“I came here with so many different interests,” says Walter Washington ’19. “I wanted to do music, I wanted to get into politics, I wanted to study the law more.

“I wanted to do all these different things, and also to become a person who can make things happen and make change happen. And I found all of those interests here at Bates.”

Video by Theophil Syslo.

Today, counting down to graduation, Washington of Fleetwood, N.Y., is one of the best-known faces on the Bates campus.

A politics major, he has served as president of student government for two years. A letter-winning defensive lineman for the football team all four years, he received the Stephen B. Ritter Award, given to football players with the highest GPAs. He has also sung with the Deansmen, the oldest of Bates’ beloved a cappella ensembles, throughout his Bates career.

“I was able to carry things out that I never imagined myself doing. And it started with just taking an opportunity,” he says.

Washington’s advice to new Batesies? “Don’t be scared to branch out — don’t be afraid, because you never know what great things can happen from something so small.”