WASHINGTON, Feb. 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- One of the nation's oldest liberal-arts colleges today honored two leading U.S. Senators with the second annual Allegheny College Prize for Civility in Public Life. Allegheny College President James H. Mullen Jr. awarded the 2013 prize to United States Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) during a ceremony at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
" Allegheny College is honored to award its 2013 Prize for Civility in Public Life to Senator Dianne Feinstein and Senator Lindsey Graham," said President Mullen. "Two proud partisans, who strive for civility in America's most difficult political battlefields. And in doing so, challenge all of us to reflect more seriously about what civility really means.
"They have been true to their respective beliefs. They have shaped both the politics and the policy of their time. They have found joy in the give and take of the arena, while respecting the inherent dignity of the elected office and those who hold it."
Feinstein and Graham each cited their respect for the other in accepting the award."I can sit down and work out the most difficult problem with Lindsey because he will listen, that's important," said Senator Feinstein. "I really respect Dianne Feinstein," said Senator Graham. "She comes from a state totally different than South Carolina. But we define ourselves, not by our differences, but by what we have in common." 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.