ASU to Build McCain National Library to Honor Late Senator’s Commitment to Democracy

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Arizona State University recently announced plans to build the McCain National Library to honor the late Arizona senator, John McCain.
Sen. John McCain speaking at a town hall at the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix, Arizona in 2013. (Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

Arizona State University (ASU) recently announced its plans to build the McCain National Library in partnership with the McCain Institute, both named after the late Arizona senator and former Republican presidential nominee, John McCain.

“John McCain is an important symbol of American democracy, and he holds a special place of respect and appreciation in Arizona and with Arizona State University,” ASU President Michael Crow said at a dedication ceremony last week.

Officially unveiled by President Joe Biden at the ceremony, the proposed 80,000-square-foot facility at ASU will serve as a nonpartisan gathering point for discussions on leadership, democracy, and national security. The library will also offer education, work, and health monitoring programs to eliminate barriers for underserved and marginalized communities, including employment training, health screenings, telemedicine, and job fairs.

“I’ve come to honor the McCain Institute Library because they are a home of a proud Republican who put his country first,” Biden said at the event. “Our commitment should be no less because democracy should unite all Americans regardless of political affiliation.”

McCain represented Arizona for 35 years, serving two terms in the U.S. House of Representatives before becoming a U.S. Senator from 1987 until his passing in 2018. He was also the Republican nominee for president in 2008.

ASU already houses McCain’s public archive, a resource for scholars, journalists, students, and the public. As the McCain National Library is designed and built, ASU will explore additional programs, uses, and collaborations that align with the library’s mission, according to a news release.

“From nurturing the flame of democracy, calling others to a cause of character-driven leadership, or championing the issues most important to Arizonans, his indomitable spirit will live on through the actions and the ideals that we will imbue here,” said Cindy McCain, the late senator’s wife, during the ceremony.