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EMCC announces Senator Susan Collins as 2016 Commencement Speaker

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BANGORSenator Susan Collins will serve as Eastern Maine Community College's Commencement Speaker for the graduating class of 2016.

The 49th Annual Commencement will take placeFriday, May 13, at6:00 p.m.at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor.

'Senator Collins shares EMCC's passion for invigorating Maine's workforce and economy, and enhancing the quality of life for Maine people,' said EMCC Interim President Joseph Cassidy. 'She has been a resilient advocate for Maine's community colleges. I can think of no one better to serve as Commencement Speaker during our 50thanniversary year.'

EMCC was founded in 1966 as Eastern Maine Vocational Technical Institute, originally serving just sixty students. Now in its 50th year of operation, the college enrolls over 2,700 students each year in over 30 one and two-year academic programs.

Senator Collins toured EMCC in April of last year and met with a dozen students training for new careers after having been laid off from the Verso Paper Mill in Bucksport.

'I am thrilled that this year's graduating class will receive their send-off from Senator Collins,' said Academic Dean Liz Russell. 'Her actions here in Maine and in Washington show how deeply she cares for our students, and I know they will benefit a great deal from what the Senator imparts in her commencement address.'

First elected in 1996, Senator Collins has earned a national reputation for working across party lines to seek consensus on our nation's most important issues. For the last three years in a row, Senator Collins has been ranked as the most bipartisan member of the U.S. Senate by the Lugar Center and Georgetown University.

Senator Collins is recognized as a skillful legislator, which is one reason why Ellemagazine named her one of the most powerful women in Washington. Her record demonstrates significant legislative accomplishments in such critical areas as homeland security, national defense, disaster response, education, business development, health care, and issues of particular interest to our nation's seniors.

In the U.S. Senate, Senator Collins has been a tireless advocate for education and has consistently supported efforts to help make post-secondary education more accessible and affordable for all families, regardless of income. As a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, Senator Collins continues to lead efforts to increase funding for Pell Grants and the federal TRIO programs. Having worked at Husson University in Bangor, Senator Collins saw first-hand how critical these programs are for hardworking families across the country.

Senator Collins is not only an effective and tireless advocate for Maine, she is a proven leader who is respected by colleagues on both sides of the aisle.She is also recognized as one of the hardest working members of Congress.During her entire time in the U.S. Senate, she has never missed a roll-call vote, casting more than 6,000 consecutive votesand counting.

Eastern Maine Community College is a two-year college that provides the highest quality post-secondary technical, career and transfer education and serves as a dynamic community and economic development resource. In addition to its Bangor campus, the college has three off-campus higher education centers in Dover-Foxcroft, Ellsworth, and East Millinocket.

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