Officials dedicate archives at UofL
University officials and guests were joined U.S. Senator John McCain at the ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrating the opening of the U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell and Secretary Elaine L. Chao Archives and related civic education gallery.
"The university is proud of its continuing association with Senator McConnell and Secretary Chao," said James Ramsey, president of the university. "They have been model alumni and civil servants and the new archive facility will allow us to use their experiences to teach new generations of citizens and leaders of this commonwealth we all love."
The archives will house the personal papers and professional records generated during the lives and careers of McConnell and Chao, two Kentuckians who have dedicated their lives to public service.
During the dedication ceremony, Chao shared the story of her family's immigration to America from Taiwan and recalled how the "American dream" helped motivate her to public office.
"These stories are told with the hope that they give hope and inspiration to those who live in this wonderful land that allows anyone of any background who is willing to work hard, dream, and never give up to realize the American dream," Chao said. "We hope the archives will remind visitors and future leaders of our Commonwealth of the unique country we live in and how lucky we are to live in a land of freedom and opportunity."
Though the collection papers from Sen. McConnell and Sec. Chao will take years to process and be made available, the archives contains a civic education gallery open to the public during the regular business hours of Ekstrom Library. Built around the couple's careers, the facility offers cutting-edge interactive materials and personal artifacts designed to educate visitors about American government, history and politics. The facility also features two national award-winning films about Chao's rise from immigrant to member of President George W. Bush's cabinet and McConnell's brief overview of American history and the work of the U.S. Senate. Guided tours of the civic education gallery are available upon request.