Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Bates College is a liberal arts college in Lewiston, Maine. Bates has been defined by egalitarianism since its founding in 1855; the school has always been coeducational and there have never been fraternities or sororities. Bates confers Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) or Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degrees.
Bates was the first coeducational college in New England. Oren B. Cheney, a Dartmouth graduate and minister of the Freewill Baptist denomination, conceived the idea of founding the Maine State Seminary in Lewiston in early 1855. Within a few years the seminary became a college, and Cheney obtained financial support from Benjamin E. Bates, the Boston manufacturer for whom the College was named in 1864. Bates has limited its admissions and grown slowly, yet it also has pursued an ambitious program of building and equipment acquisition to support teaching. The college has had a remarkably stable history; Bates has had only seven college presidents in its 150 year history.
Bates is highly ranked in annual rankings published by the Princeton Review and also among liberal arts colleges in annual rankings published by U.S. News & World Report. It is one of three small, prestigious liberal arts colleges located in relatively small cities in Maine, along with Bowdoin College and Colby College.
Roughly 1,700 undergraduate students attend Bates. It operates on a 4-4-1 schedule: two semesters and a month-long "Short Term." The college requires a senior thesis in most majors. Bates reports that the percentage of students who study off-campus is among the highest in the nation, with 64 percent of the Class of 2004 receiving credit for off-campus study.
There are nearly 90 student run clubs and organizations at Bates. The student government, called the Bates College Student Government (BCSG), consists of the Representative Assembly (RA) and the Executive Council (EC). The Bates Student is the main student newspaper. The John Galt Press is a libertarian/conservative newspaper founded and published at Bates and distributed at many other schools.
- Benjamin Mays, Class of 1920, President of Morehouse College (1940-1967)
- Edmund Muskie, Class of 1936, Governor of Maine (1955-1959), U.S. Senator from Maine (1959-1980) and U.S. Secretary of State (1980-1981)
- William Stringfellow , Class of 1949, peace activist, human rights lawyer, theologian
- Bryant Gumbel, Class of 1970, American television personality
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