I don’t see why you’re not still on the Williams Board where, in my humble opinion, your contribution of good, informed sense has been unusual and much needed. We’ll survive, I’m sure, but not nearly as well.
Congratulations. I hope our paths cross soon and often. Cheers,”

— Gordon and Mary Winston

“Dear President Spencer, On behalf of the Class of 1963 I would like to congratulate you on your inauguration. You are clearly a magnificent choice to lead the College for ‘coming times’. We will be celebrating our 50th Reunion next year and we all look forward to meeting you in June!”

— Natalie Shober Moir, Secretary, Class of 1963

“It is great to know that the leadership of Bates College is in such great hands! Bates is a unique and special place, and I am confident that you will make an indelible mark on its history! I wish my father was alive to see you at the helm! He would be so proud! Best wishes and good luck!”

— Bill Cuthbertson ’75

“Congratulations, and best wishes. High achievements are the norm for Bates, but you are an excellent choice to lead the College to ever higher levels!”

— James Fergerson, Carleton

“Dear Clayton, I am so happy to be able to attend your Inauguration. I always knew that you would be a college president someday and I am so glad that Bates saw the same thing in you that all of us see. You are such a tremendous asset to any college and to the young people whom you will inspire and challenge. Congratulations to you my friend! Know that I am among many throngs of proud and happy supporters and admirers! All my best,”

— Colleen Richards Powell, Harvard

“Looking forward to your joyful administration of beloved Bates. for many years to come. Enjoy tomorrow!”

— Beth Sheppard, P’13, HC’54, HC’57

“What a special week: today’s chapel dedication in honor of my old friend Peter, and tomorrow’s inauguration! The perfect blend of history, nostalgia, and anticipation of a bright future for my College. Here’s hoping for a long and happy presidency, President Spencer, and the re-emergence of Bates as a leader in the Lewiston-Auburn community.”

— Judith A. Marden, 1966

“Welcome Clayton! It has been 36 years since my graduation in 1976. Never have I been more proud and excited to be a Bobcat. Your presence has already breathed a palpable energy into the students and alumni. It is an honor and a pleasure to be a part of journey to where Bates will be in the future.”

— Robin Lin Hodgskin ’76

“Congratulations on becoming Bates College’s eighth President. My son Christopher Griffin recently visited your fine institution and met you personally. It was a watershed moment in his life. My wife and I thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Best of luck as you lead Bates into the future.”

— Greg and Debra Griffin

“Congratulations to Bates on the inauguration of the most wonderful person, Clayton Spencer, as your eighth president. I speak from the honor of having been able to work closely with her for many years here at Harvard’s Crimson Summer Academy. Those of our program’s graduates who currently study at Bates are especially fortunate–more time with Clayton! Still, everyone here at the CSA knows how incredibly lucky we’ve been to have had her in our lives. I look forward to inauguration day. Meanwhile, best of luck to Bates and its fantastic new president!”

— Maxine Rodburg, Harvard

“Estamos totalmente convencidos ,de que ésta va a ser una de las más grande, fantastica e inolvidable experiencia, que los va a acompañar de y por el resto de sus vidas.Toda la fuerza y el más sincero de los mejores deseos para los nuevos Bobcats 2016.
Felicitaciones Presidente Spencer desde Argentina.”

— Gisela U. Krautwurst Jorge A. De Rose

“Congratulations President Spencer! I regret that I will not be able to attend due to work. As a Bates alumnus (Class of ’95) who lives in Lewiston, and as a fellow educator, I look forward to meeting you in person someday. Here’s wishing for many years of outstanding service to the Bates and Lewiston/Auburn communities.”

— David Guay ’95

“Clay, I will be in the air flying from Antigua to Charlotte while the inauguration is happening. Ellen tells me it will be streamed live from Bates. I will be watching and wishing I were there with you. Much love,”

— Mari Gramling

“For several years, Clayton and I often sat next to each other at meetings of the Williams College Board of Trustees. That was not accidental, and there were no assigned seats. In an honor of my life, I considered us kindred spirits, or more accurately, similar thinkers. Except she was always a better thinker. You could see it whenever she spoke up, as she did judiciously, at Williams board meetings. Everyone sat up straighter to take in her thoughts, her wisdom. And, of course, a little humor thrown in. I could only dream of being that good.

