A poet, an actress, a governor and a journalist were among those receiving honorary degrees at two of Maine’s private colleges Sunday.

Bates College awarded bachelor’s degrees to 452 seniors at an outdoor ceremony at the Lewiston campus.

Colby College gave out 475 degrees to graduating seniors at an outdoor ceremony at the college’s Waterville campus.

The Bates commencement, its 148th, featured a speech by Isabel Alexis Wilkerson, a Pulitzer Prize winning author, whose book, “The Warmth of Other Suns,” chronicles the migration of black citizens out of the rural south to northern and western cities.

Wilkerson received an honorary degree along with actress Glenn Close, her husband IDEXX Laboratories founder David Shaw, and computer scientist John Seely Brown.

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick gave a speech at Colby’s 193rd commencement where he received an honorary degree along with poet Richard Blanco, Elizabeth Broun, the Margaret and Terry Stent Director of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, William Chace , former president of Emerson and Wesleyan universities, and Andrea Nix Fine, Class of 1991, an Oscar winning documentary filmmaker.

Colby President William D Adams, presiding at his 14th and final graduation, also received an honorary degree.

Colby’s graduating class includes 48 members of Phi Beta Kappa and three All-American athletes.

Beth Quimby can be reached at 791-6363 or at: [email protected]