They take two hours, cost participants tens of thousands of dollars and are remembered in detail by virtually no one, and this week, they begin around southern Maine.

College graduation season starts Friday, when the first batch of graduates will squirm in their polyester robes while honorary degree recipients, both famous and not-so-famous, regale them with life advice.

Colby College snagged by far the most recognizable speaker, drawing actor Robert Redford, who will also receive an honorary doctorate.

Other notables include the speaker for the University of Southern Maine, which will welcome Richard Blanco on Friday at the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland. Blanco, who splits his time between Bethel and Boston, rose to prominence when he was selected as the presidential inaugural poet at the second inauguration of President Obama in January 2013.

On the same day in Standish, Saint Joseph’s College will send its seniors into the world, but not before they hear a few words from a local heavyweight in the world of public health, Elizabeth McLellan, president and founder of Partners for World Health in South Portland.

In Bangor, Husson University will welcome NASA astronaut Christopher Cassidy, a graduate of York High School.

Anna Eleanor Roosevelt, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries of Northern New England, will deliver the keynote address at The University of New England’s commencement ceremony at the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland on Saturday, May 16 at 10 a.m. Roosevelt, the granddaughter of Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt and first lady Eleanor Roosevelt, joined Goodwill in 2011 and has been active in the fields of philanthropy, public policy, politics, the arts and higher education.

The 80 graduates of Maine Law will hear from former U.S. Rep. Tom Allen at its commencement at the swank Merrill Auditorium. Allen represented Maine’s 1st District from 1997 to 2009, and now leads the Association of American Publishers.

Other schools are also tapping local pols, both state and federal.

Maine House Speaker Mark Eves, D-North Berwick, will give the address at York County Community College. U.S. Sen. Angus King will speak before Kennebec Valley Community College students.

Local notable Joan Benoit Samuelson, Olympic gold medalist and champion distance runner, will speak at the University of Farmington.

Bates College in Lewiston, meanwhile, has written its own equation for commencement success, bringing Princeton mathematician Manjul Bhargava to address the class of 2015 at its May 31 ceremony.

Bhargava was the 2014 recipient of the Fields Medal, the highest award in mathematics. At 40, he is among the youngest full professors in Princeton history.

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