Bates Graduates Wonder Why Barbara Bush Is Speaking When The Program Says Robert DeNiro

LEWISTON — Nearly 500 eager graduates gathered at Bates College on Sunday morning under beautiful blue skies to be sent off into the future by an eclectic and entertaining trio of speakers at the private liberal arts college’s 146th commencement. Thousands of family, friends and loved ones lined the school’s historic quad and cheered as the Class of 2012, representing 33 states and 31 countries, made its way down the center aisle. Featured speakers included leading molecular biologist Bonnie Bassler, actor Robert De Niro and PBS “NewsHour” senior correspondent Gwen Ifill. The three also received honorary doctorates from the college. But it was the Oscar-winning De Niro who stole the spotlight, joking with graduates one minute, poking fun at himself and Bates at other times and ultimately settling into the serious demeanor he’s best known for as an actor. (read more at LewistonSunJournal)