March 24, 2014 3:29 PM EDT

Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush, both potential contenders for their respective parties’ nomination for president in 2016, came together at the same event Monday to promote greater access to higher education.

Former Secretary of State Clinton, a Democrat married to former president Bill Clinton, and former Florida governor Bush, the brother and son of Republican presidents, represent two of the nation’s most prominent political families.

And while they didn’t appear together onstage, both spoke at the conference about the need to make quality higher education more affordable in the United States and more accessible around the world, the Associated Press reports. Clinton thanked Bush early in her speech and noted his commitment to education in office and in the private sector.

Bush, she said, is a person “who really focused on education during his time as governor in Florida, and who has continued that work with passion and dedication in the years since.” The pair reportedly chatted backstage at the event.

The Florida Republican and former North Carolina Democratic Gov. Jim Hunt organized the Globalization of Higher Education conference, which brings politicians and education experts together to discuss ways to improve access to higher education.

It’s not the first time they’ve rubbed shoulders since rumors of presidential runs began swirling, the AP reports. They both attended the dedication for the library of former President George W. Bush, Jeb’s brother last April, and last September Jeb Bush, chairman of the National Constitution Center, presented Hillary Clinton with the group’s Liberty Medal.


More Must-Read Stories From TIME

Write to Noah Rayman at

Read More From TIME
You May Also Like