The 510 students in the Class of 2021 “are wicked smart, curious, and engaging,” said Director of Admission Darryl Uy as he addressed Bates’ newest families on Aug. 28, just before President Clayton Spencer took the lectern to offer her traditional afternoon welcome.
“You are collaborative, generous, and kind,” Uy said. “And you value community, promote inclusivity, and embrace diversity.”
The incoming first-years have shown great curiosity about their communities and the wider world — curiosity that has manifested itself in some fascinating ways, Uy recounted.
“After hearing these impressive accomplishments,” Uy said, “some of you may be sitting there wondering how in the world did you get in.
“But rest assured, each and every one of you were admitted for a reason and earned a spot in the class. You belong here, as a member of the Bates community and as part of the Bates family.”
The Class of 2021 includes:
- a decorated leader in the Phoenix, Ariz., Marine Corps Junior ROTC program
- a vexillologist, or one who studies flags
- a certified rescue scuba diver from New York who spent a year studying in Japan
- a mandolin player in several bluegrass bands
- a certified instructor of mindfulness
- a student who volunteers at a local farm that grows produce for the food pantry and public housing residents in Needham, Mass.
- a magician from Beijing
- a Top Designer for Ethan Allen
- a soon-to-be-certified translator for the Department of Defense
- a sustainable transportation advocate who designed a solar car and biked 2,500 miles from Bergen, Norway, to Barcelona, Spain
- an entrepreneur who co-founded a group that creates educational podcasts and also started a dog-walking company
- an a cappella singer from New Hampshire who helped her high school procure more locally sourced food for its dining hall
- a female hockey player who created New York City’s first interschool Gay-Straight Alliance for students and faculty to discuss gender discrimination at single-sex high schools
- a founder of a book-sharing project that provided 24,000 books to 11 libraries in the mountainous regions of Vietnam
- a teacher of bike repair to children in low-income neighborhoods in Gainesville, Fla.
- a volunteer with the Juvenile Conference Committee in New Jersey who helps juvenile offenders get back on the right track
- a student from Pennsylvania who crochets bird nests to donate to wildlife rehabilitation centers
- a track and cross-country captain from Cheshire, Conn., who resurrected his school’s greenhouse to plant a fruit and vegetable garden
- a nine-time national debate champion who protested against religious intolerance in his conservative city in Bangladesh
- a member of the Wisconsin 4-H Leadership Council
- and the Guinness World Record holder for the youngest person ever to make the 720-mile ski-trek to the South Pole
The 510 members of the Class of 2021 attended 392 high schools in 37 states, Washington, D.C., and 26 countries. Nearly a quarter come from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds, while 69 are the first in their families to attend college.