Liz Cheney ’88 used the critical thinking skills she learned as a political science major in her role as vice chairwoman of the select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
For that, she received a Profile in Courage Award from the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. The Republican congresswoman from Wyoming was recognized for being one of the few in her party to call foul on former President Trump’s claims of a stolen election. After voting for his impeachment, she withstood the torrent of criticism from her fellow conservatives and death threats from citizens loyal to Trump.
Her insistent calls for a peaceful transfer of power cost her a leadership position in the GOP caucus and her seat as Wyoming U.S. representative.
The award citation mentions that Cheney “remains a consistent and courageous voice in defense of democracy.”
When she accepted the award on May 22, 2022, Cheney spoke of her father, former Vice President Dick Cheney, then 22 years old, listening to President Kennedy speak in Laramie, Wyoming, in September 1963. She spoke about how that speech influenced him and, in turn, formed her resolve to serve her country.
Among Cheney’s closing remarks: that “courage and clarity and grit” would win the battle.