WATERVILLE — Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick will be the commencement speaker at Colby College’s graduation on May 25.

Patrick, a Harvard Law School graduate and first-generation college student, will deliver the commencement speech and receive an honorary degree, along with retiring Colby President William D. Adams.

The choice of Patrick, made last year, according to Colby College Vice President Sally Baker, had a lot to do with the college’s connection to Massachusetts.

“Last year while we were thinking about the 2014 commencement, we were having our bicentennial, and of course Colby College was part of Massachusetts when it was founded,” Baker said. “We felt … Gov. Patrick is such a great example of a first-generation college student who benefited from his education.”

Patrick was elected governor of Massachusetts in 2006 and won a second term in 2010.

Patrick, who’s originally from the South Side of Chicago, was awarded a scholarship to Milton Academy in Massachusetts through the Boston-based organization A Better Chance. After graduating from Harvard Law School, Patrick was a clerk for a federal judge, then had a career as an attorney and business executive, rising to senior executive spots at Texaco and Coca-Cola.

In 1994, Patrick was named assistant attorney general for civil rights by President Bill Clinton.

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