Virginia's Senator Kaine Cites Jesuit Influence on Career
September 13, 2013 – In a speech to students last night at Georgetown Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) called his year working with Jesuit missionaries in dictator-led Honduras during a break from law school “the pivotal experience” in his life.
“Taking that year off and going to Honduras, aside from marriage and fatherhood, was the single most important thing I ever did,” he said in a talk presented by the College Democrats and co-sponsored by the Office of Federal Relations and the International Relations club. “And there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about some lesson from that time working in one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere.”
The sponsors invited residents of Virginia to a meet-and-greet before the talk, which was attended by more than 100 people and took place at the university’s Hariri Building, home to the McDonough School of Business.
Mariel Jorgensen (C’16), a Richmond, Va., native, introduced the senator, who also credited the education he received at the Jesuit-run Rockhurst High School in Kansas City as a strong influence in his career path.
“I really feel like much of my public service career was begun with the formation of a strong family, including two great siblings, but also a Jesuit education,” said Kaine, a former Virginia governor and chair of the Democratic National Committee.
Kaine also said he believes his job as a United States senator is “about compromise.”
“What I really feel like what my job is in the Senate … is to try and build bridges and create common ground,” he said.