2016 Press Releases

UCC connection to the US presidential race

27 Jul 2016
Pictured (l-r): UCC President Dr Michael Murphy presented Senator Tim Kaine with bog oak on behalf of the University, during his visit to campus in July 2011.

Senator Tim Kaine, Hillary Clinton’s vice presidential nominee and running mate, visited University College Cork (UCC) in 2011 on the formal invitation of President Dr Michael Murphy. 

One of 20 people in American history to have served as a Mayor, Governor and United States Senator, Kaine was at that time a candidate for the US Senate in Virginia and teaching a course entitled The Future of Equality in American Constitutional Law at the University of Richmond.

Kaine shared an interest with colleagues at UCC in the equality ideal in American law and history emanating from Thomas Jefferson's declaration that "all men are created equal", and specifically the work of Frederick Douglass, and the Frederick Douglass project at UCC.

He was joined on the trip, his first visit to Cork and third to Ireland, by his wife Anne Holton, who currently serves as Virginia Secretary of Education and was then at the helm of Great Expectations, a program for foster children attending Virginia community colleges, and his children Nat, Woody and Annella. Longtime family friends Padraig and Mary Fleming accompanied them on their visit to campus.

All four of Kaine’s grandparents were born to Irish immigrants and in 2006, in his first year as Virginia’s 70th Governor, Kaine and Holton took their children to Longford in Ireland to find the ruins of the home where his grandfather PJ Farrell was born.

Kaine and his family arrived at UCC at 10am on the morning of July 27, 2011, where they took a walking tour of the heart of the campus before convening in the President’s Office to sign the visitors’ book.

UCC President Dr Michael Murphy made a presentation of bog oak to Kaine on behalf of the University, after which they attended a roundtable discussion with UCC colleagues on projects of joint interest, including a presentation on the Frederick Douglass project at UCC.

The President and UCC colleagues attended a lunch in celebration of Kaine’s visit to Cork at Flemings Restaurant in Cork, which was attended by representatives of town and gown including Cllr Tim and Catherine Lombard (County Mayor) and Cllr Terry and Ursula Shannon (City Mayor and Mayoress).

Following on from this successful visit, there were discussions and considerations of a closer connection between Senator Kaine and UCC, including the possibility of Kaine serving in an adjunct/visiting capacity at UCC. This would be feasible as he planned to visit Ireland often over the next years and was in principle happy to form an ongoing association with the University. 

Kaine enjoyed his teaching responsibilities at the University of Richmond, where he served as a Senior Distinguished Lecturer on Law and Leadership Studies, and as an experienced civil rights attorney, Mayor, Governor and Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, he felt that coursework in Government and Law would be the most suitable arena for him to make such a contribution.

However, the issue was, as ever, one of timing. Kaine’s campaign for the United States Senate was to occupy him full-time through November 2012, and given this reality and the fact that he was not likely to return to Ireland until 2013, it was felt better to keep any more formal association until after that time.

Senator Tim Kaine has indeed been fully occupied since the occasion of that visit to our beautiful campus and UCC offers him our good wishes in the forthcoming campaign. 

University College Cork

Coláiste na hOllscoile Corcaigh

College Road, Cork T12 K8AF