Class of 2023 Welcome Email and Common Read Documentary

Hello Class of 2023,

On behalf of everyone at the College, I would like to welcome you to Bates and look forward to the Opening Day of Orientation (Move in Day) on Monday, August 26th.

As you make plans throughout the summer for arriving on campus, please regularly review the Orientation Website.  Here you will find information regarding the Orientation schedule and a pre-arrival checklist that reflects all items that must be completed in the Garnet Gateway prior to your arrival. Your housing, AESOP, and health forms are due prior to July 1st, and it is important to ensure that all paperwork is submitted on time.  In addition, when you have a moment, please read the welcome letter to the Class of 2023 from the Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty, Malcolm Hill.

Announcing Convocation 2019: Dolores Huerta 

As you begin to plan for your early academic experiences, we are excited to announce Dolores Huerta as the 2019 Convocation speaker. Convocation marks the opening of the academic year, bringing faculty, staff, and students together to join in intellectual discourse and reflection.

Huerta transformed the U.S. labor movement by leading the first farm workers’ union with Cesar Chavez.  Receiving numerous awards for immigrants’, women’s, and workers’ rights, Huerta was the first Latina inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame (1993).

Historians and the news media have often overlooked Huerta’s accomplishments and treat Cesar Chavez as the sole leader of the U.S. labor movement and the first farm workers’ union. Missing from this story is his equally influential co-founder, Dolores Huerta, who tirelessly led the fight for racial and labor justice alongside Chavez, becoming one of the most effective and noteworthy feminists of the twentieth century.

Like so many powerful, women’s advocates, Dolores and her sweeping reforms were – and still are – largely undervalued. Even as she empowered a generation of immigrants to stand up for their rights, her own relentless work ethic was constantly under attack. Dolores remains as steadfast in ongoing social justice reform as ever at the age of 87.

Common Read Documentary: Dolores 
With Dolores Huerta’s address at Convocation 2019, the first-year class and others in the Bates community join in an exploration of the 2019 Common Read Documentary, Dolores, allowing us to learn more about a social justice icon.

Peter Bratt’s provocative and energizing documentary challenges the incomplete, one-sided history and reveals the raw, personal stakes involved in committing one’s life to the fight for justice. Interweaving archival footage with interviews from Dolores and her contemporaries, the film sets the record straight on one of the most effective and undervalued civil and labor rights leaders in modern U.S. history.

We ask that you view this selection prior to your arrival in August.  We have provided streaming access to Dolores for free to you through using your Bates credentials.  As you view the documentary, consider all the viewpoints presented, and reflect upon your own life experiences as you prepare to embark upon the intellectual and personal journey that awaits you at Bates. We can’t wait to see you and start the conversation. In the meantime, enjoy the film and your summer.

Warm regards,

Margaret Imber, Associate Dean of the Faculty

Blake Reilly, Assistant Dean of Students