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History

Photo pictured at the dedication of the Shriver Center in 1970 (from left to right): Co-Founder, Dr. Raymond Adams, Rose Kennedy, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, Senator Edward M. Kennedy, and David Crockett, Associate Director of Mass General Hospital.(c) UPI/Landov.

The Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center was founded in 1970 in Waltham, Massachusetts, with a mission to improve the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). The Center was named in honor of Mrs. Shriver and her lifelong commitment to championing the rights of individuals with IDD, and to influencing public perception of their value and potential contributions to their communities.

In 1970, the Shriver Center was designated a University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) by the federal Administration for Community Living. In keeping with Mrs. Shriver’s vision, UCEDDs work to enhance the independence, productivity, and inclusion of individuals with disabilities.

In 2000, the Shriver Center merged with the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, enhancing its resources and expanding its expertise.

About Eunice Kennedy Shriver

Eunice coaching an athleteAs founder and honorary chairperson of Special Olympics and executive vice president of the Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation, Eunice Kennedy Shriver worked tirelessly to enhance the lives of individuals with IDD for more than five decades. For her unwavering commitment, she received numerous honors and awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Legion of Honor and more than a dozen honorary degrees.