Husson University

BANGOR — Husson University will confer three honorary degrees during its 118th annual commencement exercises at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, May 6, at Cross Insurance Center, 515 Main St.

James F. Dicke II, chairman and chief executive officer of Crown Equipment Corp. and an artist, will deliver the keynote address, and receive an honorary Doctor of Business degree in recognition of his leadership abilities, his dedication to innovation, and his devotion to public service.

Other honorary doctorate degrees in business will be conferred on Galen Cole, former president of Cole Express, founder of the Cole Land Transportation Museum, Maine World War II veteran, and philanthropist; and George E. Wildey, a founder of Penobscot Broadcasting Corp., and New England School of Broadcasting, which eventually became New England School of Communications (NESCom) on Husson campus. .

Maine Maritime Academy

CASTINE — U.S. Sen. Susan Collins will deliver the keynote address at Maine Maritime Academy’s 2017 commencement at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 6, at Alexander House.

Collins, who has served in the U.S. Senate since 1997 and ranks 15th in Senate seniority, is chairwoman of the Senate Aging Committee and the Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee. She also serves on the Intelligence Committee and the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.

Collins delivered the commencement address 10 years ago at Maine Maritime Academy and received an honorary degree from the college at that time.

Maine Maritime Academy is a co-educational, public college on the coast of Maine offering 22 programs of study in engineering, management, science, and transportation. The college serves approximately 950 undergraduate and graduate students in career-oriented degree programs.

Beal College

BANGOR — Beal College will hold its 125th graduation exercise at 11 a.m. Sunday, May 7, at Peakes Auditorium, Bangor High School.

Keynote speaker will be Bangor City Councilor Benjamin Sprague.

In addition to being a city councilor, Sprague is on the Maine Youth Leadership Organization board of directors, is vice chairman of the Public Health Advisory Board and the Tri-County Workforce Investment Board. He also is a member of Bangor Rotary.

Beal has been celebrating its 125th anniversary as an institution of higher learning in Bangor. It originally was established as Bangor Business College by Mary Beal in 1891, and kept expanding its offerings. It still offers practical career training to its students.

University of Maine at Fort Kent

FORT KENT — The University of Maine at Fort Kent is pleased to announce that astronaut George D. Nelson, Ph.D, will be the keynote speaker for University of Maine at Fort Kent’s 135th commencement ceremony, 1 p.m. Saturday, May 13, at the UMFK Sports Center.

Nelson was a NASA astronaut and flew as a Mission Specialist on three Space Shuttle missions from 1978 to 1989. During these missions, he performed an untethered spacewalk, and the first on-orbit satellite repair. He was a member of the first crew into space after the tragic loss of the Space Shuttle Challenger.

Nelson is an emeritus director of science mathematics, and technology education, and full professor of physics and astronomy at Western Washington University. He has served as director of Project 2061 and senior staff at the American Association for the Advancement of Science; and as associate vice provost for research and associate professor of astronomy at the University of Washington.

His current research is focused on education reform and the preparation of mathematics and science teachers, and lives in Bellingham, Washington, with his wife, Susan.

Thomas College

WATERVILLE — Thomas College will hold its 123rd commencement at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 13, in Harold Alfond Athletic Center.

Commencement speaker Richard (Dick) L. Whitmore Jr. will receive an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters for his role as a sports management instructor, dedication to student athletes, and commitment to advancing athletics in Maine. Whitmore has been named college coach of the year in Maine six times, in New England three times, and once for Division III. He and his wife Katherine reside in Waterville. He is seventh all-time in career wins among NCAA Division III men’s basketball coaches.

Other honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degrees will be awarded to J. Duke Albanese, former Maine commissioner of education and school superintendent; and Kenneth P. Viens, a longtime Thomas College trustee.

Student speakers will be Shelby Watson of Skowhegan, representing the Undergraduate Day Division; Tanya Naborowsky of Vassalboro, representing the Undergraduate Evening Division; and Jack Mosher of China, representing the Graduate Division.

Courtney Moulton of Pittston has been named the 2017 Thomas Scholar.

Unity College

UNITY — Jimmy Chin, a National Geographic photographer, North Face athlete, and director of “Meru,” will be the Class of 2017 commencement speaker at Unity College. Commencement will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 13, in Tozier Gymnasium.

Chin will be awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Sustainability Science.

