Senator George Mitchell ’54, H’83 delivered the keynote address amid a celebration commemorating 50 years of Upward Bound at Bowdoin College. Sen. Mitchell’s remarks follow those by President Clayton Rose and Upward Bound Director Bridget Mullen, delivered in Pickard Theater, Memorial Hall, September 16, 2015.

Mitchell has long been committed to college access for all students, and has paid particular attention to his home state of Maine, even while serving in national and international roles. While serving in the U.S. Senate, Mitchell was a champion of Upward Bound/TRIO, ensuring that annual appropriations and federal support remained robust. His own Portland-based Mitchell Institute continues to support hundreds of underrepresented Maine students each year.

The national Upward Bound/TRIO program was created by President Johnson in 1965 to address barriers to higher education that confront low-income students as part of the War on Poverty. In 1966 Bowdoin created the first Upward Bound program in Maine, putting the College among the lead institutions to sign on to this national effort. More than 2,000 students from some of the state’s most impoverished communities have been served by Bowdoin College’s Upward Bound program since its inception. Nearly all are the first in their family to attend college.