Dole Forum

The Dole Forum is a major part of the Institute’s educational programming efforts to reach the students at the University of Kansas and the surrounding community. It consists of ongoing programs covering a wide variety of topics designed to encourage political participation among young people through education and civil discussion.

Among the national personalities the Dole Forum has hosted are Republican strategist Matthew Dowd, ABC’s Kate Snow, former New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman, Democratic Strategist Donna Brazile, West Wing producer Alex Graves, Iraq commander and former Commander of Ft. Leavenworth Gen. David Petraeus, Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, and 2008 presidential hopeful Senator Joseph Biden among others.



Summer 2014 - Dole Forum

Tuesday, July 29, 2014
3:00 p.m. at the Dole Institute
Everest to the Top
with mountaineer, Ian Taylor

Mountaineer Ian TaylorTaylor, whose trekking company supports a school for children in Uganda, will take us on the journey through the Khumbu region to Mt. Everest, up to the summit, and then back down, with inside information on the politics of the mountain and the physical challenges involved. He will also discuss how his leadership and training has brought success to mountain expedition teams around the world. This program is free, open to the public and includes a DVD sale.


Wednesday, July 16, 2014
7:00 p.m. at the Dole Institute
Historical Interpretation by Leslie Goddard Leslie Goddard portrays Amelia Earhart

Join this annual summer event, appropriate for all ages, and see Goddard bring a great Kansas woman to life in her historical performance of Amelia Earhart, a real first lady of aviation.


Wednesday, June 11, 2014 BOOK TALK
"Willard Garvey: An Epic Life"
with author Maura McEnaney

Willard Garvey bookPulitzer Prize-winning journalist, McEnaney, spent six years putting together the story of Willard Garvey’s life. She discusses Garvey’s idea of a Good Samaritan and how he strove for those ideals, how he affected housing in the United States and around the world, and his efforts to limit government control over the media. From the Great Depression and world war to millionaire entrepreneur and humanitarian, find out about the storied life of this unique and accomplished Kansan.


Spring 2014 - Dole Forum



Sunday, May 4, 2014
4:00 p.m. at the Dole Institute

"The New Democrats and the Return to Power"
AL FROM, recognized political strategist


Al From, political strategistAl From is the principal architect for the Clinton presidency and the new Democrat movement, which helped shape the 21st century Democratic Party,” said Dole Institute Director Bill Lacy. “Most of the Dole Lectures have been by or about public figures; this is the first that will honor a person working behind the scenes to change American politics in a major way.”
New Democrats bookcoverFrom will also discuss current U.S. politics, the state of both parties and his book, "The New Democrats and the Return to Power.” Don’t miss this key, behind-the-scenes strategist who helped shift domestic political power. This program is free, open to the public and includes a book sale and signing.
Media Release
About the Dole Lecture


Thursday, May 1,  7:30 p.m. Dole Institute
Archives Visiting Fellow
Innovation in Plain Sight: Transforming Our National Security Landscape with Museum Collections


Amy HermanFrom the high-stakes, high-profile worlds of law enforcement, medicine, and counterterrorism, Amy Herman brings her Analyze Art and morestudents – among them professionals serving the NYPD, the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of the Army and the United States Navy SEALS, as well as hospitals, medical schools, and trauma centers – to the art museum, where works of art have become the new data. Herman, founder of The Art of Perception, hones her students’ powers of observation in a highly participatory program that trains them to communicate those observations with precision – essential skills for any professional today. Studying art, curing disease, solving crime: join us for a fascinating glimpse into Herman’s innovative approach. Learn how her work is impacting governmental organizations and agencies throughout the country– and be prepared to re-evaluate YOUR perception on the role of art and research collections within the intelligence community.
Co-sponsored by KU Graduate Military Programs, KU Veterans Alumni Chapter, KU School of the Arts, Spencer Museum of Art, KU University Honors Program, and The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art Young Friends of Art


Thursday, May 1,  3 p.m. Dole Institute
Ft. Leavenworth Series: Decisive Battles
Fort Leavenworth crestVitoria, 1813
Dr. Mark Gerges

Complete Series Schedule & VIDEOS


Thursday, April 24, 3:00 p.m. Dole Institute
Book Talk: “The Tender Soldier”
with author, Vanessa Gezari

Gerzari BookcoverJoin Gezari as she discusses her book, “The Tender Soldier,” which tells the story of the development of the Human Terrain System, a controversial Army program that sends civilian social scientists into combat zones with soldiers. Co-sponsored by KU’s William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications.
A book sale and signing will follow the program.
Read: New York Times Book Review of "The Tender Soldier."