Chin’s career combines talent as a photographer, filmmaker, professional climber, and skier. He is a 14-year veteran of The North Face Athlete Team, is one of the only people to ski Mount Everest from the summit, and climbed the first ascent of the Shark’s Fin on Meru. As a director and cinematographer, Chin has directed documentaries, TV and commercial projects for The North Face, National Geographic, Apple, Chase, Pirelli, Working Title, and RSA Films.

Chin splits his time between New York City and Jackson Hole, Wyoming, with his wife, Chai Vasarhelyi, their daughter Marina, and son James.

Maine College of Art

PORTLAND — Lily Yeh, an internationally celebrated artist whose work has taken her to communities throughout the world, will deliver Maine College of Art’s keynote address at the 106th commencement at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 13, at State Theatre, 609 Congress St.

From 1986 to 2004, Lily Yeh served as the cofounder, executive director and lead artist of The Village of Arts and Humanities, which builds community through art, learning, land transformation, and economic development. She also founded Barefoot Artists in 2002, which has taken her to places such as Rwanda, Kenya, Ghana, Ecuador, and China to train and empower local residents, organize communities, and take action for a more compassionate, just, and sustainable future.

An honorary degree will be conferred upon Alison Hildreth, an accomplished painter, printmaker and installation artist who has a studio in Portland, and whose work is included in the collections of the New York and Boston public libraries; The Metropolitan Museum of Art; The Brooklyn Museum; the Portland Museum of Art; the Smith, Wellesley, Bates, and Colby College museums; and the Farnsworth Art Museum.

Honorary degrees also will be conferred upon Peter and Paula Lunder. Peter Lunder is former president of Dexter Shoe Co. and he and his wife, Paula, have dedicated much of their life to putting Waterville on the map as home to one of the most impressive art collections in the world. In 2007, they generously pledged their collection to Colby Museum of Art, including works by John Singer Sargent, Mary Cassatt, Winslow Homer, and Georgia O’Keeffe. Over the years, both Peter and Paula have been dedicated supporters of MECA and Paula served on MECA’s board of trustees from 2003-201.

Saint Joseph’s College

STANDISH — Catholic author and journalist Kerry Weber will give the keynote address at Saint Joseph’s College’s 2017 commencement at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 13, at the school’s Sebago Lake campus, located on 278 Whites Bridge Road.

The ceremony will celebrate the achievements of more than 650 students who have met degree requirements on campus and online. Catholic Bishop Robert P. Deeley will participate in the commencement exercises.

Weber is an award-winning author, having written “Mercy in the City: How to Feed the Hungry,” “Give Drink to the Thirsty,” “Visit the Imprisoned,” and “Keep Your Day Job” (2014), and “Keeping the Faith: Prayers for College Students” (2009). She also serves as an executive editor of “America” magazine and as a co-host of “America This Week,” a weekly radio program on SiriusXM 129 (The Catholic Channel). In 2013, Weber reported from Rwanda as a recipient of Catholic Relief Services’ Egan Journalism Fellowship recognizing excellence in the Catholic media. She is a graduate of Providence College and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

In addition to conferring an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters to Weber, Saint Joseph’s College will also award an Honorary Doctorate of Public Service to Dr. Jeanne Arnold of Lebanon, Pennsylvania, and an Honorary Doctorate of Public Service to Ron Phillips of Waldoboro. To watch the ceremony live on May 13, visit

University of Maine, Orono

ORONO — Maine entrepreneurs Heather and Abe Furth will be the keynote speakers for the University of Maine’s 215th commencement ceremonies at 9:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Saturday, May 13, at Harold Alfond Arena.

The Orono couple met at UMaine in 1999 when Heather was studying biology and Abe was studying English. In the past decade, they have founded restaurants, including Woodman’s Bar & Grill in Orono and Verve in Bangor and Orono; the brewery Orono Brewing Company; and a property development company.

Maine Native American elder Donna Loring who changed through legislation the way Maine views its history in regard to Native Americans; and Kenneth Hodgkins, a leader in developing and maintaining peaceful international use of outer space, will receive honorary doctorate degrees: Loring at the morning ceremony and Hodgkins at the afternoon ceremony. Loring is a Vietnam War veteran, and founder and president of nonprofit Seven Eagles Media Productions, based in Bradley. She hosts a monthly show, “Wabanaki Windows,” on WERU Community Radio.

Loring received a Maryann Hartman Award from the University of Maine in 1999, and University of New England houses her papers as part of its Maine Women Writers Collection and sponsors an annual lecture series in her name. Loring is a member of the Deborah Morton Society of the University of New England and a member of the International Women’s Forum.

