Former Maine Senator George Mitchell will deliver the keynote address at the University of Southern Maine’s 2016 commencement ceremony.

The university’s commencement will take place at 9 a.m. on May 14 at the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland.

“USM is honored to have one of our country’s most respected statesmen speak at our 2016 commencement,” USM President Glenn Cummings said in a statement posted Tuesday on USM’s website. “George Mitchell’s extraordinary service as a U.S. senator and a diplomat has always made Mainers proud. And his work to help young Mainers achieve a college education has created an unmatched legacy.”

A native of Waterville, Mitchell served as a U.S. attorney and federal judge before accepting a 1980 appointment to succeed Edmund Muskie in the U.S. Senate, serving there until 1995.

He spent the final six years in the Senate as its majority leader while introducing a variety of bills on issues ranging from child care and clean air to low income housing and the landmark passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

In 1995, Mitchell served as a special adviser to President Clinton on Ireland. From 1996 to 2000 he served as the Independent Chairman of the Northern Ireland Peace Talks. Under his leadership, the historic Good Friday agreement, which ended decades of conflict, was agreed to by the governments of Ireland, the United Kingdom, and the political parties of Northern Ireland.

In 2006 and 2007, Mitchell led the investigation into the use of performance-enhancing drugs in Major League Baseball. In 2009, he served for two years as the United States special envoy for the Middle East.

And in 1995, he created the Mitchell Scholarship program to help Maine students pay for college. The program has helped 126 Maine students receive a USM degree.