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Senator Kennedy and the War in Iraq

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Date and time
Friday, February 04, 2005

Edward M. Kennedy tells an audience of 400 people at the University of Massachusetts, Boston that the US must begin to demonstrate to the Iraqi people that the military mission is one of liberation, not occupation. Kennedy has avidly opposed the Bush administration's policy on the war in Iraq since September 2002, when the administration began planning to go to war. He has been a staunch advocate of pulling troops of out Iraq. Kennedy argues that US actions have only served to reinforce the perception among Iraqis that the US does not intend to relinquish its control of the country. Those perceptions will only restrain the development of democratic institutions in the beleaguered nation, he claims.

Edward M. Kennedy was the third longest-serving member of the United States Senate in American history. Voters of Massachusetts elected him to the Senate nine times: a record matched by only one other Senator. The scholar Thomas Mann said his time in the Senate was "an amazing and endurable presence. You want to go back to the 19th century to find parallels, but you won't find parallels." President Barak Obama has described his breathtaking span of accomplishment: "For five decades, virtually every major piece of legislation to advance the civil rights, health, and economic well being of the American people bore his name and resulted from his efforts." He fought for and won battles on voting rights, education, immigration reform, the minimum wage, national service, the nation's first major legislation to combat AIDS, and equality for minorities, women, the disabled and gay Americans. He called health care "the cause of my life", and succeeded in bringing quality and affordable health care for countless Americans, including children, seniors and Americans with disabilities. Until the end he was working tirelessly to achieve historic national health reform. He was an opponent of the Vietnam War and an early champion of the war's refugees. He was a powerful yet lonely voice from the beginning against the invasion of Iraq. He stood for human rights abroad (from Chile to the former Soviet Union) and was a leader in the cause of poverty relief for the poorest nations of Africa and the world. He believed in a strong national defense and he also unceasingly pursued and advanced the work of nuclear arms control. He was considered the conscience of his party, and also the Senate's master of forging compromise with the other party. Known as the 'Lion of the Senate', Senator Kennedy was widely respected on both sides of the aisle for his commitment to progress and his ability to legislate. Senator Kennedy was Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. Previously he was Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and served on that committee for many years. He also served on the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Congressional Joint Economic Committee. He was a leader of the Congressional Friends of Ireland and helped lead the way toward peace on that island. He was a graduate of Harvard University and the University of Virginia Law School. He lived in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts, with his wife Vicki. He is survived by her and their five children Kara, Edward Jr., and Patrick Kennedy, and Curran and Caroline Raclin, and his sister Jean Kennedy Smith
Jack M. Wilson is the 25th President of the five-campus, 60,000-student University of Massachusetts System- serving since September 2, 2003. During his career, he has served various institutions as Professor of Physics, Department Chair, Research Center Director, Dean, Vice President, Provost, and a private sector entrepreneur. At the University of Massachusetts, he served previously as the Vice President for Academic Affairs and as founding CEO of UMassOnline. Prior to arriving at UMass, Wilson was the J. Erik Jonsson '22 Distinguished Professor of Physics, Engineering Science, Information Technology, and Management at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where he also had served as a Dean, Research Center Director, and Provost. Before being appointed at Rensselaer, he served at the University of Maryland, College Park and as an officer of the American Association of Physics Teachers, the American Institute of Physics, and the American Physical Society. Wilson is nationally and internationally known for his leadership in the reform of higher education programs, winning the Theodore Hesburgh Award, the Boeing Award, and the Pew Charitable Trust Prize for his innovative programs. He was awarded an Outstanding Civilian Service Medal by the U.S. Army for service to the Army Education program. Wilson earned his bachelor's degree at Thiel College in 1967, his master's degree in 1970 and his doctorate in 1972 in Physics, both from Kent State University.
Keith Motley, Ph.D., is the eighth chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Boston. He leads an institution with approximately 13,500 undergraduate and graduate students, a full-time and part-time faculty of more than 800, and a $254 million annual budget. Between 2005 and his appointment as chancellor which began on July 1, 2007, Dr. Motley served as vice president for business, marketing, and public affairs at the University of Massachusetts President's Office, where he reported directly to President Jack M. Wilson, working closely with university leaders and the Board of Trustees. Prior to joining the President's Office, he was the interim chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Boston, where he previously had served as vice chancellor for student affairs, following a twenty-plus-year career in higher education administration that included ten years as dean of student services at Northeastern University. As vice president for business, marketing, and public affairs at the University of Massachusetts President's Office, Dr. Motley was instrumental in leading strategic, system-wide initiatives and working closely with the Board of Trustees committees on advancement and athletics. He instituted the Development Council, comprised of vice chancellors from the five University of Massachusetts campuses, to improve collaboration on fundraising and facilitate that process. He also led an executive team of representatives that determined the selection of marketing firms that will provide the University of Massachusetts with a unified and updated branding strategy. Dr. Motley's responsibilities in the President's Office also included building external relationships with K-12 specialists and higher education policy leaders, locally and federally; creating relationships with corporations; and working with functional networks such as associations. He was the designee to the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education Blue Ribbon Task Force on Student Financial Aid and the American Council on Education (ACE) Solutions for the Future Project. Dr. Motley also served on the Boston Foundation's Steering Committee for the Carol G. Goldberg Seminar on Higher Education-Community Partnerships, The Role and Impact of Colleges and Universities in Greater Boston Today. A founder of the Roxbury Preparatory Charter School and chair emeritus of the school's Board of Trustees, Dr. Motley serves as the immediate past chair of the Board of Trustees of Newbury College in Brookline. He also serves on numerous boards of community organizations, including the American Red Cross of Eastern Massachusetts, Freedom House, Morgan Memorial Goodwill Industries, Inc., the United Way of Massachusetts Bay, ACCESS, the Boston Private Industry Council and the Dimock Community Health Center. He is the founder and education chair of Concerned Black Men of Massachusetts, Inc., and the Paul Robeson Institute for Positive Self-Development. Dr. Motley also chairs the Boston Committee Initiative's Do the Write Thing Challenge of the National Campaign to Stop Violence. He is a member of Iota Phi Theta fraternity and Sigma Pi Phi fraternity Beta Beta Boule. J. Keith Motley holds bachelor's and master's degrees from Northeastern University and a doctorate from Boston College. He is a proud graduate of the University of Pittsburgh's Upward Bound Program. He is married to Angela Motley and is the father of Keith Jr., Kayla, and Jordan.