Occasionally, she would lean over and share some pithy witticism. And it was always right on, in humor and substance. She always knew, at least I hope she did, that I was the most appreciative audience she could have found in the room.

My niece, Lucy Neely, graduated from Bates. I know it was grand experience for her. But I wish she could have been there when Clayton was there. With Clayton there, it will only get better.”

— Paul Neely, Williams ’68

“My husband and I would often enjoy cooking Sunday brunch while listening to Harvard radio and Rev Peter Gomes preach from Memorial Church in Harvard Yard. Some of his sermons are archived here.

One of the most useful pieces of advice he offered to ground his Harvard undergraduate idealists was this:

‘Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.’ – Rev. Peter Gomes

I took great BATES pride believing that Rev. Gome’s inspired practicality was rooted in our common BATES undergraduate experience. I know he would agree.

Best wishes to you President Spencer, may you enjoy cooking Sunday brunch some chilly winter morning while listening to one of BATES shining stars! (Chuckles and tears guaranteed!)”

— Scott Garvin ’89

“Welcome President Spencer! Congratulations on accepting the best challenge of your life. I am jealous in that I am relegated to seeing the pending evolution from afar via the website and sporadic visits, while you live the dream. Best of luck.”

— John S. Rooks ’84

“Congratulations to President Spencer and greetings to all incoming Bobcats! As parents of a Senior, my wife and I have observed with awe the incredible school spirit and energy of the entire Bates community. Even though we live in California, we look forward to attending both Parents Weekend and Homecoming. We are only sad that this year will be our last as proud parents. Go Bobcats!”

— Russell Pyne

“I am a 2005 graduate and living in Macon, Georgia. For all of the “southerners” in the freshman class…GET READY FOR WINTER! Best of luck Class of 2016!!!!”

— Brian Gerrity

“To the incoming freshman in the Class of 2016: Congratulations on your decision to attend Bates College! As a group you represent a wired, plugged in ,and tech savvy generation who will have the opportunity to creatively find solutions to many issues found in our society today. As individuals you will experience a cooperative and intellectual community of scholars who will help you achieve your goals. My best wishes to you all. GO BATES !!! BEAT BOWDOIN !!!!!”

— William P. Paris (class of 1967)

“Enjoy it bob kittens, these next 4 years will fly. Eat lots of lobstah unless you’re a vegan. If that’s the case there’s probably a great vegan bar in commons.”

— Brandon Drew Shields

“Dear President Spencer, It has been an honor to serve as Class Secretary/Class President for over 15 years. I hope that the Bates community will always make you feel as young and joyous as it does me. The connections with my friends and with the college only grow stronger with the passage of time. With all best wishes for the many good years ahead for you and for Bates, Erica Seifert Plunkett Class of 1986.”

— Erica Seifert Plunkett Class of 1986

“Having recently returned to Maine after a stint on the other side of the country, I can’t help but be constantly reminded of the thing that brought me here in the first place: the promise of a nourishing, authentic education awaiting me at Bates. The thought of AESOPers returning from their trips and assuming new positions as bona fide Batesies delights me to the core, as does the feeling that the incumbent President Spencer will facilitate a learning and living environment in which both this new class and the returning student body are able to continue to recreate the Bates experience into one that will be valued and appreciated far beyond their time there. Good luck to all!”

— Lily Joslin

“As a Bates ’12 graduate I am very sad to say that I will not be returning to campus this fall. This is a new and exciting beginning for President Spencer and I look forward to seeing the progress of the Bates community. Good luck Class of 2016!”

— Jessica A. Howard

“Living on the west coast for the past 17 years, I rarely run into Bates students or alumni. When I do encounter one – it’s like a homecoming! Total strangers one minute, and the next minute, like family bonded by a special feeling for Bates. I have heard you talk about this feeling, President Spencer, so I know you have already experienced it. To you and to the class of 2016 – welcome to the family.”

— Sandra Krot

“I look forward to attending both the dedication of the Chapel to my classmate and dear friend Peter Gomes and the inauguration of President Spencer as I come Back to Bates in October. With my 50th reunion just around the corner, it will be good to see all that has happened since the Class of ’65 graduated.”

