The 17th annual Public Service Recognition Dinner was held Wednesday night, featuring a keynote address from U.S. Congressman Stephen Lynch, who was honored with this year’s John Joseph Moakley Public Service Award. (See below for a full list of the ceremony's honorees.)
The evening’s master of ceremonies, Dr. Brian Frederick, chairman of BSU’s Department of Political Science, introduced Rep. Lynch and presented the award, saying, “I don’t think there’s anyone more deserving and a better fit for this award.”
Despite the headlines coming out of the nation’s capital as of late, Rep. Lynch, who represents Massachusetts 8th District, spent his time at the podium holding up the late Congressman Moakley as a paragon of service.
“Joe made sure people got the help they needed,” he said. Rep. Lynch added that his predecessor worked both locally and globally. “That was Joe Moakley. He was a mentor to me, as well as an example.”
The late congressman helped secure a $10 million federal grant in 1991 to construct the building on campus that bears his name. Working by his side at that time, was current President Frederick W. Clark Jr., who served as Rep. Moakley’s district director, legal counsel and Washington liaison officer. These experiences served to sharpen President Clark’s own commitment to service. Congressman Lynch also worked with Rep. Moakley, eventually filling his seat upon his death in 2001.
Wednesday night, the only nod to Washington’s current state of affairs came when Congressman Lynch spoke of “a new height of partisanship and division,” where discussion and debate have been replaced by Tweets.
Throughout his remarks, Rep. Lynch sought to inspire those gathered, specifically those about to receive their master’s degrees in Public Administration.
“It’s important for people to remember what brought them to Washington, D.C., in the first place, to serve,” he said. (Story and photos by John Winters, G ’11, Director of University News & Media)