Hodgkins is the director for the Office of Space and Advanced Technology in the Bureau of Oceans, International Environmental and Scientific Affairs in the U.S. State Department.

The office is responsible for bilateral and multilateral cooperation in civil and commercial space and high-technology activities, including the International Space Station, collaboration in global navigation satellite systems, the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), and nanotechnology, and represents the department in national space policy review and development.

Hodgkins serves as the U.S. representative to the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space. He has been the state representative for major presidential policy reviews on remote sensing, the Global Positioning Satellite system, orbital debris, and the use of space nuclear power sources in space.

Before coming to the State Department in 1987, he was the director for international affairs at the National Environmental Satellite Data and Information Service of the Department of Commerce.

In 2010 and 2017, respectively, he was the first and only Department of State recipient of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics’ International Cooperation Award and the American Astronautical Society’s award for Advancement of International Cooperation. Hodgkins is a member elect of the International Academy of Astronautics and the International Institute of Space Law.

University of Maine at Farmington

FARMINGTON — Louis D. Sell, a retired Foreign Service officer with many years of experience in the former Soviet Union and Yugoslavia and author, will deliver the address during University of Maine at Farmington commencement at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, May 13, on the UMF campus.

Sell also will receive an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, as will Chris Coyne, Maine entrepreneur, tech innovator and designer.

Sell served under six U.S. presidents from 1971 to 1998, beginning with Richard Nixon. He was present in Moscow at the time of the fall of the Soviet Union, and served in Yugoslavia during the political crisis that split the country apart. In 1995-1996, he was political adviser to former Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt, the first high representative for Bosnian Peace Implementation, and participated in the Dayton Conference that brought peace to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Sell served as U.S. representative to the Joint Consultative Group in Vienna, as director of the Office of Russian and Eurasian Analysis, director of the Office of U.S.-Soviet Bilateral Relations, and as special assistant and executive secretary of the U.S. delegation to the Strategic Arms Reduction Talks.

He was a principal founder of the American University in Kosovo that opened its doors in 2003 and served as executive director of the American University in Kosovo Foundation from 2003 to 2007.

He has been a part-time member of the UMF faculty since 2001.

A South Portland native, Coyne and his business partners created and OkCupid. He currently is working on Keybase, an open source encryption application that offers online users tools to manage their identity, create secure chats and share files privately. In 2012, he and his partners received the Harvard Humanist of the Year award.

Graduating senior Zack Peercy will give the student address. Peercy is graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and a B.A. in Theatre: Writing and Performance.

University of Maine at Presque Isle

PRESQUE ISLE — John L. Estrada, former U.S. ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago, will deliver the commencement address during the University of Presque Isle’s 108th commencement ceremony, to be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 13, in Wieden Gymnasium.

John L. Estrada was nominated for his ambassadorship by President Barack Obama and served in 2016-17 as U.S. ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago, the Caribbean islands of his birth. Estrada immigrated to the United States in March 1970 and served 34 years of continuous active duty in the U.S. Marine Corps from September 1973 to October 2007, culminating in his last four years serving as the 15th Sergeant Major in the history of the Marine Corps, the highest enlisted rank. He is the recipient of the Navy Distinguished Service Medal, the Bronze Star, the Meritorious Service Medal with three gold stars, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, the Joint Service Achievement Medal, and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal.

Estrada later served as Senior Manager for Lockheed Martin Training Solution Incorporated, and as a commissioner on the American Battle Monuments Commission, the guardian of America’s overseas commemorative cemeteries and memorials, from 2010 to 2016.

Estrada and his wife, Dr. Elizabeth Cote Estrada, reside in Presque Isle with their twin daughters.

An Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree will be presented to Laurence A. Park, a well-known farmer, conservationist, and local expert on the history of UMPI and Aroostook County. After serving in the U.S. Air Force, he became a potato farmer, woodlot owner, and served as the Supervisor of the Central Aroostook Soil and Water Conservation District for 30 years.

He took on many leadership roles over the decades, including with the National Potato Promotional Board, the Rural America Bicentennial Planning Committee, Young Farmers Organization, Aroostook County Extension Association, Small Woodland Owners Association of Maine, and Presque Isle Historical Society. Through Park’s efforts, wood trails on his farm connect to ski trails at Aroostook State Park, providing skiers with miles of scenic trails.

