PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Former U.S. Sen. and Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen told graduates at the University of Maine School of Law commencement to never sacrifice their integrity.

Cohen, the keynote speaker, was regretful of the increased national political rhetoric inciting hate and violence. He told the audience they were obligated to call attention to the people engaged in such rhetoric.

Eighty-two students received law degrees at Saturday’s ceremony at Merrill Auditorium in Portland.

Cohen was Secretary of State from 1997 to 2001. He was a U.S. senator from 1979 to 1997.

He is now chairman and chief executive officer of the Cohen Group in Washington, D.C.

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