With a new year on the horizon, BatesNews has decided to lead you down Memory Lane, social media style, and share Bates’ Top 10 Instagram Posts of 2019.

If every picture tells a story, what are the stories that Bates tells about itself on Instagram?

The popular social media channel “is a visual way to inspire feeling — what it’s like to be here, especially as a student or an alum, but also as a staff or faculty member,” explains Phyllis Graber Jensen, the college’s director of photography and video and a prolific poster on the college’s Instagram account.

“And it’s a bit of a reality show for all those family members, or prospective students and their families, who might imagine the quotidian Bates experience but can’t claim it for themselves.”

Whether on campus or off, Instagram has captured plenty of eyes and imaginations for Bates. The college’s account totaled 13,518 followers as of Dec. 4, 2019. And here are a few other measures of the college’s Insta presence and popularity in 2019:

  • More than 450 posts
  • 368 Instagram Stories
  • 10.6 million impressions — the total number of times Bates Instagram content was displayed to users

That’s a lot of numbers, and here’s one more. Measured by audience “reach” — the number of unique users who see a given Instagram post over time — here are the college’s 10 most popular Instagram posts of 2019.

10. Sept. 4 — Students leave their first classes

It works out neatly that this Top 10 begins with a beginning. Phyllis Graber Jensen, Bates director of photography and video, was on Alumni Walk when she spotted juniors Stella Santucci, Thomas Hiscock, and Robbie Hodin back on the move after their first classes of the 2019–20 academic year.

The post reached 8,745 viewers and garnered 759 likes.

9. May 24 — Class of 2019 group portrait

Bates photographers traditionally immortalize each student class in pixels when they arrive and again just before they graduate in May, but the imaging team went all out for the May 2019 edition with a time-lapse video, still images, and drone photography.

The post reached about 8,800 viewers and won 1,443 likes.

8. Oct. 4 — A student’s dad skateboarding

Another Graber Jensen find on Alumni Walk, always a fertile spot for photos and all the more so when Back to Bates Weekend rolls around.

The post reached about 9,300 viewers and 1,017 of them gave it a like.

7. May 15 — African Fashion Show

“Many look at Africa as one country and fail to realize that it is a continent that contains many countries,” Nicole Kanu ’15 told us when she founded the African Fashion Show, then called Inside Africa, in 2012.

Celebrating a continent’s worth of cultures, as expressed through songs, dances, spoken word, and, of course, apparel, the annual show has been chipping away at that misconception ever since.

Samuel Mironko ’21 captured these images depicting the eighth edition of the popular event on May 10. The post reached approximately 9,500 viewers and earned 810 likes.

6. June 16 — Father and son carrying on, then and now

In October 1998, Halsey Platt ’88 was back on campus for Back to Bates Weekend with his wife, Julie Sutherland Platt ’88, and their 21-month-old son, Gordon. As Gordon perched happily on Halsey’s shoulders, classmate Marc Glass took their photo.

Twenty-one years later, Bates photographer Phyllis Graber Jensen recreated the image on the occasion of Gordon’s graduation.

The posted reached about 9,800 viewers and attracted 1,485 likes, including one from John Ambrosino ’01, who commented, “This is one of the best Bates photos ever!” We agree.

5. Oct. 20 — Women rowers notch fourth Head of the Charles win

“I think there probably wasn’t a single stretch of that entire river where we couldn’t hear alumni, or we couldn’t hear someone, screaming ‘Bates!’” senior captain coxswain Maya Seshan told the Bates Bobcast after the women’s first varsity-eight made history at the Head of the Charles Regatta.

The rowers captured first place in the Women’s Collegiate Eights for the third consecutive time and fourth time overall. “It’s not our river, but it felt like it for a little bit,” Seshan said.

This triumphant post reached 10,100 viewers and won 1,514 likes.


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Guided by senior captain coxswain Maya Seshan, the Bates women’s first varsity eight made history by claiming first place out of 27 boats in the Women’s Collegiate Eights at the 55th Head of the Charles Regatta on Sunday in Cambridge, Mass. . The three-time defending NCAA champion Bobcats become the first program to take first place at the Head of the Charles in the Collegiate Eights race three consecutive years. It’s the fourth time in program history Bates has won the Collegiate Eights race, tying the Bobcat women with Williams College for the most wins since the race was first established in 2002. Bates set a course record in the Women’s Collegiate Eights in 2017 before winning last year for the second straight time. Bates also won the event in 2014. . (Haley Eovine for Bates College) . #batescollege #headofthecharles #rowing #first #history #gobatesbobcats

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4. Sept. 2 — Labor Day, Lisbon Street

Phyllis Graber Jensen’s photo evokes the lighthearted spirit of late summer as three juniors take a beverage break in downtown Lewiston.

The image reached roughly 10,500 viewers and garnered 1,011 likes, as well as an “ooooooo” from Syd Beres ’18.

3. Aug. 28 — Baptism by bucket begins AESOP 2019

Slop in the name of love? As first-year students meet their trip leaders at the start of Bates’ Annual Entering Student Outdoor Program, it’s become a rite of passage — and gesture of solidarity — for the program coordinators to receive a dousing with nameless ooze at the program’s first meeting.

All told, between the costumes and the buckety baptism, it’s a great way to introduce the newest Batesies to the fun side of the college.

The post reached 10,500 viewers (we hope they were wearing aprons) and earned 1,255 likes.

2. Oct. 6 — Men’s soccer brings Hedley Reynolds Cup back to Bates

Why the “Hedley Reynolds Cup”? Bates’ fifth president, serving from 1967 to 1989, Thomas Hedley Reynolds came to Bates after 18 years as a member of the history faculty at Middlebury, where he was an early coach of the nascent men’s soccer team. He continued his strong support of the game at Bates.

Samuel Mironko ’21 sprinted the two blocks from a football game at Garcelon Field to the Russell Street soccer field to grab this exuberant team shot.

The post reached 11,100 viewers and netted (sorry) 1,380 likes.

1. Sept. 20 — Bates students and faculty take part in Global Climate Strike

Organized by Bates’ Environmental Coalition, a large contingent of Bates students and faculty joined some 2,000 other demonstrators in Portland, Maine, and millions around the world who went on strike Sept. 20 to demand climate action ahead of the U.N. Climate Action Summit.

In addition to Muskan Verma ’21 of Shimla, India, Environmental Coalition president Dianna Georges ’22 of Clifton, N.H., was another of the dozen or so speakers at the Portland event.

“It’s not good enough to just talk about issues and solutions — we have to really get involved,” Francis Eanes, visiting assistant professor of environmental studies, told Bates writer Alexandra Cullen ’20 during the demonstration. “I personally would feel like it’s the antithesis of what I’m teaching if I’m not willing to make space for that in my life.”

The post reached some 13,100 viewers and earned 1,059 likes.


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“I can’t believe I’m even having to protest this.” . — Muskan Verma ’21 of Shimla, India, shares the frustration of inaction on global climate change after she addressed a crowd of at least 2,000 at Portland City Hall gathered for the student-mobilized Global Climate Strike, ahead of the opening of the United Nations General Assembly and the Climate Action Summit on Sept. 23. . “I’m not from this country,” she said. “But that shouldn’t matter. This is affecting us all. And whether we like it or not, we have to take action.” . A representative of the Sunrise Movement, a youth-led movement for climate-change action, Verma is a double major in theater and in rhetoric, film, and screen studies. She joined a large contingent of Bates students and several faculty who attended the event, organized, in part, by the Bates Environmental Coalition. . (Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College) #batescollege #climatestrike #globalclimatestrike #climatechange #sustainability #maine #beingsofbates

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