As the year ticks to a close, here’s a countdown of the 15 most-viewed BatesNews stories of 2023.
They are ranked by page views but we’ve also included the average time readers spent viewing the stories.
News about new Bobcats always engages Bates readers. This post, introducing the 509-member Class of 2027, shared facts, figures, and examples of the ideas, experiences, talents, and enthusiasm the new students will bring to campus with them.
Page Views: 2,642
Average Time on Page: 2:16 minutes
14: Reflections from a Fulbright alumna as Bates announces seven new Fulbright student offers for 2023-24
The announcement of a new cohort of Fulbright U.S. Student offers is a perennial Bates favorite.
This year, the news was paired with a story about Kelsey Schober ’16, who came to Bates from a rural town in Alaska as a first-generation college student. She remembers hearing the word “Fulbright” tossed around at Bates and thinking “that’s only for straight-A students. That’s for students from prestigious universities.”
Nearly a decade later, Schober knows better — thanks in large part to her own Fulbright Student award and experience that funded her master’s studies at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada. There, she researched the relationship between natural resource policy and climate change in the Arctic.
Page Views: 2,740
Average Time on Page: 2:07
Faculty are at the heart of the Bates experience, so it’s no surprise that a story about the college’s plans to add eight new permanent faculty positions garnered attention.
The new tenure-track positions are in addition to seven endowed professorships funded as part of the college’s recently completed Bates Campaign. Expanding the faculty “is a matter of central importance to the strength and vitality of our academic program,” said Dean of the Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs Malcolm Hill.
Page Views: 2,815
Average Time on Page: 1:15
This BatesNews story described an admitted student day in April, when nearly 250 newly admitted students and their families traveled to Bates to learn more about the college.
The process by which the new class goes from many interested students to around 500 matriculants is called the “funnel.” This year, 8,937 prospective students — the highest number ever — applied to join the Bates College Class of 2027. Of those, 1,100 were offered admission.
Page Views: 3,062
Average Time on Page: 1:48
Before coming to Bates, Johnny Walker ‘24 had never played tackle football. At Bates, he planned to play club rugby. During Orientation, he was talking with a classmate who was a football player, who said, “Dude, just come out and play football.” And that’s how Johnny Walker became Johnny “Walk-on.”
Page Views: 3,121
Average Time on Page: 2:03
Bates News debuted a new feature in 2023 known as “CatFacts,” an occasional selection of trivia, anecdotes, and information.
The idea was born during this year’s Great Day livestream, when Bates News editor Jay Burns shared a few interesting facts about Bates with viewers, ranging from the location of the first baseball field (next to Rand Hall) to Benjamin E. Mays’ friendship with former President Jimmy Carter.
Page Views: 3,137
Average Time on Page: 1:11
Each summer, Bates students fan out across the world with Bates internships, many funded by the college’s Center for Purposeful Work.
This story shared photographic and text profiles of 18 students who spent the summer working in Bates labs, the Lewiston community, and immigrant rights — even at a tuna tournament in service to marine biology research.
Page Views: 3,249
Average Time on Page: 1:38
Another perennial favorite is the college’s annual reading list, Good Reads: The Bates College Non-Required Reading List for Leisure Moments.
This year’s edition was the 27th and, as always, brought together the readers — and their bookshelves — from the broader Bates community, including current and retired staff and faculty as well as Bates alumni.
Page Views: 3,255
Average Time on Page: 2:14
When a big Bates event comes around, it’s often shared with readers through a “Picture Story,” an immersive display of awesome images created by Bates photographers Phyllis Graber Jensen and Theophil Syslo, as well as the student photographers they mentor.
Three Photo Stories produced in 2023 — focusing on Back to Bates, the Puddle Jump, and President Garry W. Jenkins’ first visit to Bates — were fan favorites, including this one about Bates’ alumni and family weekend.
Page Views: 3,697
Average Time on Page: 2:21
It was a win-win for Bates students on Feb. 10: They got to dress up in costumes and immerse themselves in the Puddle. And viewers got to immerse themselves in Phyllis Graber Jensen’s photography of the annual wackiness.
Page Views: 3,717
Average Time on Page: 1:49
President-elect Garry W. Jenkins and his husband, Jon Lee, got to know Bates folks and the Bates campus during their first official visit, March 6–7, culminating in Jenkins’ first remarks to his new community.
Page Views: 3,943
Average Time on Page: 2:09
For the first time, Bates gained distinction in two areas of Fulbright success when it was named a national “Top Producer” of Fulbright awards for both student and faculty.
Bates joined just four other U.S. undergraduate institutions in achieving the dual honor: Kenyon, Lafayette, and Oberlin colleges and the University of Richmond.
Bates has been named a Top Producer of Fulbright Student Awards for 12 straight years.
Page Views: 5,015
Average Time on Page: 1:00
This Bates News story anticipated a long-planned, joyous occasion — that did not happen. The scheduled inauguration of Garry W. Jenkins on Oct. 27 was postponed following the Lewiston shootings of Oct. 25 that took the lives of 18 members of the greater Lewiston community.
Page Views: 5,686
Average Time on Page: 2:24
After the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision that race-based affirmative action programs in college admissions processes are unconstitutional, outgoing President Clayton Spencer and incoming President Garry W. Jenkins collaborated on this statement.
“The Court fails to acknowledge the role of race in American history and contemporary social structures,” the statement said, in part. “It also undervalues the crucial role that higher education plays in building a healthy and informed democracy and providing individuals of all backgrounds with the opportunity to fulfill their human potential. Bates will comply with the law. Yet, the Court’s ruling does not change who we are and what we value.”
Page Views: 8,753
Average Time on Page: 1:13
1: Announcing the next Bates President: Garry W. Jenkins, University of Minnesota Law School Dean and Professor
When President Clayton Spencer announced her intention to step down, we knew that the next major Bates announcement would be the person who would be Spencer’s successor.
The heavily-anticipated announcement came on March 1: Garry W. Jenkins would be Bates’ ninth president, news that garnered much, and well-deserved, attention.
Page Views: 26,915
Average Time on Page: 2:01