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They Came. They Studied. They Stayed.

by GeneGeiger on May 25, 2014

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Julia Sleeper, center, in white T-shirt, is a Brewer native who graduated from Bates College in 2008 and stayed in Lewiston to help disadvantaged children. She co-founded the Tree Street Youth Center in downtown Lewiston and is currently the executive director

Bates is an extraordinary college and an extraordinary resource for the LA community.

It is surprising — or not — that so many have come to study and have stayed on to make this a better place.

Currently, the city and its surrounding communities host about 850 alumni, said Elaine Makas, who serves on the college’s Alumni Council.

They stayed for many reasons, she said. A few were raised here. But most were born elsewhere and found something unique in the scale of this place, in the sense of community and in the belief that it’s neither too big nor too rigid to change and improve.

And their contributions are extraordinary.

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Boston-bred Elaine Makas returned to the Lewiston-Auburn area to teach at Bates College, her alma mater, in 1989. She stayed in the area, becoming a political figure as a state representative and an Androscoggin County commissioner

Read the full Sun Journal story.