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‘A Lantern in the Dark’

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy’s political courage earns him presidential award.

Governor Dannel Malloy photographed at CT Capitol building, Hartford, CT

This is not the first time that Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy ’80, the 2016 recipient of the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award, has taken an unpopular stand to protect others, and it probably won’t be his last.

The award is perhaps America’s most prized recognition for remaining steadfast for good in the face of injustice. People who do so often pay a price for their bravery, but their actions also pay lasting dividends to society.

In May, Malloy received the presidential honor for inviting a family of Syrians, spurned by Indiana, to settle in New Haven. He did so despite growing American resistance to accepting refugees from the war-torn country.

“As half of US governors, leading presidential candidates, and countless others across the country voice support for a ban on Syrian refugees from entering the United States, Governor Dannel Malloy took a stand against the hateful, xenophobic rhetoric,” said President Kennedy’s grandson Jack Schlossberg, who presented the award. “In doing so, he put principles above politics and upheld my grandfather’s vision of America that ‘has always served as a lantern in the dark for those who love freedom but are persecuted, in misery, or in need.’”

In a similar show of courage after the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in 2012, Malloy stepped forward to endorse gun safety legislation in Connecticut that was among the toughest in the nation. For his leadership, Malloy was honored in 2013 with BC Law’s St. Thomas More Award.

Photo: Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy ’80 welcomed Syrian refugees with others wouldn’t.