Wednesday, September 11, 2013

AD's Fall Letter

"I have come to believe that a great teacher is a great artist.......teaching might even be the greatest of the arts since the medium is the human mind and spirit."  
                                                           --- John Steinbeck
Dear Bates Community and Friends,

I generally start these seasonal updates with some type of quote, but in a nod to our philosophical underpinning, I want to tie Steinbeck’s words to yet another quote, this one taken from our Athletics Mission Statement: “The members of the Athletics Department are professional educators who foster the principles of fair play, good sportsmanship and ethical conduct and who are committed to the optimum intellectual, physical and personal development of all students.”  Thus we instruct on the various technical aspects of 31 varsity sports as well as 13 club sport programs and how to compete at one’s best, but our artistry extends across the mind and spirit as well to teaching values, coping with failure, inspiring confidence, developing leadership and much more.

Entering the Fall semester, we look to build on this past year and to enhance a canvas that comprised some fine artistry including:

“Outside the Lines” efforts where we expanded our leadership training program for all captains as well as for those identified as emergent team leaders; convened an orientation program for all 1st year student-athletes to acquaint them with the people and resources available to help them succeed in all aspects of their collegiate experience at Bates; brought to campus several outside speakers to provide educational programming for our athletes and staff; sustained the Bates Allies effort with the 3rd Annual Allies Pledge signing, co-sponsorship of  LGBT activist Pat Griffin, creation of the You Can Play video in support of LGBT athletes and tabling at Pride Week; hosted the 6th Annual Student Athlete Advisory Council Field Day with 200+ local school children on campus for games, activities and interaction with more than 200 of our athletes; strengthened the “Getting it Done” peer mentoring program with older student-athletes counseling younger athletes; recorded the most senior athletes ever selected to the Bates Scholar Athlete Society; with BCDC, co-hosted G.A.M.E Day with former Bates athletes speaking to current student-athletes about career opportunities; and had virtually every one of our 31 sport teams participate in some form of community service and/or engagement.

Equally compelling results were evident “Inside the Lines” of our sport programs including these select highlights:

Ten national finishes including Women’s Rowing (2nd for the  5th consecutive time), Men’s Indoor Track (5th), Men’s Cross Country (6th), Men’s Outdoor Track (9th), Women’s Squash (10th), Men’s Squash (13th), Men and Women’s Alpine & Nordic Skiing (16th); additionally Men’s Cross Country & Track combined NCAA finishes rated them the 4th best program in the country; Football had their best season in 3 decades with the CBB title and Mark Harriman named NESCAC Coach of the Year; Rogan Connell was voted the Alpine Ski Coach of the Year; Peter Lasagna was awarded NESCAC Men’s Lacrosse Coach of the Year; Women’s Lacrosse achieved their 5th straight appearance in NESCAC Championships; Men’s and Women’s Basketball both advanced to the NESCAC tourney; Baseball had 3 players named All-NESCAC for the 1st time ever; Men’s Tennis secured All-American status in both Singles and Doubles; and among the 450 schools that compete in NCAA DIII, Bates finish 38th in Director's Cup standings for overall program excellence, up from 46th last year.

As we begin our teaching anew and work with that medium of mind and spirit, I provide my annual reminder that for the 800+ students competing in 31 varsity sports and the 200+ involved in 13 club sport programs, your recognition of and support for their efforts is invaluable.  Thank you and may your own artistry flourish this year!


Monday, November 26, 2012

AD's Winter Note To The Campus

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others”
                                                                                       Mahatma Gandhi

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

I generally use these community letters to provide Athletics highlights from the previous season and while I won’t neglect to do so in this missive, it occurred to me that I’ve never noted the service initiatives that our student-athletes undertake each year.  While we almost take it for granted that virtually all of our sports do some kind of work with the local communities, I thought sharing the variety of initiatives and the different sport programs that participate in them might be instructive.  I know that there are others that I am missing, but the following are those with which I am acquainted:

- Free youth clinics: WTrack, WBasketball, M/W Alpine Skiing, Softball, Baseball, MLacrosse, M/W Tennis, MBasketball
- Good Shepherd Food Bank: MLacrosse, Football, M/W Rowing, Field Hockey
- Tree Street & Hillview Youth Programs: WSoccer, Baseball, M/W Squash, MSoccer
- Team Impact (team adopts a child facing a life-threatening illness): Softball, M/W Squash, M/W Tennis, MBasketball
- Trinity Soup Kitchen: M/W Tennis, MSoccer
- Holiday parties/gifts/adopt a family: Softball, Baseball, MLacrosse, M/W Squash
- Equipment donation: Baseball, MLacrosse, MSoccer, M/W Alpine Ski, Athletic Department
- Lewiston HS Science Fair: MLacrosse, M/W Tennis
- MLK Day read- in: Football
- Lewiston Adult Learning Center tutoring & 5K fundraiser for LALC: M/W Nordic Ski
- Children swim lessons: M/W Swimming
- 9/11 Families of Freedom: MSoccer ($7000+ raised)
- Maine Premier Soccer Inner City Initiative: MSoccer
- Youth Camp Scholarships: M/W Golf
- Dempsey Challenge: Field Hockey, WLacrosse, Athletic Department staff
- Rebuilding Together L/A: Athletic Department staff
- SAAC Field Day with L/A youth (nearly 300 last year): all 31 sports, Athletic Department

As the Winter teams get underway, I can’t help but take a quick look back at the Fall sports programs.  Football had their most successful season in three decades: a 5 victory campaign that resulted in a 4th place finish in the NESCAC, and in addition to beating Tufts, Williams and Hamilton, was highlighted by wins over Colby and Bowdoin for the CBB Championship!  Men’s Soccer had great wins over Middlebury, St. Joe’s, and gave Thomas College, who made this year’s NCAA tournament, their first of only two losses; Women’s Soccer defeated Trinity at home and outplayed as well as outshot #12 nationally ranked Brandeis only to fall short 1-0; Field Hockey battled injuries but still registered some convincing wins; Men’s and Women’s Tennis had strong fall seasons with the Men triumphant at the Middlebury Invitational and Bates’ own Wallach Tournament; Volleyball was young, but became more competitive with each outing; and Men’s and Women’s Rowing had terrific showings at the Head of the Charles Regatta.  Lastly, for the first time in school history, both the Women’s and Men’s Cross Country teams qualified for the NCAA Championships with the Women finishing 19th and the Men 6th in the nation!

On the club sports front, Men's Water Polo had 5 wins including Colby and Bowdoin and narrowly lost 10-11 to #7 ranked Coast Guard; Women’s Rugby beat Williams while Men’s Rugby had 40+ on their roster and celebrated their 35th anniversary; Men’s & Women’s Frisbee continue to compete strongly in their individual sections as well as in co-ed events; Sailing climbed in the NEISA rankings surpassing some varsity teams; and Equestrian has their largest squad in over 5 years with a new barn and new trainer.

Other successful Athletics initiatives “outside the lines” this fall included: two Getting It Done peer mentoring sessions with upper class student-athletes counseling other athletes; the inception of a year-round leadership training program for all captains; a presentation to athletes and coaches by nationally acclaimed speaker Dr. Jerry Lynch; an Athletics-led Bates Allies Pledge signing event that yielded 700 signatures; and the 2nd annual Bates L/A Community Day featuring Lewiston and Auburn families coming to campus for athletic contests, youth games on our facilities, pumpkin decorating and tours of the campus.  We look to continue endeavors such as these throughout the year to supplement what happens on the fields, courts, pool, track, etc. 

However, the best support for the efforts of our student-athletes continues to be your interest in their sport participation.  Your recognition of and support for their passion, contributes immeasurably to their ability to succeed in all facets of their Bates experience.  Furthermore, by attending their events, you affirm that the community appreciates what is required to compete at this level while at the same time working to be the best student possible.  You can view the winter sports schedules at .  Also, many of the contests will be webcast and you can find that schedule at: Bobcat Webcasts. 

Thanks and best wishes,


Monday, September 10, 2012

AD's Fall Note To Campus Community

"I have seen throughout my life how we as a people can rise to a challenge, embrace change and renew our destiny."      
      -- Senator Ted Kennedy 

Dear Bates Community and Friends,

Hopefully this isn’t a form of plagiarism, but after President Spencer’s inspiring references to the late Senator in her Convocation address, it seemed appropriate to piggyback on her comments by borrowing one of his quotes for my annual fall note.  As the College embarks on a new year and in some ways a new era, challenges are definitely in front of us; much change is anticipated so there will plenty of opportunity for embracing; and with the start of each school year, we renew, if not quite our destiny, certainly our commitment to the legacy of the “emancipating potential of the liberal arts”.  The mission statement that proclaims this dedication also speaks to Bates educating the whole person and preparing leaders.  Our Athletic program continues to contribute to the Bates promise, particularly in these latter two areas and toward this end, we look to build on last year’s achievements that included:

- Continuing the Bates Ally initiative with an Allies Rally II in October on National Coming Out Day that saw nearly 1000 members of the campus community sign the Bates Ally pledge.  Also this past spring, Athletics partnered with the Athletics Committee as well as OutFront, the Office of Intercultural Education, Women & Gender Studies and the Library to sponsor Pride Week Movie Night featuring the film “Training Rules” followed by a panel discussion of homophobia in college sports.
- Expanding on our annual captains’ leadership training session to create a year-round captains/team leaders enterprise featuring monthly education, community service, and social programming for the team captains and designated team leaders. 
- A productive year for The “Getting It Done” peer mentoring program, comprising upper class athletes counseling younger participants about succeeding academically while participating in a varsity sport and making the transition to college life.
- Sponsoring the first ever Lewiston/Auburn Community Day with local families invited to campus for a day of free coaches clinics, youth games on the athletic facilities and campus tours.
- Partnering with the Career Development Center and Friends of Bates Athletics to host a very successful G.A.M.E. Day (Gaining from Athletic Mentors’ Experience) that featured alumni athletes back on campus to share their post-Bates experiences and strategies with current athletes.
- Safe Spaces training and certification undertaken by a dozen coaches and staff members.
- Recognizing 57 Scholar-Athletes (above 3.67 GPA) and 88 on the Academic Honor Roll (3.47-3.66 GPA)
- The Student-Athlete Advisory Council’s 5th Annual SAAC Field Day with a couple hundred athletes hosting well over 200 local children, mainly from the Somali/Bantu community, on campus for a day of games and activities.

And yes, with Amore ac Studio, the Athletic program also continues to support the pursuit of competitive excellence and achieved that last year in a number of areas including national finishes/rankings in several sports: Women’s Rowing (2), Men’s Cross Country and Track & Field Combined (4), Men's Cross Country (7), Men’s Indoor Track & Field (9), Women’s Squash (12), Alpine & Nordic Skiing (13), Men’s Tennis (14), Men’s Squash (15), Men’s Outdoor Track (20), Women’s Lacrosse (20).  Additionally, Football enjoyed their best season in a decade; Men’s Basketball advanced to the NESCAC Semis; Men’s Indoor Track & Field won the New England & ECAC Championships; Men’s/Women’s Indoor Track had 9 All-Americans including David Pless who repeated as the NCAA Indoor Shot Put National Champion; Men’s Rowing had their best-ever showing at the National Invitational Rowing Championships; Men’s Outdoor Track & Field won the State of Maine, NESCAC and ECAC Championships; Baseball surpassed the 20 victory mark for the 3rd consecutive year; Softball tied the school record for most wins; Al Fereshetian was named Coach of the Year for each of the three seasons (Cross Country, Indoor Track, Outdoor Track); Peter Steenstra was named NESCAC Coach of the Year for both Men’s and Women’s Rowing; Paul Gastonguay was named Men’s Tennis ITA Northeast Region Coach of the Year; and Bates finished 46th in the NACDA Director’s Cup out of about 450 schools in DIII.

So as we get underway, I provide my annual reminder that for the 800+ students competing in 31 varsity sports and the 200+ involved in 13 club sport programs, your recognition and support of their efforts to pursue their athletic passion while they also work to excel in the classroom, is priceless.  Thank you and have a great year rising to the challenges, embracing the changes and renewing your commitment to the Bates legacy!


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Lest we forget who we are

Bates Allies Spring Progam

The Athletics Committee and the Athletic Department bring you Pride Week Movie Night

Thursday, May 10th 7:30 p.m.
     Keck Room, G52 Pettengill Hall, Bates College

Training Rules