Date: March 10, 1999
Contact: Alicia MacLeay
George J. Mitchell, former majority leader of the U.S. Senate, peace broker for Northern Ireland and current chair of the United States Olympic Committee's Special Commission, will be the commencement speaker at Colby College in Maine on May 23, President William R. Cotter announced today. Mitchell is special counsel to the law firm of Verner, Liipfert, Bernhard, McPherson and Hand in Washington, D.C.
Mitchell received his undergraduate degree from Bowdoin College and his law degree from Georgetown University Law Center. He was a trial lawyer in the Justice Department in Washington, D.C. and then served as executive assistant to Senator Edmund Muskie. Mitchell was appointed to the Senate in 1980 after Muskie resigned to become Secretary of State. In 1982 he was elected to a full Senate term and went on to a career spanning 14 years. For six consecutive years he was voted the most respected member of the Senate. While in the Senate Mitchell served on the finance, veterans affairs, and environment and public works committees. He led the successful 1990 reauthorization of the Clean Air Act, which included new controls on acid rain toxins, and he is the author of the first national oil-spill-prevention and clean-up law.
Mitchell received an honorary doctor of laws degree from Colby in 1983. At commencement honorary degrees will be presented to CNN's prime anchor and senior correspondent Judy Woodruff; Al Hunt, the executive Washington editor of The Wall Street Journal and a Capital Gang panelist on CNN; outgoing chair of Colby's Board of Trustees Larry Pugh '56 and his wife, Jean (Van Curan) Pugh '55; Maine's independent governor Angus King; and genetic cancer-research pioneer Patricia (Davis) Murphy '68.