Former Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy, BC ’77 and BC Law ’80, spoke at an event organized by the Winston Center for Leadership and Ethics in partnership with the Rappaport Center for Law and Public Policy. His talk focused on his experience serving as Connecticut’s governor and the influence his education at Boston College had on his career.
Malloy explained the physical and learning differences he had overcome in his life, notably during his time at BC. He has struggled with severe dyslexia, which complicated his ability to learn in school.
“Growing up with this dyslexia and other perceptual difficulties, [the work] is never done,” he said. “We’ve found ways to work around things, and much of that work was done here at Boston College.”
BC recognizes Malloy as the first student with a learning difference admitted to BC, and he is credited as the first student to be helped by the Connors Family Learning Center. Malloy said that he did not let his learning differences get in the way of an accomplished career in law and government.
When talking about his career, he cites his mother as a source of inspiration.
“I always did all of those things and many other things in fulfillment of my mother’s words to me,” Malloy said. “And that was, ‘Dannel, you have an obligation to leave the world a better place for your having been in it.’”
He credited his mother’s words as being inspiration for his many career feats, including those related to criminal justice reform, which was a main issue during his time in office. Malloy spoke extensively of his time as a prosecutor in Brooklyn, where he was able to further understand the current state of the criminal justice system in the United States.
Malloy said he made a promise to himself in the fall of 1980 that if he ever had a position that gave him the opportunity to make a difference in this system, he would act upon it. Almost 40 years later, he said he was proud to be able to speak of the improvements Connecticut has made in its criminal justice system under his leadership, including decreasing its incarceration rate to one of the lowest in the nation.
Malloy completed his talk by connecting the values he learned at BC to the passion he served with as governor.
“When I decided to come to Boston College, I think the messages sent and received while I was here, across the board about one’s obligation to the broader community, I internalized and am very proud to have done,” he said.
An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated the event was organized by the Rappaport Center for Law and Public Policy and the Carroll School of Management.
Featured Image by Celine Lim / Heights Editor