On August 25, 2009, Senator Edward M. Kennedy passed away at his home in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts due to complications from a brain tumor. Widely regarded as the "Lion of the Senate," Senator Kennedy served in the Senate for nearly 47 years and was the third-longest-serving senator of all time at the time of his death. Particularly skilled in bipartisanship, Senator Kennedy was instrumental in passing over 300 bills that would eventually be enacted into law.

During his long political career, Senator Kennedy had been a strong advocate for education reform, health care, and civil rights, and he served as Chairman
of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee. Northeastern University President Joseph Aoun spoke of the loss for both the university and for the nation: “Sen. Kennedy was an unwavering ally of higher education in general and Northeastern in particular. He spoke on our campus many times throughout his remarkable career—both to impart his wisdom to our graduates and to engage our community in important public policy debates." 1

During his lifetime, Senator Kennedy and his wife Victoria Reggie Kennedy collaborated with Ed Schlossberg of ESI Design to create an institute in which future generations could learn about the history and the significance of the U.S. Senate. After the Senator's death, it was determined that the Institute would be built on Columbia Point in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston, next door to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. Groundbreaking for the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate began in April 2011, and the Institute officially opened in March of 2015. The Institute features a full-scale reproduction of the US Senate Chamber, interactive digital exhibits, three classrooms, and a full-scale replica of Senator Kennedy's office in Washington, D.C., including his valued mementos. The Institute's mission is to carry on Senator Kennedy's legacy for civic engagement, participatory democracy, and compassion for others.

President Ryder stands with honorary degree recipients and speaker Senator Ted Kennedy at commencement
Jet Commercial Photographers (Boston, Mass.)
Senator Edward Kennedy speaks into microphones at a hearing on proposed cuts in student financial aid
Bill Clinton being hooded by Senator Ted Kennedy