Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, has announced commitments totaling $19 million from seven families to create six endowed professorships.
Three of the professorships will be in chemistry, economics, and neuroscience, while the remaining three will help launch the school's new program in Digital and Computational Studies (DCS). The gifts include $10 million — the largest single gift in Bates history — from Michael Bonney ('80), who serves as chair of the school's board, and his wife, Alison Grott Bonney ('80), for three named professorships, one each in DCS, neuroscience, and chemistry.
The other donors are George and Ann Colony (P'12, P'17), whose gift will endow a professorship in the DCS program director; Darrell Crate ('89), whose commitment will provide permanent program support for DCS; J. Blair Frank ('89) and Tena Fishman Frank ('89); and three anonymous families. Combined funds from the Frank and Bonney families and two of the anonymous families will endow the third DCS professorship, while the remaining anonymous gift will be used to create a professorship in economics.
"For years we have been adding programs and offerings in response to student interest and the evolution of intellectual fields, without adding the faculty to support these undertakings," said Matt Auer, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the faculty. "When combined with the opportunity presented by the retirement of roughly a third of our faculty in the course of the present decade, we have an unprecedented opportunity to shape the faculty and curriculum of the future — in terms of excellence, diversity, and intellectual scope."