The widow of Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) is preparing for the upcoming opening of the institute named after her late husband.

Vicki Kennedy invited “Fox News Sunday” to the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate in Boston days before President Obama visits to formally open it to the public.


“He loved public service,” Vicki Kennedy said. “He believed in making a difference. And he wanted to inspire new generations to feel the same way.”

Ted Kennedy began the process of building the center before his death in 2009, and Vicki Kennedy promised to him that she would lead the cause to finish and open it.

“It was very important to him that this project be finished,” she said. “And he said that to me, he said ‘you’re going to finish this, aren’t you?’ And I said, ‘you know I will.’ ”

It also has a replica of Kennedy’s desk in the chamber, where he carved his name, and where his brother, President John F. Kennedy, carved his name when he was a senator.

The institute on the campus of the University of Massachusetts Boston features the world’s only full-scale replica of the Senate chamber in the Capitol building.

In addition to serving as a museum, the chamber will be used to teach and train students in debate and civil education.

“Teddy wanted people to feel that sense of awe,” Kennedy told Wallace as she walked around the chamber.

Vicki Kennedy also invited Chuck Todd and NBC’s “Meet the Press” to the museum.

“It’s about the Senate that he loved, it’s about public service, it’s about inspiring the next generation to be involved,” Vicki Kennedy told Todd.

“That is the spirit of Ted Kennedy. That is what he wanted this place to be.”

In his own interview on “Meet the Press,” Patrick J. Kennedy, Ted Kennedy’s son and a former member of the House from Rhode Island, said his father would be extraordinarily happy to see students touring the institute.

“Future U.S. senators may have had their spark of imagination born in a place like this,” the younger Kennedy said.

The building also features a replica of Ted Kennedy’s Senate office, along with some of the belongings he kept in it.