Share Your Well Wishes

We welcome Bates alumni, faculty, family, friends, staff, and students to share your message with Clayton and our community as we celebrate Bates eighth president. Your well wishes will be shared with Clayton and here publicly.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Thank you, Clayton. Well done for your excellent and inspirational leadership, commitment, and creativity! Who knew your last few years would present such challenges? Yet, with skill and grace, you guided the Bates community to find safe solutions in keeping with Bates’ purpose and spirit. My best wishes for a well-deserved, happy, healthy retirement.
Sharon Geil ’72December 18, 2023

Wishing you the very best on your next Journey.

Angela W. WilliamsJune 20, 2023

We have enjoyed knowing you over these Bates years. Thanks for your wonderful leadership & your Purposeful Work. Soon we’ll be almost neighbors!!

Jerry & Gretchen Davis. ‘61June 17, 2023

Clayton has served as a tremendous leader for Bates, eliciting the greatness that already existed in this wonderful place. She has been a dedicated leader who faced all questions with clarity, generosity, and a real desire to uphold the values of the Bates community. She leaves Bates better than she found it, and those who worked with her, grateful for the experience.

Michelle RosenbergJune 16, 2023

Thank you President Clayton, for your dedication to making Bates one of the best institutions. The Purposeful Work program is definitely a highlight, and one I wish had been there when I was a student! You definitely made a positive difference and will be missed!

Sharon WilliamsJune 15, 2023

Over the past eleven years your leadership has elevated Bates to a new level of liberal arts education for all of its students, increasing the level of scholarship, investment in the endowment, inclusivity, and many other aspects of the college’s life and future. You are to be not only congratulated on a job exceedingly well done, but also truly thanked for your successful efforts. I wish you the very best in whatever you may decide to do in the future and feel certain your dedication and foresightedness will be of great benefit to those who may be lucky enough to receive your wholehearted attention and effort.

Irwin FlashmanJune 13, 2023

Thank you Clayton for your caring leadership and championing the liberal arts! Our daughter had a remarkable and enriching experience at Bates under your tenure. I wish you the very best with your future endeavors and go Bobcats even though I’m a Polar Bear from Bowdoin-home of your fellow retiring presidential Clayton! Long live the liberal arts!

Andrew DayJune 10, 2023

Clayton, I’m personally grateful for your model of patient but intentional leadership, subtle mentorship, strategic thinking, and kind, human response to crisis or celebration. Your vision for higher education, and for Bates in particular, is imbued with respect for the process and ambition for the outcome. Bates was wise to select you and is right to celebrate you—sorry for all the attention!

Meg KimmelJune 9, 2023

Clayton, congratulations on your retirement! I wish you lots of time to rest & relax, and to do all those adventures that perhaps you haven’t had time to do yet.

Thank you for all that you’ve done for Bates during your tenure.

Mel BeaulieuJune 8, 2023

Dear Dr Spencer,

You have followed admirably in the long tradition of great Bates presidents. Congratulations, and thank you! Wishing you well in your retirement,

John Blake, Class of 1952

John BlakeJune 5, 2023

Thank you for believing in the Bates Film Festival, Clayton. Before most people had heard about it, you jumped in with a co-sponsorship that gave us instant credibility. Your belief in our project buoyed my confidence and that of my students. You’ll always be an important member of the BFF family!

Jon CavalleroJune 4, 2023

Dear Clayton:

Thank you for all that you did for the arts at Bates. Although I married a Batesie, I did not graduate with my class of 1962 because there was no art history or art museum and art was what I wanted to study. I graduated elsewhere. So receiving a Doctor of Fine Arts Honorary Degree from Bates under your leadership in 2017 signaled the increased presence of the arts on campus and gave me what I was missing: a Bates degree!

Warmly, wanda

Wanda M. CornJune 4, 2023

Thank you for your enormous impact on the college.

Ross DeaconJune 4, 2023

Dear Clayton,
Congratulations on your many fruitful, dramatic, exciting years at Bates. It was a pleasure to share time with you there. Getting a parting gifts to support purposeful work internships is a nice final gesture. That support really makes a difference. I wish you luck out there and that you enjoy some down time before whatever is next.

Carol DilleyJune 3, 2023

Thank You so much Dr. Clayton. As a parent of First generation alumni. It was a chalenge, but for the help we received from Bates programs it was possible for my child to graduate. My 2nd child was not able to attend Bates, but thank you so much. My best wishes Dr Clayton.

