It's been a minute since Bernie Sanders has visited Maine. The last time I remember him being in the state was while he was on the campaign trail for the 2020 Presidential election.

He spoke to a sold-out crowd at the State Theater in 2019.

The crowd for his upcoming visit to Southern Maine will be considerably larger this weekend. And it won't have to do with an upcoming election! It will, however, have to do with celebrating the culmination of years of work put in by over a thousand students at the University of New England.

<> on March 9, 2015 in Washington, DC.
Alex Wong

The third-term Senator has been invited to give the keynote speech at this year's 189th University of New England Commencement Ceremony, and will also receive an honorary Doctor of Laws from UNE, the University says.

"Senator Sanders holds a significant role in the American political arena," said UNE President James Herbert, who was invited by Sanders last February to testify before a U.S. Senate subcommittee about the healthcare workforce shortage. He commended Sanders as an unwavering supporter of broadening health care access, particularly for underserved communities, a cause with which UNE shares a deep commitment."

Graduation will take place at the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland and it will kick off at 10 AM. It's expected that the longest-serving Independent congress member will be on hand as more than 1,500 students receive their bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees in a variety of different health science fields including osteopathic and dental medicine, pharmacy, and natural and social sciences.

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