Wednesday, April 23, 2014
7:30 p.m. Dole Institute
The Hidden Hungry: Ending Senior Hunger

Ending Senior HungerBob Dole has fought for better nutrition his entire political and post-political career. Enid Borden has fought that same fight for seniors for more than 20 years. Under Borden’s leadership as President and CEO, the Meals On Wheels Association of America grew from a small trade association to a leading national charity. She is currently the founder, president and CEO of the National Foundation to End Senior Hunger located in Alexandria, Virginia.  Through research, education and community partnership, NFESH works each day to harness the resources necessary to reverse the escalating number of seniors in the lifecycle of hunger.  It is the only national foundation that focuses on both increasing the national understanding of the complexities of senior hunger and on finding innovative and effective solutions to end it.
Co-sponsored by KU Fights Hunger.


BOB DOLE visits the Institute

The HIGHLIGHT of the Dole Institute's 10th Anniversary year-long celebration was Bob Dole's return to the Institute Tuesday, April 22, 2014

WATCH what happened (video)

Bob Dole to visit Institute April 22, 2014“I’m not running for anything,” Senator Dole said. “I just want to see old friends and meet new ones, regardless of party. I am looking forward to visiting with everyone at the Dole Institute and being back in my home state of Kansas.”

A Public Open House honoring the Senator was held at the Institute from 11 a.m. to Noon.

NEWS RELEASE Ap 15 (pdf)

Kansas News: LJWorld
Wichita Eagle


Tuesday, April 15,  7:30 p.m. Dole Institute
CHARLIE COOK Knows Elections
Charlie Cook
Editor, publisher and political analyst, Charlie Cook, is called one of the “best political handicappers in the nation” by The New York Times. Cook will handicap the upcoming midterm elections and share some personal observations about Sen. Bob Dole.


Thursday, April 10, 2014   3 p.m. Dole Institute
America's Heroes: Medal of Honor Recipients
from the Civil War to Afghanistan

with Dr. James Willbanks
Medal of HonorAuthor and director of the Military History department at the Army Command and General Staff College, Dr. James Willbanks, will discuss Medal of Honor recipients who stood courageous in the face of grave danger and risked, or sacrificed, their own lives for the lives of others. The accounts tell a story of valor and of the diversity of ethnicity and culture which broadens our appreciation for these Americans. Several Medal of Honor recipients appeared at the Dole Institute Dedication, so it's fitting that the originator of our popular Ft. Leavenworth Series should review some of these courageous stories.


Tuesday, April 8,  7:30 p.m. Dole Institute
“Double Down: Game Change 2012”

Double DownAuthors, Mark Halperin and John Heilemann, discuss the book that bared the secrets of the 2012 campaign and provided a 360-degree account of this hard-fought, momentous election.
A book sale and signing will follow the program.



Thursday, April 3,  3 p.m. Dole Institute
Ft. Leavenworth Series: Decisive Battles
Fort Leavenworth crestPlattsburgh, 1814
Dr. Richard Barbuto

Complete Series Schedule


Wednesday, April 2, 2014 7:30 p.m. at the Institute
The Business of College Athletics:
Should Student Athletes be Paid?
Marc Edelman and Alicia JessopSports business/law specialists
will discuss this timely, controversial topic of paying college athletes. Both have written on this issue for outlets including Forbes and US News & World Report. You won’t want to miss this hot button conversation.
Student Advisory Board Logo**This program is brought to you by the Dole Institute Student Advisory Board; co-sponsors include the KU Student Alumni Association; KU Law's Sports and Entertainment Law Society.


Tuesday, March 25, 2014  7:30 p.m. Dole Institute
An Evening with CINDY MCCAIN
Cindy McCain
Though best known publicly
as wife of ’08 Presidential contender, Sen. John McCain, Cindy Hensley McCain is a very successful and strong leader in her own right. Find out about her experiences as Chair of Hensley & Company and her extensive work with a number of major charity organizations, as well as some stories from the campaign trail.



