*click to enlarge image (opens in new window)
Senator Mitch McConnell graduated with honors from the University of Louisville in1964 with a major in political science and served as President of Student Body. In 1967, he graduated from the University of Kentucky College Of Law, where he was elected President of the Student Bar Association. He gained experience on Capitol Hill as an Intern for Senator John Sherman Cooper before serving as Chief Legislative Assistant to Senator Marlow Cook and Deputy Assistant Attorney General under President Gerald R. Ford.
He served as Jefferson County Judge-Executive from 1978 until he was sworn in to the U.S. Senate in January 1985. On June 27, 2005, he became the longest-serving Republican Senator from Kentucky, breaking a record previously held by Senator John Sherman Cooper.
In November 2006, Senator McConnell was unanimously elected Republican Leader for the 110th Congress by his Republican colleagues. Senator McConnell is the 15th Republican Leader and only the second Kentuckian to serve as the leader of his party. Prior to becoming Leader, Senator McConnell served as the Majority Whip for the 108th and 109th Congresses. During the 1998 and 2000 election cycles, Senator McConnell served as Chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. Senator McConnell currently serves as a senior member of the Senate’s Appropriations, Agriculture, and Rules committees.
In 1991, the McConnell Center for Political Leadership was established at UofL by Senator McConnell and the University as an endowed center dedicated to providing a non-partisan, well-rounded education that encourages top undergraduates to become valued citizens and future leaders. The Center offers scholarships to 10 high school seniors from Kentucky each year. As part of the McConnell Scholars program, Senator McConnell has brought nationally recognized leaders to UofL’s campus for presentations that are open to the University community and the public. The speakers have included two presidents, four Secretaries of State and a Supreme Court Justice.