Park is one of the many members of his family who have provided strong support to the institution over the decades. His grandfather, the Rev. George M. Park helped establish the Aroostook State Normal School, and his uncle Clinton DeWitt Park, contributed to the financing of the athletic fields, called the Park Family Field. One of the University’s dormitories, Park Hall, was dedicated in 1969 in honor of the Rev. Park. Park now serves as the steward of the Rev. George M. Park Scholarship, which was established by his uncle in his grandfather’s honor.

Viewers can directly access the livestream of the commencement starting at 12:30 p.m. on graduation day by visiting

University of Maine at Machias

MACHIAS — The University of Maine at Machias will hold its 106th Commencement Ceremony at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 13, in Reynolds Center gymnasium. Eighty-nine students will be graduating with degrees or program certificates.

Keynote speaker will be Charles Harrington, director of Maine Sea Coast Mission’s EdGE program, an adventure education after-school and summer program that serves more than 700 children at 12 schools in communities from Sullivan to Machias. He will receive an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters.

Also addressing the graduates will be Dr. James H. Page, the chancellor of the University of Maine System, and M. Michelle Hood, a University of Maine System trustee.

Charles Rudelitch of Harrington, executive director of Sunrise County Economic Council, is receiving the UMM Distinguished Service Award. Inez Lombardo of Machias, founder of Machias Marketplace, is receiving the Distinguished Alumni Award. State Rep. Will Tuell of East Machias, a member of the Legislature’s Marine Resources Committee, will receive the Young Alumni Award.

Matthew Cole is UMM’s 2017 Ivy Orator, who presents an oration at the Honors Convocation and Commencement on behalf of the graduating seniors.

University of Southern Maine

PORTLAND — The University of Southern Maine will celebrate its 137th commencement ceremony at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 13, at the Cross Insurance Arena.

More than 900 students will take part in the morning ceremony.

Award-winning journalist David Brancaccio, host of American Public Media’s Marketplace Morning Report on National Public Radio’s Morning Edition, will deliver the keynote address and will receive an honorary degree. Also receiving an honorary degree will be Mary L. Bonauto, the civil rights project director at GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders.

The student speaker will be Hawo Mohamed of Portland, a 2017 Presidential Installment Inaugural Scholar and a recipient of the Opportunity Scholarship Award for the last four years, based on her GPA. She was the vice president of the Muslim Student Association for three consecutive years. She also interned with Slim Peace, a women’s health organization focused on empowerment, and for Maine Access Immigrant Network, helping asylum seekers, new refugees and immigrants assimilate into their new environments.

The ceremony also will honor USM’s “Golden Graduates,” celebrating the 50th anniversary of their graduation from USM. Among the marchers will be Robert Ek, a 1967 graduate who years ago wrote music for the Golden Grads entrance, “Processional for Spring.” Ek’s march has been played at USM commencement ceremonies since it was commissioned in 2004.

The USM School of Nursing will present its graduating class of May 2017 Nursing Convocation, 6 p.m. Friday, May 12, at Holiday Inn by the Bay, 88 Spring St. The pinning ceremony will begin at 7 p.m.

Colby College

WATERVILLE — Joseph R. Biden Jr., 47th vice president of the United States, will deliver Colby College’s commencement address at 10 a.m. Sunday, May 21, on the lawn of Miller Library, weather permitting.

It is open to the public, and attendees who are not family members of graduates are asked to bring their own chairs. In the case of rain, tickets will be required for admission to the gymnasium in the Harold Alfond Athletic Center and there will be an overflow simulcast available in the field house.

Biden was elected U.S. senator from Delaware in 1972, at age 29, and earned re-election six times for a total of 36 years in the Senate. As chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Biden worked on criminal justice issues, championing the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act and the Violence Against Women Act. Through his work on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Biden is credited with reaching a peacekeeping agreement in the conflict in Bosnia in the early 1990s. His work on foreign relations continued following his election to the vice presidency.

As vice president from 2009 to 2017, Biden traveled more than 1.2 million miles visiting more than 50 countries. He carried an oversight role of President Barack Obama’s stimulus package in 2008 and worked on ongoing critical issues, including middle-class living standards, gun violence, violence against women, and the battle against cancer.

Since leaving office, Biden, along with his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, has turned his attention to the Biden Foundation, which aims to identify policies that advance the middle class, decrease economic inequality, and increase opportunity for all people. The foundation’s key areas of focus are foreign policy, cancer, community colleges and military families, protecting children, equality, ending violence against women, and strengthening the middle class. Vice President Biden also will lead the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement at the University of Pennsylvania and the Biden Institute at the University of Delaware.

Any notice of location change in the commencement plans will be posted at, as will the link to a live webcast for those unable to attend.