WATERVILLE — U.S. Sen. Susan Collins will speak Thursday night about why moderation and bipartisanship lead to progress at the 2015 George J. Mitchell International Lecture Series at Colby College.

Mitchell will be the special guest at the 7 p.m. event, which is being hosted by the Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement and held in Ostrove Auditorium in the Diamond Building on campus.

Collins, a Republican and Caribou native who is serving her fourth term in the U.S. Senate, received an honorary degree from Colby in September at the inauguration of the college’s new president, David A. Greene.

A spokeswoman from Collins’ Washington, D.C., office said Monday that her speech is still being finalized.

The public is invited to attend the lecture series, developed several years ago by Mitchell family members including Mitchell’s brother, Paul, of Waterville, and Paul’s son, Bill, as well as cousins Robert Baldacci and John and Mark Nale. The Nale brothers are partners in a Waterville law firm.

“We spearheaded the effort six or eight years ago to have something positive and good happening in the community and have it open to the public in Waterville,” John Nale said of the lecture series. “All are invited.”

The event brings a prominent foreign policy leader to Colby each year to help foster interaction with students, faculty and members of the greater Waterville community, while at the same time honoring Mitchell, a Waterville native and former judge and U.S. senator who served as Senate majority leader from 1989 to 1995.

Mitchell was U.S. special envoy to Northern Ireland from 1995 to 2001 and U.S. envoy to the Middle East from 2009 to 2011. A mediator and peacemaker, Mitchell negotiated peace in Northern Ireland in the late 1900s.

He has often said the accomplishment of which he is most proud is establishing the Mitchell Institute, which every year gives a scholarship to a graduating senior from every public high school in Maine, awarding $8,000 in financial support over four years and offering professional and personal support programs.

Former speakers at the annual Mitchell Lecture include former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, former U.S. senators Tom Daschle, D-South Dakota, and Alan Simpson, R-Wyoming, and Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland and former United Nations high commissioner of human rights.

Amy Calder — 861-9247

[email protected]

Twitter: @AmyCalder17


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