Congressman Richard Neal honored at University of Hartford commencement

Congressman Neal urged respect for the First Amendment

HARTFORD, CT (WWLP) – Hundreds of University of Hartford graduate students and their guests applauded as Congressman Richard Neal of Springfield received an honorary Doctor of Letters degree.

Minutes later, he urged respect for the First Amendment as keynote speaker on the West Hartford campus.

Prior to the ceremony, the Congressman shared his feelings, telling 22News just what Saturday’s recognition has meant to him. He said, “Well, I think that personally and professionally, it’s most gratifying to have one’s life work acknowledged by a university that I formerly attended.”

During his keynote address, Congressman Neal criticized certain campuses from cancelling speeches from political figures they disagree with. He noted that they lacerate the First Amendment, saying, “As complex as issues are today, facts are more important than ever. I challenge you to expand your potential, engage with people of opposing views, and take the time to examine evidence to protect facts, and discourage fake news. All of these actions ultimately protect the cornerstone of our democracy, the First Amendment.”