Prominent Democrats and Republicans were on hand to honor Warren B. Rudman, who represented New Hampshire for two terms in Washington.
Governor Maggie Hassan and senators Jean Shaheen and Kelly Ayotte all spoke at the event.
They were joined by Rudman's former colleagues in the Senate: Judd Gregg, Bob Kerrey, Phil Gramm, and the keynote speaker of the even, senator John McCain.
McCain credited Rudman with introducing him to the people of New Hampshire during his first presidential bid, and for serving as a role model for him:
"Warren Rudman was gruff. Irascible. Dissatisfied. Impatient. Occasionally profane. Independent-minded. Stubborn. In other words he was my ideal senator."
Former senator Olympia Snowe of Maine was also present and was awarded the Warren B. Rudman award for her bipartisanship and fiscal responsibility.
The dinner marked the grand opening of the Warren B. Rudman Center at the UNH School of Law and preceded an annual conference on fiscal responsibility on Monday.
Warren Rudman died last November.