Deborah Bates ’83

Collectively, many small things make a tremendous impact.

Deborah Bates ’83 held undergraduate degrees from Maine College of Art & Design and Boston University and graduate degrees from California College of Arts and Crafts and Pennsylvania State University. She painted and exhibited throughout her lifetime and taught at the undergraduate level as well as through private instruction. She also served in the Peace Corps in Bangladesh and as a producer for WGBH in Boston.

When Deborah began her planned giving conversation in the summer of 2011 with Beckie Conrad, Vice President for Institutional Advancement, she believed it would be many years before one of her schools would be the beneficiary of her estate. Sadly, Deborah passed away on June 27, 2013, but she had prepared for her wishes to be carried out at MECA&D by establishing an endowment to honor her family. Deborah said, “I want my estate to benefit the college I attended that continues to reflect the education I received.”  She often remarked, “I am not a wealthy woman, but I want to give back in any way that I can.”

On a beautiful fall afternoon, overlooking the Kennebec River at her home in Bath, Maine, Deborah told Beckie, “I am making MECA&D the full beneficiary of my estate because my MECA&D experience provided the foundation for my life's work as an artist and educator.”

With no heirs, Deborah bequeathed the residuals of the sale of her home, her modest investments and a life insurance policy to the College. MECA&D is proud and deeply moved to receive an extraordinary gift of $500,000 from alumna Deborah Bates Class of 1983 to establish The Persis, Harold and Deborah Bates Arts Initiative, a scholarship for a junior or senior dedicated to the pursuit of painting.

*Gifts to the Annual Fund are used to provide scholarships, expand our community programming, and support our future artists, designers, and thinkers. Can you help us continue our success?