Victoria Kennedy, attorney, advocate and the wife of the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy, will be the keynote speaker at Berkshire Community College's 52nd Commencement Exercises.
Kennedy practiced law in the private sector for nearly two decades, with emphasis on federal and state regulation of domestic commercial banks and savings and loan institutions. She has also served in key strategic and political roles on issues ranging from health and education to labor, especially as those issues affect women and children, and she advocates for involvement in the political process. Kennedy co-founded Common Sense about Kids and Guns, a non-profit, non-partisan organization that works to reduce gun deaths and injuries to children in the United States, and is a past trustee of several gun violence prevention organizations. She was a powerful advocate for the enactment of health care reform, which her late husband Senator Edward M. Kennedy called the "cause of his life."
"On behalf of the college I am so pleased that Victoria Kennedy accepted our invitation to be the featured speaker at our 52nd commencement." said Ellen Kennedy, Interim President. "Mrs. Kennedy has spent a lifetime raising awareness of issues that affect the lives of women, children and families, including advocating for education and healthcare."
Kennedy is the co-founder and a trustee of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate in Boston which is being built on the campus of UMass Boston, adjacent to the John F. Kennedy Library. The goal of the institute is to invigorate public discourse, encourage participatory democracy and inspire the next generation of citizens and leaders.
Mrs. Kennedy received a JD, summa cum laude, from Tulane University School of Law, in New Orleans, where she ranked second in the class and was elected to the Order of the Coif. She was a member of the Board of Editors and the Notes Editor of the Tulane Law Review. She earned a BA in English, magna cum laude, from Newcomb College at Tulane University and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. Mrs. Kennedy divides her time between Boston and Washington, D.C.
BCC's 52nd Commencement will be held Friday afternoon, June 1, beginning at 4:30 PM at Tanglewood in Lenox.