Our latest in an occasional roundup of quotable quotes about the fall theater production, our Veterans Day observance, and the painful aftermath of the Lewiston shootings.
Rings a Bell
“The view was stupendous. Looking down on the campus, I felt sort of like the king of what I surveyed, since I was the bellringer, you know.”
— Tom King ‘58, the last student to hold the campus job as the Hathorn Hall bell-ringer, a gig that included living in Hathorn and having access to the roof, which he and friends would occasionally visit late at night.
“I don’t think my job or even the actors or Tim’s is to make the audience feel comfortable about true history. I don’t teach history or consult on history to make people feel comfortable about true history.”
— John Bear Mitchell, a citizen of the Penobscot Nation, who served as a cultural consultant for the Bates production of The Thanksgiving Play, directed by Assistant Professor of Theater Tim Dugan. Mitchell helped the student actors navigate their roles in what is a very funny play but also includes offensive dialog and actions, and shocking stories relating to Native American history.
“Are you registered to vote in Maine?”
— An oft-posed question to students on Election Day, Nov. 7, as they entered Commons and passed a balloon-festooned table, staffed by Jenna Vendil ’06, an associate director at the Harward Center for Community Partnerships, and student members of the Bates Votes civic engagement team. Vendil heads up the democratic engagement and student activism efforts at the Harward Center.
“I felt I was playing it for him today, in his honor, and for the people here, for those they hold in their hearts.”
— Sophia Cattallani ’25 of Skaneateles, N.Y., describing playing taps during the Veterans Day observance at Bates and remembering her grandfather, who had served in the Vietnam War and died two years ago.
The Some of Things
“Some people in your life are there for the rest of your life, and others will come and go. Allowing things to change is always a good idea.”
— Joe Inger ’19, recalling advice he gave to his sister, Lexi ’26, on dealing with the ups and downs of college life.
“We can take a strategy of ‘go for All-American or not.’”
— Ned Farrington ’24 of Cohasset, Mass., comparing the strategy of running a cross country race as an individual, which he will do at the NCAA Championships on Nov. 18, with running a race with teammates. With the latter, “you don’t want to risk having a really bad race, so you race a little bit more conservatively.” With the former, a runner can let it all hang out.
“It’s been such a far-fetched dream.”
— Bates head squash coach Rei Hergeth sharing thoughts on squash being one of five sports added to the 2028 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. “What’s most exciting about it is that we actually have a few Bates players who could be playing in the Olympics in four years.”
The following quotes relate to the Oct. 25 shootings in Lewiston and its aftermath.
Frustration, Sadness, Anger
“There’s frustration, there’s sadness, and a little bit of anger as well.”
— Professor of Sociology Michael Rocque speaking with WCSH-TV NewsCenter Maine about his and others’ research on mass shootings — and how their policy ideas have been ignored — and his reaction to the shootings in Lewiston. “Now we’re attacked at our own home, and that feels personal.”
Garnet and Blue
“We wanted to play for each other, play for this school, and play for this city.”
— Field hockey player Maria Femia ’25 of Canton, Mass., recalling the team’s feeling before its game vs. Bowdoin on Oct. 31, six days after the Lewiston shootings. The team observed a moment of silence, wore Lewiston Strong T-shirts for the warmup, and, during the game, sported bright blue socks, the school color of Lewiston High School. Bates won the game, 2-1, propelling the team to the NCAA tournament.
“The way they are engaging with her — it’s so important. She needs this. We appreciate this so much.”
— Jennifer Randall of Lewiston, talking about how students engaged with her grandchild during an Oct. 31 Halloween trick-or-treat event, in which students transformed Alumni Walk and nearby campus walkways and welcomed community families as a gesture of support. Since the shootings, the child had been fearful and withdrawn.
“Generosity and care and eagerness to help, to support, to embrace, have emanated from every corner of this city and this college community like a beacon of light, filling our hearts and mending our souls. They remind us of human goodness. They remind us to hold onto hope. They remind us that together, over time, we will recover and heal. In that, I have faith.”
— President Garry W. Jenkins, speaking at the campus Vigil for Grief and Remembrance on Nov. 1 in Gomes Chapel.
Loving Amidst Loss
“Some may think that grieving is weak, or a form of surrender. But I believe that grief is a form of rest and a method of love. When we grieve together like this, in community, we powerfully hold each other and are held. When we grieve, we continue loving amidst loss.”
— The Rev. Brittany Longsdorf, Bates’ multifaith chaplain, during the vigil in Gomes Chapel on Nov. 1.
“Most of you, like me, are from away, but while you are here, you belong to us. Lewiston is your city, just as we are sharing in this tragedy. We are not going through separate events, but the same dark time. We will rise together.”
— Lewiston mayor Carl Sheline, during the campus vigil in Gomes Chapel on Nov. 1.