Thursday, March 6, 2014  7:30 p.m. Dole Institute
NEW - Innovations Series: DRONES

This year the Dole Institute is launching the Innovations Series, Dronewhich will focus on the crossroads between science, technology and public policy. Our inaugural event in the series is a two program series on drones. Join us to find out about the technology and many uses of drones – not just military, as well as ethical questions about their deployment. Series co-sponsors: KU School of Engineering, KU’s Engineers without Borders, KU’s Engineering Student Council

Part I - Innovations Series
Thursday, March 6, 2014   7:30 p.m. Dole Institute

Unmanned Drones: Soldiers without Uniforms

Retired Naval Admiral Timothy Beard and Scott Winship, both currently of global security company, Northrop Grumman, will discuss the technological development, military history, future capabilities and ethics of drones. Part II – Innovation Series
Tuesday, March 11,  7:30 p.m. Dole Institute

Branching Out: Exploring New Uses for Drones

Drones are often associated with military procedures. But Dr. Kurt Barnhart, director for the Applied Aviation Research Center of Kansas State University; Dr. Shawn Keshmiri, KU assistant professor of Aerospace Engineering; and, Lawrence entrepreneur, Bill Donovan, will discuss applications of drone use that range from disaster relief to search and rescue, environmental studies and agriculture.

Value of K-State's collaboration with KU's Dole Institute Innovation Series is recognized in K-State-Salina Campus blog - READ

WATCH Drones Part I ** WATCH Drones Part II


2014 Presidential Lecture Series
The First Ladies:
Intimate Sacrifice, Honored Post

featuring The First Ladies and
Richard Norton SmithOur 10th Anniversary celebration wouldn’t be complete without Richard Norton Smith, first director of the Dole Institute and notable presidential historian.He’s back this spring to examine the private lives and the public roles of the First Ladies and how this position has changed since Martha Washington.
Prisoners of State
Sunday, Feb. 16, 2014, 4 p.m. Dole Institute
First Ladies
Smith examines the early First Ladies. Many of these distinguished women experienced personal tragedy and paid a heavy price for their husband’s ambition.

Mary & Her Sisters

Monday, Feb. 17, 7 p.m. Dole Institute
The Gilded Age of First Ladies was a fascinating group of women. Mary Todd Lincoln was a polarizing figure in the press, Lucy Hayes became the first First Lady to graduate college, and Frances Cleveland married into the White House. Smith takes a look at their contributions to the nation.

The Wilsons & the Roosevelts
Wednesday, Feb. 26, 7 p.m. Dole Institute
Eleanor Roosevelt is credited as inventing the modern position of First Lady as we know it, but Edith Wilson certainly paved the way on her own. Why are these two women considered so instrumental in the shaping of this position?

Trailblazers & Traditionalists
Thursday, Feb. 27, 7 p.m. Dole Institute
The First Ladies of the recent past Jackie, Lady Bird, Betty, and Nancy really gave the First Lady title influence and prestige. These women were role models and style icons for the women of America and sought causes to champion in their own right.


Making the Delivery:
An Evening with SHANNON BROWN

Sr. Vice President &
Chief HR & Diversity Officer for FedEx Express

Thursday, February 6, 2014 7:30 p.m. Dole Institute
Shannon Brown is VP of FedEx ExpressBlack History Month Program

Shannon Brown’s journey with FedEx began more than 30 years ago as a package handler in Memphis. He has since held 13 different job titles within the organization, traveled the world, and now oversees the global operations of 160,000 employees.
During his tenure, FedEx has consistently been ranked on Fortune magazine’s list of the “World’s Most Admired Companies” and Black Enterprise magazine’s “40 Best Companies for Diversity.” Brown’s dedication to community service is exemplified through his leadership in the March of Dimes, the United Way of the Mid-South, and the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Memphis. Join us as he talks about his life and career.


Ft. Leavenworth Series III Begins Thurs. Feb. 6, 2014
Fort Leavenworth CrestDecisive Battles: Cowpens, 1781
Thursday, Feb. 6, 3 p.m. Dole Institute

There are many famous battles in history that we label as decisive events — Yorktown, Waterloo, Gettysburg, and Midway — just to name a few.  However, history is replete with lesser known clashes of arms that were arguably just as significant in their respective wars.  Don’t miss the chance to learn about these critical clashes.
Complete Series Schedule


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