Dina BravoJune 3, 2023

Dear Clayton,
Thank you for all you have done for Bates these past 11 years and for joining my class at its 35th reunion dinner ten years ago, near the conclusion of your first year at Bates. It was a pleasure to have the opportunity to get to know you a bit at that dinner. I thought then just as I think now that Bates was so very fortunate to be in the hands of your thoughtful and visionary stewardship.
By the way, having just completed my first year of retirement, I heartily recommend it and wish you all the best in yours!
Ron Monroe, ’78

Ron MonroeJune 3, 2023

Clayton, I loved getting to know you when we would run hearth at your house during my time as a multifaith fellow. Since leaving Bates and talking to people from other schools, I have come to understand how unusual it was to get interactions like that with the college president. Thank you for taking the time to connect with and get to know students. Good luck with your next adventure!

Alexis HudesJune 3, 2023

Thank you so much. I met you at the start of your presidency at a reception for then current parents who were fundraising for Bates. I thought Bates was lucky to have found you then, and I was right.

Thank you for your vision and for all you have done for the students, their families, and the Bates community.

Carol Ode

Carol OdeJune 3, 2023

We wish you all the best for your next chapter and remain extremely grateful for our daughter, Ingrid Olivia Norrmén-Smith’s opportunity to have had a Bate’s education. This has shaped her career decisions and so much more, as well as giving her a solid group of lifelong friends.

All the best,
Edward and Benita

Edward Smith and Ingrid Benita Norrmén-SmithJune 3, 2023

You were the right person at the right time for Bates! Thank you for starting a way for students to help others and learn Purposeful Work for their lifetimes. We are so grateful to you, Clayton! Love, Kendall ‘55 and Linda ‘64

Kendall & Linda Gramatky SmithJune 2, 2023

Thank you for your many contributions to Bates! While we did not have a chance to meet in person, we did have a lengthy phone conversation on a number of topics. I appreciated your candor and your demonstrated deep commitment to Bates. I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors!! Best, Enzo Rebula (Class of 1975)

Enzo RebulaJune 2, 2023

Clayton! Congratulations on such an amazing Bates tenure and leaving behind a wonderful legacy. Your dedication to the college was unmatched. I truly admire your ability to inspire through public speaking, and wish you the best in your future endeavors. Thank you!

Owen L ‘20June 2, 2023

Thank you for your leadership in moving Bates to its highest level in so many areas. Your tireless energy, thoughtfulness, determination, deep intelligence, wonderful sense of humor and willingness to test new ideas and run with the best of the ideas, defined your successful leadership and made Bates what it is today for which I am most grateful. Thank you Clayton! Carol Rattray P’11

Carol RattrayJune 2, 2023

Dear Clayton, Thank you for everything you have done for Bates! Your leadership has been exceptional, and we wish you all the best in your next chapter!

Mimi and Tom DrakeJune 2, 2023

Brava on an amazing tenure at Bates College.

Christopher van der LugtJune 2, 2023

Thank you for a spectacular job in overseeing Bates College
Yours truly, Dr. Richard A. Guarino

Richard A. Guarino, MDJune 2, 2023

Dear President Spencer: It has been an absolute pleasure to be even a small part of the Bobcat team these past few years. As I wrapped up my second term on the Alumni Council in May, it occurred to me how much I wish I could be a student again! The transformation and advancement in the college has been wonderful to witness. I’m just so impressed with how Bates continues to be the exemplar of a liberal arts education. You will be missed. I wish you all the best in your next adventure and remember, once a Bobcat, always a Bobcat! Kindest regards and with deep appreciation for your dedication and commitment to the students, faculty, staff, and extended family of Bates College. Erica Plunkett ’86

Erica Seifert PlunkettJune 2, 2023

Dear Clayton Spencer––Thank you for your leadership and the vision you brought to Bates College. My daughter Nina finished her sophomore year at Bates and she has gained so much in the last two years. Your vision and work to create the Center for Purposeful Work is so appreciated. The Center has been a central aspect to Nina’s positive experience at Bates. As a biology student, this past term she worked in Lewiston at a Neuro-rehab clinic and this summer she is doing research working with sustaining the native bee population in Wisconsin! Both jobs she got through the Center of Purposeful Work. These connections and opportunities really make a difference in students’ pursuit for meaningful connections in their communities. Cheers to you! And again, thank you for your service to higher education.
All the best,

