A tribute to Senator Edward M. Kennedy

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Senator Kennedy 

 “The practice of medicine in America is not now - and must never be - a profession only for the privileged.”
- Senator Edward M. Kennedy, UMass Medical School’s ninth commencement, June 5, 1982

Today we mourn the loss of one of our nation’s great leaders. The words he spoke remind us of Senator Kennedy’s tireless and passionate support for universal access to medical school education and health care. It was his fundamental belief in quality health care for every citizen that led him to champion federal funding for the first UMass Medical School building in 1968.

Senator Kennedy was a champion for so much more than bricks and mortar. He was a champion for students, waging a sustained effort to increase financial aid levels so that educational opportunities could be made available to all students, not just a select few; he was a champion of scientific and medical research, believing steadfastly that only through innovation and inquiry could the promises of the future be realized; and, he was a champion for each and every one of us, dedicating his life in service to advancing our health, safety and security.

Today, the University of Massachusetts Medical School has lost a great advocate and dear friend. His legacy, however, will live on as we continue our commitment to education, research and patient care.

We extend our sincerest condolences to the Kennedy family.


Chancellor Michael F. Collins, on behalf of the UMass Medical School community