Maine Governor Janet Mills to be the featured speaker at SMCC’s 2024 Commencement

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine — South Maine Community College (SMCC) is thrilled to announce that Maine Governor Janet Mills will serve as the distinguished commencement speaker at the 2024 graduation ceremony. SMCC’s commencement is scheduled to take place at the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland on Sunday, May 19, starting at 2 p.m.

As part of her remarks, Governor Janet Mills is expected to speak to the success of Maine’s Free College Scholarship program. The Free College Scholarship, a groundbreaking initiative proposed by Governor Mills and implemented under her leadership, has played a pivotal role in expanding access to higher education for students across the state.

“In just two short years, our tuition-free Community College initiative has empowered thousands of young people to earn a degree or a certificate and put them on the path to a good-paying job right here in Maine,” said Governor Janet Mills. “I look forward to celebrating this year’s SMCC graduating class and the bright futures that await them here in Maine.”

Since the Legislature enacted the Free College Scholarship program in early 2022, 11,543 Free College Scholarship-eligible students have enrolled, surpassing the Mills administration’s target of enrolling 8,000 students by the end of the 2023-24 academic year.

President Kristen Miller of SMCC expressed her excitement about Governor Mills’ participation in SMCC’s 2024 commencement. “We are honored to welcome Governor Janet Mills as our commencement speaker. Her commitment to education and advancing opportunities for Maine’s students through her support of Maine’s Free College Scholarship aligns perfectly with SMCC’s mission of transforming lives and communities through education and training while welcoming, preparing, and inspiring all to learn, succeed, and lead.”

Admission to commencement is free and tickets are not required. There is no limit to the number of guests who may attend. Doors open at noon.

There will be interpreters for the deaf and hard of hearing at the ceremony. Cross Insurance Arena has clearly marked seating available to accommodate graduates’ guests with disabilities. Should one of your guests require ADA seating, we recommend arriving early, as guest seating cannot be reserved.

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Southern Maine Community College (SMCC) is Maine’s largest and oldest community college. Founded in 1946, SMCC offers courses at its South Portland, Brunswick, and Online campuses and community satellite locations. SMCC has among the lowest tuition and fees in New England and offers more than 40 degree programs.