Tamara BryantJune 2, 2023

God Bless you over and over President for all the wonderful changes and improvements you brought to Blessed Bates College!!!! Prayers, Mrs. “G” xoxoxox

Virginia Forbush Goddard ’53June 2, 2023

Our daughter, Abigail Decter, was accepted to Bates for the class of 2016. We visited the campus in the spring of that year to enable her to make the decision to accept or decline; the mood of the school was nothing short of ebullient, and every student we spoke with said Bates was exceptional and that they were happy and fulfilled. Abby accepted Bates’ offer and her 4 years there were nothing short of spectacular: she made lifelong friends, received the best education, and most importantly, made joyful and hilarious memories that will last her whole life! Clayton, your indefatigable spirit, benevolence, and vision have guided the mighty Bates family, and we are forever grateful to you. We wish you continued happiness, personal fulfillment, and health in your next adventure! Fondly, Cheryl Doherty, Ed Decter, and Abigail Decter

Cheryl N. DohertyJune 2, 2023

From one antediluvian member of the Bates alumni, I wish to congratulate and add my praise and gratitude for Mrs. Spencer’s contributions and leadership years.

Robert G. WilsonJune 2, 2023

Congratulations on an impressive tenure as President including navigating a pandemic that disrupted the entire world.
I thoroughly enjoyed telling all my Bates friends from your first day that the college was in good hands with your leadership. You will be a tough act to follow!
Best wishes on the next chapter of your journey going forward.
Thank you for taking such good care of my alma mater and moving her forward.

Bill CuthbertsonJune 2, 2023

Bates and its students benefited from your administrative talents, leader ship, and work. With my meaningful experience and involvement with the four prior presidents of Bates, my educated and genuine opinion is you are the one who was overall most positively impactful and effective for Bates..
Thank you.
Colin Fuller M.D., F.A.C.C., F.A.C.P. ‘69
P’00, P’18, GP’26

Colin FullerJune 2, 2023

Thank you for the tremendous efforts to enhance so many aspects of Bates College, and ensuring its financial future! Your energy, creativity, and all-around positive attitude have been a joy to witness!

Ruth Mary HallJune 2, 2023

Clayton – Thank you for your inspiring leadership at Bates. Your work resulted in dramatic new buildings and critical improvements at Bates college, and has us moving in all the right directions. Your vision for Bates to be a top echelon leader in the engaged liberal arts, and your dedication as President has positioned us well for continued excellence. I wish you all the best in your retirement, and applaud your lasting legacy at Bates. Congratulations! Wishing you “Fair Winds and Following Seas” on your retirement journey!

Jay PhillipsJune 2, 2023

Thanks for all you have done to make Bates a better liberal arts college. You are the best!!! Wes & Elaine Bonney

Weston BonneyJune 2, 2023

It has been an education watching you build a team and navigate difficult waters. Thank you for your help and leadership over the last 11 years.

DervillaJune 2, 2023

Congratulations! and well done. We will miss seeing you at the print studio. Loved printing your personal jobs and seeing your family grow. Thank you for supporting the College and its students.

Laurie HiscockJune 2, 2023

You have a way of making us feel valued as employees, and cared about as people. Thank you for everything you have done for Bates and its community. You will surely be missed!

Shanna GreenJune 1, 2023

Dear Clayton,
Thank you for leading the Bates community over the past 11 years. I am a parent of two recent graduates, we are a Maine family.
I have such deep gratitude toward the Bates community for providing my kids with the gift of a quality education. I watched them become young men who valued learning. I watched them make life long friendships.
Clayton, I spoke with you a few times while watching my son’s soccer games. You were approachable and eager to talk and interested in my kids experiences at school. Thank you for that.
I am beyond grateful to you and to the community as a whole. I miss visiting Bates.
As you reflect on your time at Bates, please know that you were so appreciated.
Thank you
Maura Heffernan

Maura HeffernanJune 1, 2023

I would like to extend my sincere appreciation for your tremendous tenures for 11 years.

Tetsuya HashiramotoJune 1, 2023

Thank you for being a great President! You were the ideal person for the job.. No one could have been more upbeat, innovative, and just so friendly and down to earth. Thank you for making me proud to be a Batesie.

Faith MinardJune 1, 2023

As a parent of two Bates students (Anna Landgren ‘22 and Anders Landgren ‘25) my husband and I will be forever grateful for your steadfast leadership. My husband’s grandfather was a trustee for many years (Carroll K. Pierce) and two great aunts attended Bates in the 1920s. As the college’s eight president, you helped to ensure the exemplary education afforded generations ago is still available today for my children and, thanks to your leadership, will very likely be open to generations to come.
Congratulations on your retirement.

