Photo of Sen. John McCain by Gage Skidmore

ASU announces creation of the McCain National Library

Arizona State University last week announced the creation of the McCain National Library, an 80,000-square-foot facility to be built on 22 acres of land near Papago Park in Tempe. The library is named after the late Arizona senator and former Republican presidential nominee, John S. McCain III.

The library is primarily funded through the American Rescue Act’s Capital Projects Fund, though the ASU Foundation has pledged to launch a fundraising campaign “to support the development and enhancement of the site.” 

Boasting a partnership with both ASU and the McCain Institute, the library will provide “education, work, and health monitoring programs to underserved communities.” At the core of this mission will be a focus on bridging the digital divide for poor and marginalized communities.

“John McCain is an important symbol of American democracy and he holds a special place of respect and appreciation in Arizona,” ASU President Michael Crow said. “ASU intends to work with others in the community to take this unique property and create something that honors his extraordinary life and legacy and that serves the principles he devoted his life and career to and carries it forward for future generations to learn from.”

President Joe Biden visited Tempe last week to headline the dedication ceremony for the library, celebrating McCain’s legacy and highlighting his friendship with the late senator. Biden used the opportunity to hit on core themes of his reelection campaign, such as the maintenance of American democracy and the defense of American institutions against political extremism. 

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

Gov. Katie Hobbs (D-AZ), former Gov. Doug Ducey (R), Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego (D), and Ambassador Cindy McCain, the widow of the senator, were in attendance for the ceremony. 

What: McCain National Library at Arizona State University

Where: The library will sit on a 22.5-acre site on the north side of Tempe Town Lake in Papago Park. The university’s community services building is currently on the site. 
More: The library is expected to be 80,000-square-feet and house Sen. McCain’s papers and other materials from his time of service in Arizona, Washington, D.C., and around the world. ASU already houses an archive of the senator’s work. The library will also serve as the Arizona location for the McCain Institute.

Photo above by Gage Skidmore

Joe Pitts

Joe Pitts is a born and bred Arizonan who formerly served as the program director at the Arizona Chamber Foundation. He graduated Arizona State University's Barrett, the Honors College in 2023 with a B.S. in Management and concurrent B.S. in Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership.

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