Commencement Speaker: U.S. Senator Susan Collins
Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) has earned a national reputation as an effective legislator who works across party lines to seek consensus on our nation’s most important issues. She is 15th in Senate seniority, is the most senior Republican woman, and is widely considered one of the most powerful members of the Senate. For the past four consecutive years, she has ranked as the most bipartisan senator. Senator Collins chairs the Senate Aging Committee and the Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee, and she serves on the Intelligence Committee as well as the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.
Baccalaureate Speaker: Theaster Gates
Theaster Gates is an internationally acclaimed artist whose work has been shown at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Whitney Biennial, and the National Gallery of Art. He is founder and director of the Rebuild Foundation, a nonprofit organization focused on culturally driven redevelopment and affordable space initiatives in under-resourced communities. A member of the faculty at University of Chicago, Gates works with the Harris School of Public Policy on issues related to creative development. He was the first artist in residence at Colby’s Lunder Institute for American Art, in fall 2017.
Honorand: Rebecca Corbett ’74, P’09
Rebecca Corbett ’74, P’09 was senior enterprise editor at the New York Times before being named assistant managing editor in 2013. She is known for editing some of the paper’s hardest-hitting stories, most recently demonstrated through breaking the Harvey Weinstein sexual harassment story. Corbett is a former trustee of Colby College and a former member of the selection committee for Colby’s Elijah Parish Lovejoy Award for courageous journalism. Prior to joining the Times, she was an editor at the Baltimore Sun.
Honorand: Gregory W. Powell P’15
Gregory W. Powell P’15 is executive chairman of Dexter Enterprises, Inc., a wealth management firm, and chairman of the Harold Alfond Foundation, the largest charitable foundation in Maine. Under Powell’s strategic leadership, the Harold Alfond Foundation has funded many initiatives to ensure the strength of Maine’s families, communities, and institutions, including programs to support the creation of education savings accounts for all children born in Maine, loan forgiveness for graduates of STEM fields working in the state, and access to high-quality health care for Maine’s people. Powell is a native of Waterville, Maine.