Bates College, based in Maine, is an arts college founded by Oren Burbank Cheney in 1855, it is the oldest coeducational university in New England, and the first to award a degree to a woman in New England.
The campus itself it situated in a suburban area near to the Androscoggin River in Lewiston. A large proportion of students live on campus in either a residence hall or one of Bates’ 25 Victorian homes, which house between 10 and 30 students each.
Bates College offers a variety of subjects, which include: the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences and engineering. To enhance opportunity, students can enrol at other universities – such as Dartmouth College and Columbia University – as part of Bates College's’ academic programme.
A definitive feature of Bates College, is the Honours Programme. This includes a tutorial-based thesis, which is modelled on that offered at the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge in the United Kingdom. Under the guidance of a relevant faculty member, the student concludes it before graduation.
Notably, the college hosts the annual Mount David Summit which serves as a platform for students to present their undergraduate research, creative art, performance, alongside many other projects. Presentations include themed panel discussions, films Q & A's, as well as other activities in the Lewiston area.
Bates College is consistently ranked high and is considered a member of the eight ‘Little Ivies’. In 2009, Newsweek described Bates as a “New Ivy” meaning that is one of a number of elite colleges and universities placed outside of the traditional Ivy League.
The university has it’s own museum – the Bates College Museum of Art – which holds both contemporary and historic pieces. It holds approximately 5,000 pieces and objects of contemporary art and over 100 original artworks, photographs and sketches from Marsden Hartley.
Athletically, Bates College competes in the NCAA Division III New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC), and competes in one of the oldest football rivalries in the US.
As of 2016, a total of 11 Olympians have graduated from Bates College, one of whom won the Olympic Gold Medal rowing for Canada at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Notable alumni include Elizabeth Strout, author of Pulitzer Prize-winning NY Times bestseller, Olive Kitteridge, David Chokachi, an American film and television actor best known for his role in Baywatch, Witchblade and Beyond The Break, and Benjamin Mays, an American Baptist minister, activist, humanitarian, and leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement.