Sen. Susan Collins to give UMaine Commencement address

Sen. Susan Collins will be the Commencement speaker at the University of Maine May 12.

Maine’s senior United States senator will address both ceremonies of the 216th Commencement that begin at 9:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. in Alfond Sports Arena.

“It is our tremendous pleasure to have Sen. Collins as our Commencement speaker,” says UMaine President Susan J. Hunter. “She is one of the most influential voices in our nation today and a remarkable leader working tirelessly on behalf of Maine. Her support for the mission of the University of Maine has enabled the state’s land grant university to undertake important work with far-reaching implications in Maine and beyond.”

Collins was first elected to the U.S Senate in 1996. She ranks 14th in Senate seniority and is the most senior Republican woman. Collins chairs the Senate Aging Committee, and the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee. She also serves on the Intelligence Committee, and the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

Collins has earned a national reputation for working across party lines. In 2004, she co-authored landmark legislation overhauling the nation’s intelligence community, improving its effectiveness while protecting civil liberties. Collins was the lead Republican in the successful effort to repeal the military’s discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy in December 2010. She is the founder of the Common Sense Coalition, a bipartisan group of senators who wrote the framework of the plan that ended the 16-day government shutdown in October 2013, as well as the shutdown in February 2018.

For the last four consecutive years, Collins has ranked as the most bipartisan member of the U.S. Senate, and she recently received the inaugural Jacob Javits Prize for Bipartisan Leadership. Known for her Maine work ethic, Collins has never missed a roll call vote, casting more than 6,600.

A native of Caribou, Maine, Collins graduated Phi Beta Kappa from St. Lawrence University and joined the staff of then-Congressman and later Senator William Cohen. She was appointed director of the Small Business Administration’s regional office in Boston by President George H.W. Bush, and she was the founding executive director of the Center for Family Business at Husson University in Bangor, Maine.

UMaine awarded an honorary degree to Collins in 2011.

Contact: Margaret Nagle, 207.581.3745