About the Institute
BOSTON (December 14, 2021) – The Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United State Senate was proud to be the site selected by Victoria Reggie Kennedy for her swearing in as the United States Ambassador to Austria. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer administered her Oath of Office at the Institute on November 16, 2021.
In explaining why she selected the full-scale replica of the U.S. Senate Chamber at the Institute as the place to be sworn in as Ambassador to Austria, Ambassador Kennedy said: “Issues of war and peace, civil rights, human rights, environmental rights, workers’ rights, women’s rights, the Marshall Plan, NATO and its alliances and partnerships, trade, nuclear nonproliferation – all of these were negotiated and wrestled with in the Senate Chamber as part of the work of diplomacy.”
Ambassador Kennedy added: “I also wanted to sign my ambassadorial papers on the replica of Teddy’s desk, in the spot where he sat for nearly 47 years. Every day, I cherish all that Ted Kennedy gave to the country and the difference he made, not just here, but around the globe.”
Ambassador Kennedy’s new position requires her to relinquish her position as a member of the Kennedy Institute Board of Directors. Bruce A. Percelay, chairman of the board of the Kennedy Institute, said: “It is impossible for any of us who serve with Vicki to imagine the Institute having come to life, and becoming such an internationally respected organization, without Vicki’s years of passionate advocacy and tireless work. As she takes on this important new role representing our country in the Republic of Austria, we’re pleased to honor her critical role in creating and leading the Institute by naming her President Emerita.”
Ambassador Kennedy said: “My heart and soul will forever be a part of this Institute. I am confident, however, that under the outstanding leadership of Board Chair Bruce Percelay and the dedicated, engaged members of the Board of the Kennedy Institute, it will continue to advance my late husband’s vision in new and exciting ways. Not only is the Board dedicated to showcasing the Institute as the place to learn through experience about the Senate’s important role in our system of government, but they also have creative plans to engage the public in new ways with the aim of preserving the vibrancy of our democracy for generations to come.
The Institute is housed in a 68,000-square foot building, designed by acclaimed architect Rafael Viñoly, on Columbia Point next to the University of Massachusetts Boston. The centerpiece of the Institute is a full-scale replica of the United States Senate Chamber in which the Institute offers civics education programs for students from kindergarten through 12th grade, college and graduate students, as well as a broad range of public programs and events.
About the Edward M. Kennedy Institute The Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate is dedicated to educating the public about the important role of the Senate in our government, encouraging participatory democracy, invigorating civil discourse, and inspiring the next generation of citizens and leaders to engage in the civic life of their communities. Learn more via www.emkinstitute.org.
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