Multimedia: Homecoming 2014 gave the Bobcat faithful something to cheer about

“Why not grow young once more in contact with the undergraduates?” wrote Harry Rowe, Class of 1912, when he invited alumni to attend the very first Homecoming, then known as “Back to Bates,” back in 1920.

That’s still a good definition of Homecoming: It’s like a friendly, two-day annexation of the campus by Bates alumni.

Colleges began offering homecomings 100 years ago to gather a crowd for big football games. As Rowe asked rhetorically in his invitation, “Can’t you in memory hear the cheering as the team comes over from the Gym of ancient and noble lineage?”

And whooping it up at Bobcat games is still a big part of Homecoming.

This year, Bates took on Colby in a game for the ages, a thrilling overtime game that wasn’t decided until first-year slotback Frank Williams of Brookline, Mass., caught a touchdown pass from Matt Cannone ’15 of Windham, N.H. — and then, as they say, the crowd went wild.


Something to Cheer About

Watch the Bates faithful give it their all during the football victory over Colby at Homecoming. (Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)


In recent years, the weekend has seen more “affinity events” that reconnect groups of alumni around their specific Bates interests and experiences.

This year, alumni got to revisit their interests in the arts, the Bates Outing Club, debate, and a number of sports, including baseball, which saw the dedication of a new donor-funded hitting facility and retirement of the uniform number worn by William “Chick” Leahey ’52 during his long coaching career. All that and more is captured in this slideshow of images from Homecoming 2014.


Photographs from Homecoming 2014


Homecoming also saw the presentation of a number of alumni honors, including three signature awards.

Chris Murtagh '11 received the Distinguished Young Alumni Award at Homecoming. (Rene Minnis for Bates College)

Chris Murtagh ’11 received the Distinguished Young Alumni Award at Homecoming. (Rene Minnis for Bates College)

Christopher Murtagh ’11 received the Distinguished Young Alumni Award from the Alumni Association. Among his volunteer work, Murtagh is the BOLD (Bobcats of the Last Decade) co-chair on the Bates Fund Executive Committee.

“Your dedication to Bates inspires support from classmates and alumni of all ages,” said his citation. “You help us set our sights higher and farther.”

Stu Abelson ’97, chief executive officer of Ora, a leading ophthalmic clinical research and product development firm, received the Stangle Award for Distinguished Service to the Bates Community from the Alumni Association.

His citation said, in part, “You not only love Bates, you show us how much, too. We honor your leadership in business, your contributions to the career development of so many Bates students and alumni, and your skill as an ambassador of the liberal arts who speaks distinctively about Bates’ capacity to prepare students for lives of purposeful work.”

Stuart Abelson '97 accepts congratulations from Michael Lieber '92 after receiving the Bruce Stangle ’70 Award for Distinguished Service to the Bates Community. Vice President Lisa Romeo '88 is at right. (Rene Minnis for Bates College)

Stuart Abelson ’97 accepts congratulations from Alumni Council president Michael Lieber ’92 after receiving the Stangle Award for Distinguished Service to the Bates Community. Lisa Romeo ’88, council vice president, is at right. (Rene Minnis for Bates College)

Jeff Sturgis ’69 received the David G. Russell Award from Admission for outstanding commitment to the volunteer Alumni-in-Admision program. “Your deep engagement with all things Bates has made you an invaluable resource for prospective students,” said his citation.

“You exemplify the power of this community and remind us that a student’s relationship with Bates lasts a lifetime. For many of our students and alumni, that relationship began with you. Thank you for being part of their journey.”

Receiving Bates’ Best awards, recognizing significant work by alumni and parents that engages Bates people with the college and that displays passion and commitment for advancing the Bates mission, were the following:

Jeff Sturgis '69, recipient of the David G. Russell Award for outstanding admission volunteer work, stands by as Dean of Admission Leigh Weisenburger reads the citation and President Spencer listens. (Rene Minnis for Bates College)

Jeff Sturgis ’69, recipient of the David G. Russell Award for outstanding admission volunteer work, stands by as Dean of Admission Leigh Weisenburger reads the citation and President Clayton Spencer listens. (Rene Minnis for Bates College)

Jennifer Lemkin Bouchard ’99

Dana and Heidi Bullen P’16

Geoffrey Eisenberg ’03

Al Filreis, P’16

Thomas Goetz ’90

Pam Johnson ’91

Marsha Larned ’07

Joshua Macht ’91

Eric Obeng ’07

Mary Henderson Pressman ’78

Keith Taylor ’77

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