Promising to bring a prominent world leader each year to speak on international affairs, the series, under the auspices of Colby's Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement, creates a forum to engage the Waterville community while honoring former U.S. Senator, statesman, international negotiator, and Waterville native George Mitchell.
An internationally known decision maker, frequently one who is in the country for the annual United Nations General Assembly meeting, will give the lecture each September. "We expect these lecturers to be people whose names you will recognize from the headlines," said Goldfarb Center Co-director L. Sandy Maisel.
The annual event will include a convocation for the awarding of an honorary degree to the lecturer, comparable to Colby's annual Lovejoy Convocation, associated with the journalism award, and to the Brody Convocation, associated with the College's Morton Brody judicial award.
The series was launched by generous contributions from Mitchell family members and friends of the senator who were eager to bring a high-profile event to the Waterville area. They include Paul Mitchell, the senator's brother and a lifelong businessman in Waterville; his son Bill Mitchell, also a Waterville businessman and the senator's nephew; and three of Senator Mitchell's cousins, Bob Baldacci, a Portland consultant and brother of Maine's governor, and Waterville attorneys John and Mark Nale.