Congressman Steny Hoyer awarded National Bipartisan Leadership Award

June 13, 2011

Washington D.C. (June 13, 2011) Congressman Steny H. Hoyer (D-Maryland) received the National Bipartisan Leadership Award from the Bradley University Institute for Principled Leadership in Public Service in a special ceremony today at the Capitol.

The award recognizes a national public servant who has modeled ethical, civil and bipartisan leadership. The inaugural National Bipartisan Leadership Award was presented in October 2009 to U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, a Bradley alumnus.

“Congressman Hoyer has modeled ethical and bipartisan leadership throughout his 30-year career in Congress,” said Bradley President Joanne Glasser. “In an era of partisanship and divisiveness he has been a beacon of civility and wisdom. He is a pragmatic leader and a committed consensus builder.”

Hoyer’s skill at consensus-building has helped the House pass important bipartisan legislation to strengthen the economy and bring health coverage to an additional 4 million low-income children. He also has been one of Congress’s leading voices for fiscal responsibility.  

Now in his 16th term in Congress, Hoyer served as House Majority Leader from 2007 to 2011. As House Democratic Whip for the 112th Congress, he is the second-ranking member of the House Democratic Leadership. In a 2009 survey of congressional Republicans by The Hill newspaper, he was found to be the most bipartisan Democrat in the House.

Speaking at a forum sponsored by Georgetown University and Politico in 2009, Hoyer said, “Ultimately, the keys to bipartisanship are respect, decency, and fair input. What matters is listening attentively to our opponents, responding to them with facts, not emotion, and with arguments, not with talking points. What matters is never questioning the motives of the other side.”

For the last 54 years, a Bradley University alumnus has demonstrated those values, representing central Illinois in Congress with distinction. From retired Congressman Robert H. Michel, the longest serving minority leader in history; to LaHood, the first Bradley graduate to serve in the Cabinet; to Congressman Aaron Schock, the youngest member of Congress.

“It is particularly appropriate for Bradley and our Institute for Principled Leadership to recognize a statesman who has distinguished himself for seeing past party labels and parochial positions with this award,” President Glasser said.

An advocate of equal opportunity, Congressman Hoyer guided the historic Americans with Disabilities Act to passage in 1990, as well as the ADA Amendments Act in 2008, which strengthened the law. He also helped lead the restoration of the pay-as-you-go law, ensuring that our country pays for what it buys and was a lead sponsor of the Help America Vote Act in 2002. All passed with bipartisan support.  

A leading champion of human rights, Congressman Hoyer served as chairman of the Helsinki Commission, fighting for political and religious freedom during the last years of the Soviet Union. He also led a bipartisan Congressional delegation to Darfur in 2007 to call greater attention to the genocide and has continued to support a strong American role in defense of human rights.  

The Institute for Principled Leadership in Public Service was founded in 2007 by Bradley University and the Dirksen Congressional Center to promote a return to statesmanship at all levels of government. The Institute advocates for a bipartisan leadership approach to resolve America’s most pressing problems. The Institute’s mission is to educate collaborative, bipartisan, and ethical leaders for successful careers in public service. For more about the Institute see

Bradley is a private, independent university in Peoria, Illinois, offering 6,000 students the choice of more than 100 academic programs. This size provides students extensive resources not available at most small colleges and the personal attention not commonly found at large universities.