U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, meets with Husson University valedictorian Olivia Louise Williams Saturday. Husson was among the Maine universities holding commencement ceremonies Saturday. Credit: Photo courtesy of Sen. Susan Collins' office

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Elizabeth Strout told graduates at the University of Maine at Farmington Saturday that she once got in the wrong car at a rest stop, much to the surprise of the stranger in the driver’s seat.

“Meanwhile, next to this blue car, in their own blue car, my mother and brother were gesturing to me frantically, and so I got out, after apologizing, and on we came to Farmington,” she recalled.

That was on her way to the university about 10 years ago to meet with students.

“What you should take away from this is: If you goof up, just say you’re sorry and move on,” she said.

Strout was among several speakers to address college and university graduates around Maine Saturday. Others included Gov. Janet Mills at the University of Southern Maine, retired U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Travis Mills at Unity College, television personality Bill Green at Eastern Maine Community College and NASA scientist Bridget Ziegelaar at the University of Maine.

At Husson University in Bangor, U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, told graduates their education there “will deliver real value for you your entire life — it will be the gift that keeps on giving.”

“Husson truly is unusual in its dedication to preparing its students for successful professional careers and to be lifelong learners. It is a quality I saw every day during my time here at the Center for Family Business,” she said.  “I hope the next phase of your life keeps you in Maine, but wherever you may be, you can help to restore the sense of community that our nation needs to revive.”


Seth Koenig

Seth has nearly a decade of professional journalism experience and writes about the greater Portland region.