URBANA — The University of Illinois will honor former U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe next week in a ceremony in Washington.
Olympia J. Snowe will receive the 2013 Paul H. Douglas Ethics in Government Award in a ceremony hosted by Sen. Dick Durbin and UI President Bob Easter on Tuesday, Sept. 24. The UI's Institute of Government and Public Affairs administers the program.
"I am extremely honored to receive the Paul H. Douglas Award for Ethics in Government. Senator Douglas's distinguished life exemplified a standard for ethical conduct and the finest ideals of public service," Snowe said in a written statement. "To be considered in the light of his legacy as well as the company of so many accomplished previous award recipients means more than I can express."
Snowe was the first woman in the U.S. to serve in both houses of a state legislature and both houses of Congress. With her election in 1994, Snowe became the second woman senator in history to represent Maine, following the late Sen. Margaret Chase Smith.
Snowe's work in the Senate brought her nationwide recognition as a leading policymaker in Washington. She built a reputation as one of Congress' leading moderates. In 1999, Snowe became co-chair of the Senate Centrist Coalition with Sen. John Breaux from Louisiana.
The UI created the Douglas Award in 1992 to honor the memory of Paul H. Douglas, who represented Illinois in the Senate from 1949 to 1967. During his time in Washington, Douglas became known as the "conscience of the Senate" because of his commitment to high ethical standards.
Snowe is the 22nd recipient of the Douglas Award. Former honorees include the late Sens. Mike Mansfield and Paul Simon, retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, and George Mitchell, former senator and U.S. special envoy for Middle East peace.