Bates College, located in Lewiston, Maine is one of three prestigious New England liberal arts schools in the state. A private, four-year school, Bates was founded in 1855 by Maine abolitionists and is one of the oldest co-educational institutions in the U.S. Lewiston started as a mill town and grew into a textile and manufacturing center. Currently, it is home to a regional distribution center for Walmart (the area’s largest employer). The early 2000s saw a significant influx of Somali Bantus and, after an adjustment period, these immigrants are credited with revitalizing the local economy (on a small scale business model). Bates College has produced many government officials and is the alma mater of Bryant Gumbel, a popular sports journalist.