Commencement 2020 Livestream

The ceremony will be conducted remotely via livestream. The livestream will be public — any friends and family members will be able to watch. The complete video will be available for replay immediately afterward on Facebook and YouTube.

The full commencement program is also available for viewing on and Facebook.

The Program and Speeches

In this very atypical Commencement, we recognize that Bates students, their families, and their loved ones (as well as faculty and staff), are watching from around the country and around the world. To help you and your family and friends enjoy Commencement to the fullest extent, English, Chinese, and Spanish texts of the program and all speeches have been created and are available for download to follow along with the ceremony. Technical limitations prevent us from being able to offer English and foreign language subtitles on the live show, but they will be available immediately following the live ceremony on the YouTube video of Commencement. 

While small, we hope these things help in your enjoyment of the 2020 Bates Commencement. The Commencement team offers special thanks to the Bates faculty who helped prepare these foreign language translations. 

Thank you, and enjoy the ceremony.

Order of Exercises


“My Spirit Be Joyful,” by J.S. Bach

Hathorn Bell tolls 12 times.


A. Clayton Spencer, President

Senior Address

Alexandria Chidera Onuoha 

Commencement Greetings

Vanessa German

Celebrated for her dedication to human connection, Vanessa German is a powerful and versatile artist whose unparalleled work celebrates human connection and examines race, feminism, poverty, violence, and injustice. Her exhibition and residency at the Bates Museum of Art was a triumph of the Class of 2020’s senior year.

Presentation of Candidates for Degrees

Malcolm S. Hill, Dean of the Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Dean Hill, on behalf of the Bates faculty, asks the class to stand and presents the class to President Spencer for conferral of degrees.

Conferral of Degrees

President Spencer

President Spencer confers the bachelor of arts degree or bachelor of science degree. Dean Hill reads the names of all graduating seniors, in alphabetical order. Accompanying the reading of each senior’s name will be a display of their photograph, hometown, and academic major.

After the final name, President Spencer asks the members of the graduating class to move their tassels from right to left, thereby signifying the degree.


Brittany Longsdorf, Multifaith Chaplain

At the end of the benediction, Hathorn Bell tolls for 30 seconds.


Steel Pan Band