Press Release


Presidential Race Comes to Saint Mary’s College

Kathleen Kennedy Townsend to talk to students about Hillary Clinton

(Please note: the College does not endorse any political candidates)

Gwen O'Brien
Director of Media Relations
Saint Mary's College

April 18, 2008 (Notre Dame, Ind.)— Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, a supporter of Democratic presidential candidate Senator Hillary Clinton, is coming to Saint Mary's College on Sunday, April 20 to talk to with students. The Clinton Campaign requested the visit, and while the College does not endorse political candidates, Mrs. Townsend is a welcome visitor. This is an opportunity to expose Saint Mary’s College students to the political process in real time.

Mrs. Townsend, a Catholic, will attend Mass on campus and then proceed to the Student Center where political science students and College Democrats will host a “Conversation with Kathleen Kennedy Townsend.” The one-hour Q&A is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. Saint Mary’s College students, staff and faculty are invited, but the event is not open to the public. Media is invited to cover the event.

Clinton’s Campaign office said Mrs. Townsend was looking forward to students telling her about a forum on pay equity for women to be held at Saint Mary’s next Tuesday, April 22. Students with College’s Center for Women’s InterCultural Leadership are helping to put on the economic forum, along with about 20 community organizations. Students will also tell her about their community work, through the Office of Civic and Social Engagement, that led to Saint Mary’s College being named to the “President’s Higher Education Community Honor Roll with Distinction” in February.

Mrs. Townsend is the eldest of Robert F. Kennedy and Ethel Kennedy’s 11 children. Her father came to South Bend when he ran for president in 1968, the last time the Democratic nomination was as hotly contested this late in the primary season. Because of how close the race is between Clinton and Senator Barack Obama, Indiana’s primary on May 6 is nationally relevant.

Mrs. Townsend is an honors graduate of Harvard University, and holds a law degree from the University of New Mexico and practiced law for several years. Before being elected Maryland’s first woman lieutenant governor in 1995, an office she held until 2003, she served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the United States under President Bill Clinton. She ran in Maryland’s gubernatorial race in 2002, but lost.

Currently, Mrs. Townsend is the chairman of the Institute for Human Virology at the University of Maryland and serves on the boards of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, the Points of Light Foundation, National Catholic Reporter, and the Character Education Partnership, among others.

About Saint Mary’s College:
Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Ind., is a four-year, Catholic, women’s institution offering five bachelor’s degrees and more than 30 major areas of study. Saint Mary’s College has six nationally accredited academic programs: social work, art, music, teacher education, chemistry and nursing. Founded in 1844, Saint Mary’s is a pioneer in the education of women, and is sponsored by the Sisters of the Holy Cross. For more information about Saint Mary’s College, visit