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Dole Institute honors Kassebaum with 2016 Dole Leadership Prize

Saturday, September 17, 2016


LAWRENCE — The Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas is pleased to announce longtime U.S. Senator Nancy Kassebaum as the recipient of the 2016 Dole Leadership Prize. 

Kassebaum was surprised with the award at the “Giants of the Senate” event with Sen. Bob Dole, which took place at the Dole Institute on Saturday, Sept. 17.

“Senator Kassebaum’s service to Kansas and the nation has been exemplary,” said Bill Lacy, director of the Dole Institute. “It was a great honor to present her with the Dole Leadership Prize, and even more special to have Senator Dole as part of the program. He thought it would be fun to be in attendance and make the award a surprise.”

First elected in 1978, Nancy Landon Kassebaum served nearly two decades in the U.S. Senate representing the State of Kansas, eventually becoming the first woman to chair a major Senate committee. She was the only woman in the 100-member Senate upon her arrival in December 1978.

Kassebaum was known throughout her tenure for her bipartisan efforts as well as her insight on foreign relations. Throughout her Senate career, Kassebaum received assignments on a number of prominent committees, including serving as chair of the Labor and Human Resources Committee and as a senior member of the Foreign Relations Committee. She earned a reputation as a moderate in the Senate, supporting the broad outlines of Republican budget and defense programs while remaining independent on social issues. Kassebaum was a Senate colleague to Sen. Dole for her entire 18-year tenure.

Kassebaum’s husband, the late Sen. Howard Baker, received the Dole Leadership Prize in 2006.

 The Dole Leadership Prize is awarded annually to an individual or group whose public service leadership inspires others. The award includes a $25,000 honorarium. Previous winners of the Dole Leadership Prize include John D. Kemp, Nelson Mandela, Wounded Warrior Project, former Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko, Women Air Service Pilots of WWII, former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala, former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani, former U.S. Senator George McGovern, former Polish President Lech Walesa, Congressman John Lewis and former Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

The Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics is dedicated to promoting political and civic participation as well as civil discourse in a bipartisan, philosophically balanced manner. It is located on KU’s West Campus and houses the Dole Archive and Special Collections. Through its robust public programming, congressional archive and museum, the Dole Institute strives to celebrate public service and the legacy of U.S. Senator Bob Dole.

More information on all programs, as well as ongoing additions to the schedule, can be found on the Dole Institute’s website, www.doleinstitute.org.