Bates College tops the nation in Fulbright Student awards for liberal arts students


LEWISTON — With 23 Fulbright Student award recipients this year, Bates College has produced more than any other liberal arts college.

And despite Bates’ relative smallness, about 1,800 students, only six universities across America wound up with more.

The international educational exchange program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, is among the most prominent honors that new graduates can claim.

“We are honored to be recognized by the Fulbright Program and proud of what it signals — that our students graduate from Bates prepared to contribute on a global stage,” Bates President Clayton Spencer said in a prepared statement.


“Two-thirds of our students study abroad. They do community-engaged work at more than twice the national average, and they work closely with faculty to develop skills in language, cultural studies and an understanding of world affairs.”

Bates’ 23 current Fulbright Student recipients are now engaged in multimonth research and teaching experiences in 18 countries that stretch from Canada to Thailand.

Spencer said she is “thrilled for our students, grateful for the leadership of the program on our campus and deeply appreciative of the generosity of our faculty and staff in helping our students prepare for these important opportunities.”

Bates has been posting everstronger numbers in the Fulbright ranks, rising from six as recently as 2013.

This year, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education, the second ranking Fulbright producer is nearby Bowdoin College, which has 20. Williams College in Massachusetts has 19 to snag the third spot.

Number one among all institutions: Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, with 39.

The only other schools to top Bates’ total: University of Notre Dame (29), Northwestern University (25), Princeton University (25), University of Michigan (25) and Harvard University (24).

Bates College in Lewiston has 23 Fulbright Student award recipients this year, the most of any liberal arts in America. And despite Bates’ size, about 1,800 students, only six universities across the country have more Fulbright Student award winners for 2017-18. (Sun Journal file photo)