"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!