Presidential Lecture Series

A series of talks focusing on a particular aspect of U.S. political leadership, typically the U.S. Presidency. This series often features nationally-known individuals, including public servants, historians, top strategists, award-winning journalists, and political operatives.

Past Presidential Lecture Series

Presidential Lecture Series

2023 | First Ladies as Presidential Partners

February 02, 2023

Join moderator Diana Carlin for this year's series, which underscores the two-person nature of the presidency and the influence first ladies have on their husbands’ administrations, women’s issues, and U.S. culture.The series is moderated by…

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2022 | Military Veterans in the Oval Office

February 11, 2022

The Presidential Lecture Series is presented in partnership with the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum and the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library, Museum & Boyhood Home.Join notable historians and archivists as they discuss…

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2021 | Where Do We Go from Here?

February 10, 2021

Richard Norton Smith is a nationally recognized authority on the American presidency. He worked for Senator Bob Dole, with whom he collaborated on books. Mr. Smith served as Director of the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum, the Dwight…

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2020 | Presidential Speeches and Rhetoric

February 06, 2020

This year’s Presidential Lecture Series, created and developed by award-winning presidential rhetoric scholar Dr. Robert Rowland, focuses on presidential speeches and rhetoric, from the greatest speeches, to the process of speechwriting, to changes…

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2019 | Follow the Leader: Four Women’s Journeys in Public Service

February 11, 2019

Public service leadership has many faces, and no two paths are the same. Four female leaders from various stages of their public service careers will join the Dole Institute to discuss how they prepared to take on their leadership roles and how they…

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2018 | 1 to 44: The Best and the Worst of American Presidents

February 25, 2018

Presidential historian and former Dole Institute director Richard Norton Smith returns for a deep dive into presidential rankings and what they can teach us. Smith will guide the audience through an examination of the executive office from the…

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2017 | The U.S. and the Great War: 100 Years Later

February 02, 2017

On April 2, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson asked a joint session of Congress to make the world “safe for democracy.” Four days later, the United States entered World War I, one of the deadliest wars in American history. The 2017 Presidential…

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2016 | They Also Ran: America’s Would-Be Presidents

January 31, 2016

In the 2016 Presidential Lecture Series, noted presidential historian and former Dole Institute director Richard Norton Smith returns this spring to examine the politicians who were nominated to America’s highest office but never elected. Covering…

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2015 | The First Woman President 2.0

February 12, 2015

With attention turning toward the next presidential race, we look at a question we first addressed nine years ago: Will the U.S. elect its first woman president? What unique challenges must women overcome to rise through the ranks to some of the…

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2014 | The First Ladies: Intimate Sacrifice, Honored Post

February 16, 2014

Richard Norton Smith, notable presidential historian, will examine the private lives and the public roles of the First Ladies and how this position has changedsince Martha Washington.The Presidential Lecture Series is sponsored in part by the William…

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2013 | In the Beginning: Three Men Who Made America

February 10, 2013

A fascinating look at the Founding Fathers! Presidential historian and first permanent director of the Dole Institute, Richard Norton Smith, brought our first three presidents to life and helped us understand these men’s important contributions to…

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2012 | Why Presidents Succeed. Why They Fail.

January 29, 2012

With the 2012 presidential contest already underway, the Dole Institute's signature series looks at what separates successful presidents from those deemed failures.Both Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon had significant accomplishments during their…

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