MEADVILLE, Pa., Feb. 25, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- One of the nation's oldest liberal-arts colleges will honor two leading U.S. Senators with the second annual Allegheny College Prize for Civility in Public Life. Allegheny College President James H. Mullen Jr. will award the 2013 prize to United States Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. at 10 a.m. Tuesday, February 26.
"We will give the 2013 prize to Senators Feinstein and Graham because they strive for civility in the heart of the political arena," said Mullen. "Over its nearly 200 years, Allegheny has seen many dark hours in American politics. This is one of those hours – and so we felt it important this year to shine a light upon civility where it is most difficult to find – and where it is needed most: At the epicenter of American political conflict.
"Senators Feinstein and Graham are proud partisans who battle vigorously on the most contentious issues of the day," Mullen continued. "They fight the hard fights, take on the big issues and strive mightily to win. But they do not seek to win at all costs. They each have long records, built over years, of doing battle with deep respect for the political process. And with abiding civility toward those they engage. They seek to do battle without personally attacking their foes. And without ever closing their eyes to opportunities to agree with their adversaries – even as they fight tenaciously for the positions they hold dear.
"If all of the central figures in U.S. politics were to emulate the best instincts of Dianne Feinstein and Lindsey Graham, remarkable things would happen. We would get more difficult work done. There would be greater respect for those who enter public life. And more people would be inclined to participate in our two-party system of politics. We wouldn't stop fighting. But conflict in our democracy would be prosecuted in a healthier and more productive way. That is the example we need today. And that is why Allegheny College will be proud to award the Prize for Civility in Public Life to two most worthy recipients: Dianne Feinstein and Lindsey Graham."The Allegheny College Prize for Civility in Public Life was created in 2011 to annually recognize two political figures, one liberal and one conservative, who argue passionately but with civility for their beliefs. 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 – and of the extraordinary impact that political commentators have on civility in U.S. political debate. In the second year of the prize – and as the nation is deeply embroiled in hotly contested polarizing debates – the College judged it important to highlight civility at the epicenter of contention in U.S. politics.