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Victoria Kennedy Describes Legacy of Sen. Edward Kennedy, Introduces New Institute

March 28, 2014

Victoria Reggie Kennedy, wife of the late US Senator Edward M. Kennedy, described her husband's approach to politics, including his desire to work collaboratively, as part of his legacy during a recent visit to Lasell College.

Kennedy, who spoke to the Lasell community Thursday March 27, talked to the group about the differences between the U.S. Senate when her husband served, for 47 years, and today's political climate.

"He knew he didn't have all the answers so he listened. I think that's a quality that is missing right now in Washington," said Kennedy.

She went on to describe that he would be inspired by ordinary citizens to look closer at an issue, whether politics in Northern Ireland or nuclear proliferation.

Kennedy also described Senator Kennedy as a person who always believed he could come to agreement on important issues facing the country.

"He learned to work with people who thought differently than him, he always felt he could find common ground," she said.

Years before his death in 2009, Senator Kennedy began discussing his legacy with his family and how he wanted to be remembered. From those discussions emerged the idea for the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the U.S. Senate, which is scheduled to open later this year on the University of Massachusetts- Boston campus near the JFK Presidential Library.

Kennedy, who is the Institute's co-founder and president of the board, said her husband wanted the Institute to celebrate the importance of public service and the important work done by the U.S. Senate.

To that end, the Institute will feature a representation of the senator chambers complete with hearing rooms where visitors and students can experience the process of legislating, debate and compromising with others to turn legislation into law.

"He wanted to inspire another generation to public service," Kennedy said.

For more information about the institute, visit


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