PORTLAND — Former U.S. Senator George Mitchell will be the guest of the University of Southern Maine next Thursday during a speaking engagement at the school’s Abromson Center in Portland.

Mitchell’s presentation, which will begin at 4 p.m., is part of a eight-week long series titled, “Politics Then and Now, in Maine and the Nation.”

The series will try to bring the state’s top political minds together to explore questions regarding how politics have changed and why and what it will take to get the government back on course.

Mitchell, of Maine, served in the U.S. Senate from 1980 to 1995 and as Senate Majority leader from 1989 to 1995.

Following his Senate career, Mitchell served as a special envoy to Northern Ireland and as a peace envoy to the Middle East.

Future series speakers will include: U.S. Sen. Angus King, former U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe, former U.S. Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts and former Maine Gov. Kenneth Curtis.

The series is being hosted by the Muskie School of Public Service and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, both at USM.