Speeches and Statements

Racism and Educational Mission

June 2, 2020

On behalf of Bates College, I condemn these acts of extreme cruelty and the long history of racial injustice and violence against black, brown, and indigenous people that have made them possible and dangerously routine.

A Pause to Acknowledge

May 30, 2020

Bates President Clayton Spencer, VP for Equity and Inclusion Noelle Chaddock, and Bates Multifaith Chaplain Brittany Longsdorf take a moment to reflect and pause as our nation grapples with the recent, yet sadly familiar events, of continuing race-based violence.

Remarks at Convocation: Fall 2018

September 6, 2018

“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” I’m sure that many of you are familiar with this statement, made famous by the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.

Remarks at Convocation: Fall 2017

September 5, 2017

I cannot remember a time in my professional experience when matters of context and principle have intruded so insistently into the project of teaching the next generation of students.

The passing of Katie Vale

November 28, 2016

I write to share the shocking and profoundly sad news that Katie Vale, our vice president for information and library services and librarian, died yesterday, Sunday, November 27, after suffering cardiac arrest.

A message to the Bates community

November 9, 2016

Last night marked the end of one of the most divisive and vitriolic presidential campaigns in recent U.S. history.

Bates Community Letter: Fall 2016

September 19, 2016

With opening days behind us, the Class of 2020 duly welcomed, and new and returning students ensconced in their dorms, classes, and activities, I write to share news from campus and provide a preview of the year ahead.

Letter to the campus community

November 13, 2015

I write in response to events that are happening on campuses across the nation and to make you aware of a unique opportunity for considered conversation on race and inclusiveness in higher education that is happening on the Bates campus this weekend.

Bates Community Letter: Fall 2015

September 1, 2015

I write to share the sense of excitement we feel, to highlight areas of focus for the fall, and to invite your engagement with, and suggestions about, all things Bates.

President Clayton Spencer’s letter about recent campus events

March 9, 2015

I thought it might be helpful to share facts about recent events and give a sense of the principles and values that guide my thinking about how to honor what is most important about Bates as we work together to move the institution forward.

Bates Community Letter: Fall 2014

August 27, 2014

I write to share news and plans at the start of a new academic year, my third as president of the college. As I have said before, serving Bates as president is a source of great personal joy, even as we tackle inevitable challenges. Every day I am struck by the dedication of our faculty, the energy of our students, the pride of our staff, and the solidarity and support of alumni, parents, and friends in sustaining the work and sense of common feeling that make Bates such an extraordinary college and community.

Bates Community Letter: Fall 2013

September 9, 2013

I write to share with you developments at the college as we welcome the Class of 2017 and begin a new academic year.