Here’s another selection of items that tell stories about Bates’ past from the Muskie Archives and Special Collections and elsewhere.

A Nice Run

This vintage trophy honors the three straight Maine state titles, 1968 through 1970, won by Walt Slovenski’s cross country runners. 

Wait, vintage? Not so fast.

Objects from the Edmund S. Muskie Archives, photographed in the BCO studio at 141 Nichols Street, on July 19, 2018.

Trophy, Bates College Cross Country M.I.A.A. Champions, 1968, 1969, 1970; has attached framed photograph of the
team and Coach Walt Slovenski. 12 in. x 4 in. x 7 in.

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This vintage trophy, featuring a photo by Joe Gromelski ’74, honors the three straight Maine state titles, 1968 through 1970, won by Walt Slovenski’s cross country runners. From left, Joseph Grube ’73, John Emerson ’73, Kirk Ives ’73, Walt Slovenski, Neill Miner ’71, Jim Leahy ’71, Steve Fillow ’71, Joe Bradford ’73, and Wayne Lucas ’74. (Theophil Syslo/Bates College)

Three of the runners in that photo — Joe Grube ’73 (left), Jim Leahey ’71 (No. 65), and Joe Bradford ’73 (second from right) — just returned to campus for the 50th Cross Country Alumni Race. So, too, did the alumnus who took the photo, Joe Gromelski ’74.

Others in the photo also have returned regularly for the alumni race ever since it got started in 1972. 

Before the start of the 50th anniversary edition, on Sept. 3, Leahy proudly displayed a photo of the first group of alumni and students who took part in the first alumni race.

Among that group, Bradford, Grube, Leahy, and Mortimer, as well as Gromelski, came back for the 50th. Among the race founders, Bradford had the best time for the six-kilometer course, 31:48.

As Leahy told Bates Athletics, he’s “probably more dedicated now in terms of running than I have ever been in my life; I’m grateful for the times we all have.”

A remarkable seven decades worth of Bobcat harriers descended upon the Bates College campus Saturday (some for the first time in years) as the institution's storied cross-country program came together to celebrate the 50th annual Alumni Meet.
Before the meet began, head women's and men's track and field coach Curtis Johnson spoke to the attendees.

"I want to thank you all for joining us for the 50th annual running of the Alumni race," Johnson said. "Bates is making a lot of upgrades that we're proud about. The biggest thing I can say is that a lot of this is because of all of you. So, I want to thank you all for helping to celebrate this moment. This is a true testament of the Bates community. How we always give back, we support, we show up consistently. And, regardless of when you graduated, you get a chance to show that you are a Bobcat forever."

Nearly 100 alumni donned the garnet and white and toed the starting line for this historic event, a group speckled with participants from the very first outing way back in 1973.
Before the start of the 50th running of the Annual Cross Country Alumni Race, on Sept. 3, Jim Leahy ’71 displays a photo of the first group of alumni and students who took part in the first edition, in 1972. Standing, left to right: Bradford ‘73, Bill Thornhill ‘75, Steve Fillow ‘71, Steve Mortimer ‘72. Seated, left to right: Bob Thomas ‘69, Lloyd Geggatt ‘70, Leahy, and Grube ‘73. (Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)
Star Bright

At the opening of the college 70 years ago, the College Club presented this Service Flag to Bates. It was installed in the Chapel and hung there throughout World War II. 

Speaking at the first chapel service of the year, on Sept. 24, 1942, President Clifton Daggett Gray described the war outlook as “grim.” But, he said,  “It is our privilege to march forward toward an unknown future unafraid, with the invincible faith in the justice of our cause and with unshakeable confidence in ultimate victory.”

Objects from the Edmund S. Muskie Archives, photographed in Commons on September 7, 2018.

Artifact #052
In 1942, the College Club presented this Service Flag to Bates. It was installed in the Chapel and hung there throughout World War II. (Theophil Syslo/Bates College)

By war’s end the flag displayed 30 gold stars, symbolizing Bates students or alumni killed in the war.  The number 1,305 represents the total who served.

Quimby’s Key

In 1964, legendary debate coach Brooks Quimby, Class of 1918, earned a distinguished alumni award — and this key — from the collegiate debating honor society Delta Sigma Rho–Tau Kappa Alpha.

Legendary debate coach Brooks Quimby, Class of 1918, earned a distinguished alumni award — and this key — from a national college debate society that excluded Black members in the early 1900s. (Theophil Syslo/Bates College)

As a student, Quimby was a member of the Bates chapter Delta Sigma Rho (which merged with Tau Kappa Alpha in 1963).

At the national level, DSR was problematic: It prohibited Black debaters from becoming members of local chapters, including Bates’. The college fought the rule, while also benefiting from membership.

Sporting Interest

This Women’s Athletic Association key belonged to Virginia LaFauci Toner ’53. 

The WAA was formed in 1905 to offer organized physical education to Bates women for the first time. Among the group’s first activities was a “hare and hound chase” for the women.

Objects from the Edmund S. Muskie Archives, photographed in the BCO studio at 141 Nichols Street, on July 19, 2018.
This Women’s Athletic Association key belonged to Virginia LaFauci Toner ’53. (Theophil Syslo/Bates College)

A popular game in the early 1900s, it went like this: Fast runners (the hares) ran ahead creating a trail with pieces of paper or other clues.  The others, the hounds, tried to pick up the trail.  The 1914 version went like this: 

“The hares had been unusually diligent in making the trails as blind and misleading as possible, and the little paths of red, blue, yellow and white paper led over gates and railway embankments, thru swamps, fences, and thickets. It was nearly sunset before the Hares’ Retreat was reached, at a beautiful spot by the [Androscoggin River], where a brilliant camp fire was burning and a delicious lunch was served.”

Tennis and the relatively new American sport of field hockey were early offerings, too. The latter “involves much running and is both scientific and interesting when well-played,” noted The Bates Student.

Betrayed
Objects from the Edmund S. Muskie Archives, photographed in the BCO studio at 141 Nichols Street, on July 19, 2018.

Ash tray, metal edged with image of Coram Library on bottom; belonged to Melvin and Natalie Gulbrandsen, class of
1942. undated

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A Bates-themed ash tray from the mid-1900s. (Theophil Syslo/Bates College)

Ash trays aren’t seen much in homes anymore (or anywhere, for that matter). This one — with an image of Coram Library, and belonging to the late Melvin ’42 and Natalie Webber Gulbrandsen ’42 — is safely in the Archives.

It’s hard to believe the strength of the cigarette smoking culture through most of the 1900s. Here’s a 1930s ad in The Bates Student for Don Draper’s favorite brand, Lucky Strike:

This 1930s ad in The Bates Student touted the quality of Lucky Strike because it’s important for smokers to “safeguard your delicate membranes!”
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