College graduation season began in earnest Saturday as both Maine Maritime Academy and Husson University held ceremonies under overcast skies.

At Maine Maritime Academy, Sen. Susan Collins gave the commencement address, which touched on the long and important history the Castine school has had in areas ranging from navigation to construction and shipping. Collins, who holds an honorary degree from Maine Maritime herself, focused her prepared remarks on the institution’s positive impacts and mentioned politics only in passing as a reassurance. “Earlier this week, I had a great conversation with Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, who is keenly aware of the challenges facing state maritime academies regarding your training vessels.”

College students across the state are preparing to graduate in the next several weekends. In southern Maine, the college graduation season will get into full gear next weekend with May 13 commencement ceremonies at the University of Southern Maine, Saint Joseph’s College and the Maine College of Art, among others.

Colby College graduation, which will feature former Vice President Joe Biden as its speaker, is set for May 21. Bowdoin and Bates colleges will hold their commencements the next weekend.