Trish & Mark Landgren P’22 P’25

Trish LandgrenJune 1, 2023

Dear Clayton- thank you for your leadership and stewardship. One of my favorite memories was sitting next to you in the bleachers when the men’s lacrosse team beat Tufts for the first time in the programs history in 2015. We cheered for the team and celebrated their victory with joy. My two children Jack and Katie credit their Bates education with being the single most transformative experience of their lives. We are eternally grateful.

Genny AlllardJune 1, 2023

We wish you all the best in your future endeavors. Your presence at Bates during our daughter Alexa Harrison’s time there contributed to an absolutely outstanding educational experience. Your policies fostered a campus atmosphere that opened doors to so many valuable growth experiences both inside and outside the classroom…experiences that launched her confidently and successfully into her adult life. We are truly grateful to all that you did during your tenure at Bates, and we are certain you will be missed by many.

Loredana and Jose HarrisonJune 1, 2023

Dear President Spencer — Congratulations on retirement. I witnessed first-hand the positive impact you had on so many students, and I am so encouraged by all the amazing things you accomplished during your time at Bates. May you have a restful and enjoyable retirement. Thank you for all that you’ve done! Best wishes, Frank

Frank FuscoJune 1, 2023

Congratulations, and best wishes for your next chapter of life.

Maisie’s youngest brother, Gus, will begin Bates this fall.

Lee SilvermanJune 1, 2023

Clayton, I can’t thank you enough for leading Bates so beautifully. I am so grateful that Jesse’s time there was spent while you were at the helm, and I enjoyed immensely the brief but fun and meaningful time we spent together during the four years. I wish you well as you move into a new chapter! Congratulations! Fondly, Wendy

Wendy LippJune 1, 2023

Thank you so much for the love, devotion, and wisdom you gave to Bates. It was clear to us from the moment our daughter started in 2016 that you truly care about the students. You are the real McCoy! Best of luck to you in your next endeavor!

Linda SimpsonJune 1, 2023

Dear President Spencer,
Thank you for 11 years of outstanding service to the College and the Bates community. Your leadership has made a Bates a stronger institution and community and it has expanded the positive impact of Bates more broadly. And your wonderful sense of humor set a great example for all of us to follow in working with others.
Cheers to your wonderful tenure and to your next chapter.

Robert MirabileJune 1, 2023

My daughter graduated in 2022 and I just want to tell you that I thought you did an excellent job handling the COVID pandemic. Thank you for everything.

Karen GlennJune 1, 2023

Thank you for being such a wonderful president for my alma mater.
I’m glad to have met you many times throughout your tenure. Best of luck with your next endeavors!

Ilse AbusamraJune 1, 2023

Best wishes President Spencer.

We appreciate your work for all alumni

Chuck James ’78

Chuck JamesJune 1, 2023

Dear Clayton,

Thank you for your visionary ideas that will continue to provide dividends to Bates, our students, and alums for generations to come. Our first in person meeting was in San Francisco for Purposeful Work and tech industry discussions. I recall feeling excited as an alum to contribute to discussions on how a holistic liberal arts education is a differentiator in the tech world. I also felt excited for current and future students. The Purposeful work initiative & connecting into alumni networks creates faster paths to hiring, opportunities, and career progression. Thank you for taking these ideas, putting them in practice, and securing the investments required for successful implementation in the working world.

All the best on your next adventures. Thank you for lending your talents to Bates.

Best wishes,

Joselle Deocampo-Gautam
Class of 2001

Joselle Deocampo-GautamJune 1, 2023

Thank you for the work that you have done to elevate Bates over your time as President. As an alum and former staff member during your leadership, you have made me so proud to be Bobcat!

Carrie MurpheyJune 1, 2023

So many things accomplished and lives affected for the better…your marks are indelible throughout the Bates Community. I’m so happy to have met you in person, both during a Chicago trip and a Class of ’81 campus reunion. Best wishes for an equally full life in retirement from the Presidency. Sincerely, an Admiring Alum

Anne Loewenthal ShainJune 1, 2023

Clayton’s first year as President aligned with my first year at Bates. Throughout my time at Bates, and now as an alumna, I’ve been thankful for Clayton’s leadership, mentorship, and friendship.

