Photographs by Mike Miriello ('09M)
Civic Engagement

Kirk Cox (’79), the new speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates, urges his colleagues to practice “integrity, civility and grace.”

In his remarks to the House delivered immediately following his election as speaker, Cox encouraged his fellow legislators to practice “integrity, civility and grace” in their service to the people of the commonwealth.

“As a former government teacher of 30 years, you had to guess I would include a small lesson in my remarks,” said Cox. “The House of Delegates use[d] to be known as the House of Burgesses. Many of you know that. But what you may not know is that the word Burgess is a British word meaning an inhabitant of a town with full rights of citizenship. That has special meaning, this body was literally founded to be a house of citizen servants elected by citizens."

‘... we are one House tasked with the responsibility of governing one Commonwealth, improving the lives of one group ... the citizens we serve.’
Kirk Cox ('79)

“For the past several weeks, the five-feet wide center aisle that symbolically separates the two parties of this chamber, has sometimes felt five miles wide,” he said. “The first and foremost task of this body is to bridge that divide. We are not two parties, we are one House tasked with the responsibility of governing one Commonwealth, improving the lives of one group ... the citizens we serve.”

Click here to read Cox’s full remarks.

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