NEWPORT, R.I. – Vice President Joe Biden will visit Salve Regina University next month to join with Rhode Island’s congressional delegation, along with notable friends and admirers, in honoring Mrs. Nuala Pell for her lifetime of humanitarian service and leadership. The event, hosted by the Pell Center for International Relations and Public Policy at Ochre Court on the evening of Aug. 22, will feature the announcement of the Nuala Pell Leadership Program in Public Service.
“An opportunity to celebrate the life work of Nuala Pell is something we knew would inspire an outpouring of enthusiastic support,” said Sister Jane Gerety, RSM, president of Salve Regina. “We’re honored that Vice President Biden expects to join the celebration as well.”
All four members of Rhode Island’s congressional delegation, instrumental in arranging the Vice President’s participation, spoke highly of Mrs. Pell in expressing their support of the leadership program named in her honor.
“Nuala Pell is a treasure,” said Sen. Jack Reed. “I can think of no better way to honor her life of graceful service than to create a program to prepare the next generation of leaders. Salve Regina University, the state of Rhode Island, and the country will be better for this kind of effort, and I am proud to support it.”
“Nuala and Claiborne Pell have left their mark on our Ocean State in so many ways,” Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse said. “This program will inspire a new generation of Rhode Island leaders, and is a fitting tribute to Nuala’s legacy of service. I’m looking forward to this special event.”
“The Pell name has long been synonymous with public service, locally, nationally and internationally,” Rep. Jim Langevin said. “Over the 20 years I have been fortunate enough to know Nuala Pell, she has lived up to that reputation, selflessly serving her state and advocating on issues most important to her community. I am proud to call her a friend. She is a role model to me, and I am so glad that our state’s future leaders will also benefit from the example she has set.”
“I am looking forward to welcoming Vice President Biden to Rhode Island later this summer for a celebration of Nuala Pell’s lifelong commitment to public service, as well as the establishment of the Nuala Pell Leadership Program in Public Service at Salve Regina University,” said Rep. David Cicilline. “Mrs. Pell has devoted her life to our state and its people, and I am honored to join my colleagues in paying tribute to her extensive accomplishments.”
The Nuala Pell Leadership Program in Public Service will support leadership development opportunities for students at Salve Regina University, a deep interest of Mrs. Pell’s as a trustee of the University and an advocate for the Pell Center. The program will invest students with leadership skills and experience, exposure to important public issues, and opportunities to participate in seminars and programs featuring prominent policymakers and scholars shaping the public debate. In preparing future leaders in public service, the University will inaugurate a sustainable legacy for the values closest to Mrs. Pell’s heart.
From her 1944 marriage to Claiborne Pell, Nuala O’Donnell Pell became a full working partner in a shared adventure of public service that stretched more than half of a century. As they represented the United States in post-war Europe, then moved to Washington D.C. when Claiborne was elected to the U.S. Senate, Mrs. Pell brought to the partnership her special gifts of social ease and grace, eager curiosity, educated thoughtfulness, and advocacy for progressive causes. A tireless campaigner for her husband’s remarkable six terms in the Senate, Nuala is also an ardent champion for the wellbeing of the elderly, women’s health care issues, and the arts and humanities in America.
The Pell Center is a multi-disciplinary research center focused at the intersection of politics, policies, and ideas. Dedicated to honoring Senator Pell’s legacy, the center promotes American engagement in the world, effective government at home, and civic participation by all Americans.
“Everywhere we travel, the first question we’re asked is: ‘How is Mrs. Pell?’” said Dr. Jim Ludes, executive director of the Pell Center. “The appreciation and affection people feel for her is a testament to the way she’s lived her life. We are privileged to count her among our community at Salve Regina University, and look forward to paying tribute and thanking her next month.”