I attended a very special and impressive event last Saturday. It was the inauguration of the ninth president of Bates College. I looked for mention of it in the Portland Press Herald and the Maine Sunday Telegram. Nothing was written about it. I have asked people about this omission in the past and have been told that Lewiston has a newspaper, the Sun Journal, which covers such events.

The first black and openly gay president of a Maine college, Garry Jenkins, was the dean of the University of Minnesota Law School, and while there he helped to enhance the school’s overall ranking and diversity of the student body. The law school’s endowment nearly doubled, and he successfully completed the largest fundraising campaign in the school’s history.

Jenkins said, in his inaugural address, he wants Bates to be a place where all who are interested in learning will be welcomed and encouraged. From the accolades he received from colleagues and academics around the country, it is clear he is the right choice for this time. He is receiving a resounding vote of approval, not only from the Lewiston community, but also from the many alumni who have met him. This is significant news and deserves more coverage because of its potential for the entire state of Maine. And we could all use a little positive message now and then.

Rachel Garcelon

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