Sarah StanleyJune 1, 2023

Thank for your leadership for more than a decade. Your steady hand has guided us in ways we never imagined. Congratulations and much success to you and your family.

James A. Murphy, IIIJune 1, 2023

You’ve had an immeasurable impact on each and every one of us and we are all better for your leadership and compassion, thank you! You’ve set the bar high on integrity, social contract, and responsibility for access to education – words do not adequately express my admiration and appreciation for you! You’re a Titan! Thanks for everything!

Natalie WilliamsonJune 1, 2023

Dear Clayton!

Thank you so much for accepting this position. You were the perfect leader for Bates at the exact right time. I have appreciated how well you fit into Maine as you are wicked smaht and down to Earth! So pleased you are staying in Maine too. I look forward to giving you a hug at reunion next weekend and hope we can keep in touch neighbor!


Laura YoungJune 1, 2023

Thank you for all your outstanding work at Bates College. As parents of a 2025 Bates’ student, we have admired all that you have done at Bates and have appreciated being in on several Zooms with you to hear about your vision, priorities and to answer questions. Also, deeply grateful for all your enthusiasm for the Bates’ Womens Basketball Team! We will miss you and wish you all the best in your future endeavors.

Moira WalshJune 1, 2023


I remember, late in 2011, going to Gray Cage for the event at which we as a community would learn who our new president would be, and that we would meet them. I recall being a bit skeptical of the glitzy nature of that “rock ‘n’ roll” introduction, with the new mystery president striding out from behind a curtain. (I now know enough of you that I think I’m correct in assuming you were probably a little embarrassed by all that drama too.) I wasn’t sure you’d live up to all that hype.

Oh my, you did live up to the hype, and then some.

From its start to its finish, your presidency has been characterized by excellence. You are an excellent leader–thoughtful, clear-thinking, confident, consultative, and engaged, and always with a vision for where Bates is and needs to go, and where higher education is and needs to go. You’ve seen challenges and opportunities as they arose, often seeing them around corners. And because good people want to work with good people, you succeeded in building and maintaining an excellent senior staff team around you. Even more so than was the case before your arrival, Bates has established itself as a leader in higher education, particularly around Purposeful Work. Any colleague with good sense should look on with admiration at all the good that’s happened under your leadership. I certainly do.

Beyond that admiration of your leadership, I also feel privileged to have frequently had a chance to work up close with you, whether on the Purposeful Work working group, or Institutional Planning, or CFG, or any other committee I’m forgetting. And of course, it’s been a delight working with you as parliamentarian. I hope that as I continue as a Bates faculty member, I can remember all the lessons to be learned from you, such as the importance of attending to important details but without getting lost in the minutiae (as is my wont, unfortunately). For years, I’ve been an atheist, so I no longer ask “WWJD?” (what would Jesus do?); but I might now occasionally ask “WWCD?” My decisions will likely benefit from my doing so.

In any case, thanks for your leadership, and for the leaders whom you recruited to the college. Thanks for the love for Bates that clearly animated you. And thanks for the laughter you always helped us find in the work.



Michael SargentJune 1, 2023

Clayton, thanks for leading Bates to new heights and creating a sustainable foundation to continue that trajectory — a job very well done!

Paul MarksJune 1, 2023

There are not enough words to express how grateful so many of us are for your absolutely brilliant leadership and care at Bates during your 11 year tenure. You will leave an indelible mark on our beloved college.
Simply… Thank you.

Mary Henderson PressmanJune 1, 2023

Thank you for all you’ve done for Bates – you have made such a positive contribution to my beloved college! Wishing you the best in all your future endeavors!

Ingrid Earn Shea ’67June 1, 2023

Thank you, President Spencer, for your service to Bates and especially for establishing the purposeful work program. I’ve been so impressed with the work that’s been shown in the frequent emailed newsletters. I’ve always been proud to be a Bates alum but now I’m even prouder! Best wishes in your retirement!

Marcia Weston Haas ’70June 1, 2023

President Spencer, I want to thank you for all you’ve done for me and so many others during your time at Bates. Your willingness to meet with me and help me connect with other Alum in my industry upon graduation is an act of kindness that has stuck with me since leaving campus in 2016 (Not to mention, being one of the Bates Men’s Basketball program’s biggest supporters!) You are truly one of a kind, and your legacy will forever live on Bates. Thank you, and wishing you all the best in your next chapter.

With love,
Mike Boornazian

Mike BoornazianJune 1, 2023