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Colby College will inaugurate the George J. Mitchell Distinguished Lecture Series on Thursday, September 22, at 7:30 p.m. in Page Commons Room, Cotter Union, on the Waterville campus. Mitchell himself will give the lecture titled “America’s Role in the World in the 21st Century.” Members of the community are encouraged to attend.

The new lecture series, under the auspices of Colby’s Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement, promises to bring a prominent world leader to Waterville each year to give a speech on international affairs. It creates a forum to engage the Waterville community while honoring former U.S. Senator, statesman, and international negotiator George J. Mitchell.

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. John Nale, a Waterville attorney and one of the organizers, said the idea began with the question “What can we do for our city?” “What we’re trying to accomplish through this is a cooperative effort between Waterville, Senator Mitchell, and Colby,” he said.

The lecture series, announced by Goldfarb Center Director L. Sandy Maisel, will be held in early September each year and will bring to Colby an internationally known decision maker, frequently one who is in the country for the annual United Nations General Assembly meeting. “We expect these lecturers to be people whose names you will recognize from the headlines,” Maisel said.

Mitchell specified that the program be connected with Colby, and he has agreed to help plan the lectures and to attend them, staying actively involved in the program as long as he is able, Maisel said.

The organizers of the initiative to launch this event 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.
Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement