Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) and Mayor Adrian Fenty (D-DC) were honored on October 22nd at an elegant and entertaining fete at the residence of the Belgian Ambassador: the Institute for Education’s (IFE) 2007 Civility Award Dinner and Forum.
Senator Collins and Mayor Fenty were recognized by IFE for their commitment to civility and bipartisan cooperation in the Washington region.
Host Coach Kathy Kemper, Founder and CEO of IFE, set the tone for dinner discussion with her hallmark greeting, “Welcome, sports fans!” — particularly appropriate on this occasion, as the honorees were recognized for their desire to reach across the political divide to accomplish the work of the people.
Civility Dinner Chair George Vradenburg, a long-time friend and IFE supporter, introduced the honorees and presented the awards following a moving champagne toast by Ambassador Dominique Struye.
Vradenburg reflected on the foundation of the program of Civility: the Politics of Common Ground and the many benefits the city has experienced as a result of Kemper’s efforts, which provide opportunities for community-building and bridging cultural differences — with some occurring behind the scenes at the highest levels, even involving professional facilitators.
IFE Trustee Morton Kondracke led the dinner forum, posing thoughtful questions to Senator Collins and Mayor Fenty, as guests entered into the fray to debate the issue of DC voting rights — in civil fashion, Kemper style… though any other remarks are, of course, off the record.