PHOTO STORY: Harvest Dinner, a Decades-old Tradition, Lives on in 2020

Thank you to the Commons staff for everything this fall!


Vanessa Paolella/The Bates Student

Adam Osma (bottom), Shamso Dahayo (left), Gamma Yaro (right) acting silly for the camera.

Harvest Dinner was one of the few Bates traditions which survived the pandemic this fall. Christine Schwartz, Assistant Vice President for Dining, said the vote was unanimous; with so many cancellations this year, Commons was determined to continue this decades-old tradition in 2020.

In a normal year, Harvest Dinner gives Commons chefs a chance to get creative and “show their skills,” Schwartz said. This year’s dinner was more basic due to distancing restrictions – no fancy cheese platters or fruit displays – but no less enjoyable. All of the basics were present: turkey, gravy, green bean casserole, stuffing, rolls and more. 

As a senior, Harvest Dinner meant more to me than I realized it would. With so many beloved traditions cancelled, so many “you’ll see next year” conversations with first-years, I was extraordinarily thankful for the outrageous beach theme, the giant blow-up floaties, and the special meal. 

I want to say thank you to all of the Commons workers who have gone above and beyond to keep us fed this semester. Everything this fall was more difficult than before, but you guys nailed it. Thank you for keeping us fed, and thank you for putting on another enjoyable Harvest Dinner.


Some Notes of Gratitude

Cheryl Lacey and Christine Schwartz gave my housemates and I shirts and gift baskets for harvest dinner because we are off the meal plan and couldn’t attend! (Malia White/Courtesy Photo)

Thank you to all of the Commons workers for the effort you put in to make Harvest Dinner special! Tonight was such a nice surprise and one I will remember for a long time! – Helen Pandey ‘22

Thank you so much for putting together such a fun dinner tonight! I really appreciated all of the hard work that went into the decorations and the delicious food! – Carly Harris ‘22

Thank you to the entire team over at Commons, and employees from all around campus that have also helped in Commons the past few months, for making Harvest Dinner and this entire semester happen!!! With Gratitude!!! – Bates Men’s Lacrosse

Thank you so much for an amazing final Harvest Dinner! – Harris Manganiello ‘21

You brightened my day. Thank you so so much! – Oo Meh ‘23

Thank you commons staff for a wonderful harvest dinner! As a first-year, it’s so amazing that you were able to give us the Harvest Dinner experience even during Covid!! – Ellory Kearns ‘24

Thank you so much for all the effort you put in throughout the years, but especially this year as it has been different for all of us. You make the Bates experience so much better, because you make us feel at home. – Dieter Villegas ‘22

Thank you to all the Commons staff! We appreciate your hard work every day, not just today! Your efforts to make our semester run smoothly do not go unnoticed. – Natalie Brewer ‘21 and Lily Edelman-Gold ‘21

Thank you all for your hard work over the semester. The food is absolutely amazing! I never leave the Commons without a smile! You all work hard, and your hard work is noticed. Thank you again! – Svea Althausen ‘24


Scroll through the gallery below to see behind-the-scenes preparation for Harvest Dinner and meet some of the Commons staff!