“Women of the Senate” To Be Awarded 2014 Allegheny College Prize for Civility in Public Life

February 25, 2014 – The third annual Allegheny College Prize for Civility in Public Life will be awarded Thursday to the “Women of the Senate” – the 20 U.S. senators who banded together to help end the 2013 government shutdown, and in so doing helped to show the way toward a more civil climate in Washington D.C., one that continues to provide hopefulness today.

President James H. Mullen Jr. will award the 2014 Prize at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. at 10 a.m. on Thursday, February 27. U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), the ranking Republican and Democrat members of the women of the Senate, will accept the award on their colleagues’ behalf.

Said Mullen: “The 16-day federal government shutdown last Fall, and the incivility that accompanied it, reminded us how divided we are as a nation, and how uncivil our debates had become. Just when it seemed the impasse would extend indefinitely, the Women of the Senate stepped up and said, ‘Enough.’ They met incivility with collegial resolve – and in so doing, showed us all a better way.”

Allegheny College is one of the nation’s oldest liberal-arts colleges, with a long tradition of passionate but civil intellectual debate. Deeply troubled by the rise of incivility in U.S. politics, and its negative impacts on political participation, particularly among young people, the college created the Civility Prize in 2011 to highlight and reinforce the unheralded public figures who advance civility.

The Allegheny College Prize for Civility in Public Life annually recognizes two political figures, one from the left and one from the right, who argue passionately but with civility for their beliefs. The prize seeks to honor politicians who have demonstrated steadfast civility throughout their career or, in the case of this year’s winners, shown authentic, courageous civility at an important moment in time.

The inaugural award was bestowed at the National Press Club in February 2012 to political journalists David Brooks and Mark Shields, in recognition of their longstanding record of civil commentary. In 2013 the College awarded the Prize to Senators Dianne Feinstein (D) and Lindsey Graham (R) for their efforts to exemplify civility while leading debate in some of the most contentious issues of our time.

This year, Allegheny College judged that the most fitting recipient was an entire group of Democrat and Republican lawmakers: the Women of the Senate.

The states represented by the Women of the Senate are:

Alaska: Lisa Murkowski (R)
California: Barbara Boxer (D) and Dianne Feinstein (D)
Hawaii: Mazie Hirono (D)
Louisiana: Mary Landrieu (D)
Maine: Susan Collins (R)
Maryland: Barbara Mikulski (D)
Massachusetts: Elizabeth Warren (D)
Michigan: Debbie Stabenow (D)
Minnesota: Amy Klobuchar (D)
Missouri: Claire McCaskill (D)
Nebraska: Deb Fischer (R)
New York: Kirsten Gillibrand (D)
New Hampshire: Kelly Ayotte (R) and Jeanne Shaheen (D)
North Carolina: Kay Hagan (D)
North Dakota: Heidi Heitkamp (D)
Washington: Maria Cantwell (D) and Patty Murray (D)
Wisconsin: Tammy Baldwin (D)

In addition to Senators Collins and Mikulski and President Mullen, former Pennsylvania Governor and the first U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, Tom Ridge, a friend of and advisor to Allegheny College and a champion of civility, will attend the ceremony and provide remarks.

More information about the Allegheny College Prize for Civility in Public Life can be found here.