U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar delivers Eugene J. McCarthy Lecture

August 3, 2010

U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar

U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn. - the state's first elected woman to serve in the Senate - will deliver the fourth annual Eugene J. McCarthy Lecture at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 30 at the Stephen B. Humphrey Theater, Saint John's University, Collegeville.

Her speech, "Conscience and Courage in Public Life," is free and open to the public. It is sponsored by the Eugene J. McCarthy Center for Public Policy and Civic Engagement at Saint John's University.

Klobuchar was a prominent figure in Minnesota even before she won election to the Senate in 2006.

Her father, Jim, was a long-time newspaper writer and author. Her mother, Rose, was an elementary school teacher who continued teaching until she was 70.

Amy Klobuchar graduated magna cum laude from Yale University and the University of Chicago Law School. Her senior thesis in college, published as the book Uncovering the Dome, chronicled the 10-year history of the construction of the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, and is still used as a textbook in colleges across the country.

Klobuchar served as a partner in two of Minnesota's leading law firms. She was the leading advocate for successful passage of one of the first laws in the country guaranteeing 48-hour hospital stays for new moms and their babies.

In 1998, Klobuchar was the first woman elected as chief prosecutor in Hennepin County, which includes Minneapolis and 45 suburbs. She served eight years, and was elected by her colleagues as president of the Minnesota County Attorneys Association. Klobuchar received national awards from the U.S. Department of Justice under both the Clinton and Bush administrations.

Klobuchar, who took the oath of office Jan. 4, 2007, currently serves on five Senate committees: Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry; Environment and Public Works; Commerce, Science and Transportation; Judiciary; and Joint Economic.

The Washington Post newspaper has described Klobuchar as "a rising star" and "a leading proponent of efforts to combat climate change."

The Eugene J. McCarthy Lecture was established in January 2006. McCarthy spent seven years as a student at Saint John's Preparatory School and University, and nearly one year as a member of the Benedictine community of Saint John's Abbey.

The lecture series carries on McCarthy's deep commitment to the ideals and principles of democratic self-government. It seeks to inspire a new generation of young people to pursue fresh ideas, to challenge the status quo, to effect positive change in their communities and, like McCarthy himself, to lead with honesty, integrity and courage.

Past lecturers in the series have included newspaper columnist, author and commentator E.J. Dionne (2007); civil rights leader Julian Bond (2008); and former Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel (2009).