Pennsylvania Congressman Murphy Presented with New Frontier Award
Web Editor - Published: November 24, 2009


On Monday, November 23rd at the Harvard Kennedy School’s JFK Forum, Caroline Kennedy, daughter of President John F. Kennedy, presented U.S Representative Patrick J. Murphy ’99, with one of two awards at the 6th annual New Frontier Awards. Widener Law Dean Linda L. Ammons attended the ceremony.

Given to elected officials under the age of 40 whose dedication to public service inspires people to improve their communities, the New Frontier Awards honor the legacy of President Kennedy. Representative Murphy received the award for his continuing efforts to create a timeline for bringing American troops home from Iraq.

A veteran himself, Representative Murphy resolved to bring the troops home after returning home from a visit to Baghdad in 2006. Moving forward, he intends to push for an end to the discrimination against homosexuals in the military embodied by the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. “I am in this fight to stand up for equality, a value that makes our country great,” he said.

Rebecca Onie, a graduate of Harvard, was the co-recipient of the award for her work as co-founder of Project Health, a non-profit agency that helps low income clients with necessities such as housing, food, and legal advocacy. According to Onie, Project Health aims "to change how health care is delivered in this country.” Onie was also recently named a 2009 MacArthur Fellow.

Congressman Murphy graduated from Widener Law’s Harrisburg campus in 1999 after earning his B.S. from King’s College in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania, where he participated in the ROTC program, graduating with the rank of Second Lieutenant. While at Widener Law, Congressman Murphy participated in the Trial Advocacy Honor Society and was the President of the St. Thomas More Society.

In 2000, he joined the military faculty at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and taught constitutional law. After the September 11th attacks, he volunteered for overseas deployment, serving first in Bosnia in 2002, and then in Baghdad, Iraq in 2003 and 2004 as a paratrooper and JAG corps attorney with the 82nd airborne division. He returned to Pennsylvania after leaving Iraq and ran for Congress. He won the election for Pennsylvania’s 8th Congressional District, and was sworn into office on January 4th, 2007.

The entire Widener Law community congratulates Patrick J. Murphy on receiving the New Frontier Award.