Last weekend was ‘Back to Bates’ weekend, the new and exciting intersection of homecoming and parents weekend that is unique to the Bates fall schedule. The three days were replete with panels, tours, information sessions, wine and cheese tasting, myriad sporting events, and of course the brewfest beer tent. But in addition to all of this, several of the Bates athletic teams took advantage the wider Bates family converging on campus to foster their own niche communities at the college by organizing several events of their own for parents and alumni.
“Just as it is for the college generally, it is hugely important for us to tie our events into the weekend when the most alums and parents are on campus. It allows us to showcase the student-athletes, our programs and our facilities to our biggest supporters,” said athletic director Kevin McHugh. In addition to many fall athletic teams having home games this weekend, several other teams had organized events to bring their current players, their families and alumni together. The Men’s basketball team held their seventh annual golf outing at Martindale Country Club in Auburn to kickoff the weekend Friday afternoon, and the club Rugby team organized a social for players, alums and families in the Den following their victory Friday night.
On Saturday the first football tailgate took place, while the lacrosse team held their alumni scrimmage followed by a ‘Life after Bates’ event for current players and Alumni. “The turnout demonstrates to Alumni and current students alike that people care enough, are invested enough to keep returning and playing the game they love,” Said head coach Peter Lasagna.
There were several other breakfasts/community gatherings throughout Saturday morning with the swim and dive team, squash, and baseball, at which new head coach Jon Martin was introduced to family and alumni.
Saturday afternoon included a dedication of the women’s volleyball and basketball locker room to Marsha A. Graef, longtime coach of both programs, and remarks at the introduction of the new turf recently installed on the campus avenue field hockey field. Sunday capped off the weekend’s bevy of athletic events, with the nordic and alpine ski team’s 5K fundraiser and the men’s lacrosse golf outing.
“I think it just says that we understand how important community is at Bates and so tying (events) into the weekend really showcases the Bates community (and) reinforces everything that we are about,” said McHugh, in reference to the fundamental values of Bates athletics and taking advantage of the ‘Back to Bates’ weekend.
“I can’t really pick a favorite – for me jumping from place-to-place, event-to-event made everything sort of roll into one overall B2B experience and it was terrific!”