— R Bruce Cooper

“Congratulations to all of the Bates Family as we start happily on another chapter of history. Tradition tells us that autumn points the way toward a decrease in energy as the calendar year winds down, but as I sit on my college campus and watch the new students begin again, I instead revel in the energy they bring to us ‘oldies’ and look forward to what they can teach us. And so it is in Lewiston as well!

Enjoy the new year, everybody, and welcome President Spencer.”

— Sandra L. Shea

“It is during this time of year that I feel most called to return to Bates– the beginning of AESOP, apple season, warm(ish) oceans and brisk evening breezes stimulate that desire for a new season of adventuring (both academic and otherwise).

Best of luck, President Spencer and the Class of 2016! May your lobster be good and fresh.”

—Julia Bedell

“Every Batesie I meet wherever I go is honest, upstanding, forthright, well-spoken and -written, and so forth. Class of 2016, I trust you will continue exemplifying these qualities.

Welcome, President Spencer; I wonder if you will scare the ‘bejeebers’ out of the incoming class as President Reynolds did when he told us in no uncertain terms something to the effect ‘Bates is hard; go home now if you planned to party and do as little as possible in your classes.'”

Ah, autumn in Maine, what a great place to study, make new friends, and recreate!”

— Julia Holmes Reuter

“The entire Cramer family, Rob ’79, Molly P’13 and P’ 14, Bo ’13, Callie ’14, Ned ’20? and Colin’20? (:)) are all tremendously excited about this upcoming year. There is so much to look forward to at the onset of this academic year, just to name a few: the arrival of a new class of Bobcats, the inauguration of President Spencer, the improvements to Chase Hall, an exciting season of Bobcat hoops (where we are big fans of both teams and root for daughter Callie) and last but not least the graduation of our oldest son Bo, an event where we will be our most proud. Bates is a special place, comprised of special people, all committed to inspiration, achievement and innovation, and we look forward to sharing these and other moments with the greater Bates community. Best wishes especially to President Spencer for what will no doubt be an exciting year!”

— Robert Cramer

“Congratulations President Spencer and best wishes as you begin your tenure at Bates! I have heard wonderful things about you from Sarah Miller, a current sophomore, and her mother, Molly Roach, who remembers you from your student days at Williams College. Both report that you are very smart, thoughtful, and down-to-earth. Bates needs a stimulating leader who is eager to join a vibrant community. I wish you all the best.”

— Jody Douglass

“Welcome to President Spencer! Bates is sure to achieve great things under your leadership.

To the students living in Parker 101, enjoy it. That is the best dorm room in the history of college life!

Best wishes to all for a great year!”

— Heather Davies Bernard

“Dear President Spencer, Congratulations on your inauguration! As a recent graduate of the Class of ’12 I have left my Bates career with a bittersweet end. Even within the excitement of a new chapter opening up for me, I realize I am leaving what I have considered home for the past four years. Also I truly wish I was able to witness the wonderful changes that you will be inspiring within our institution from this day forward. But I am so thankful to know that I am leaving Bates in great hands. I have faith that years from now, even simply next year, I will be seeing and hearing wonderful things about new developments. Good luck on this new journey and know that you have a large, loving, and enthusiastic Bates family supporting you every step of the way.

I hope especially that you show a determination to make Bates into an even more diverse and accepting campus. You have done so much at Harvard particularly in encouraging diversity and assuring an inclusive student body—especially in our day and age and noting Bates’ noble history, I urge you to push diversity as a priority issue. I am convinced Bates College can help lead the way in being an inclusive and innovative institution. Thank you and good luck!”

— Jenny Kai

“President Spencer… Sorry I didn’t make your going away party and I don’t think I’ll be in Maine in October, but wanted to say that the memory of the Black Mamba is alive and well as I head off to Africa this week (Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania) with a non-profit I’m with. Best of luck as you start this new adventure… having just completed my first month and a half in Charlottesville, I can tell you that it is completely exciting and fun! Cheers, Justin”

— Justin Ide

“An absolutely inspired decision! What a boon for Bates — With well-wishes and great affection, Bonna”

— Bonna D. Wescoat, Emory University