The White House Correspondents’ Brinner at the Dole Institute

February 28, 2024 - Features

by Allie Haggar | Student Advisory Board Coordinator


White House Correspondents Eugene Daniels and Francesca Chambers speak during the Student Advisory Board’s Brinner program.



The Dole Institute Student Advisory Board hosted its annual spring semester kick-off event, Brinner (Breakfast for Dinner) on February 1. The event, which occurs at the beginning of each spring semester, is an opportunity for new and returning SAB students to enjoy dinner, meet new people, learn about the Dole Institute, and hear from young, successful professionals, including journalists, public servants, and political operatives.

This year’s event, “The 2024 White House Correspondents’ Brinner,” was as a playful nod to the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner held in Washington, D.C. and students had a chance of their own to engage with POLITICO White House Correspondent Eugene Daniels and USA Today White House Correspondent Francesca Chambers.


Student Advisory Board members enjoy “Brinner” (Breakfast for Dinner) ahead of the evening’s program.


Chambers, an alumna of the University of Kansas, holds degrees in Journalism and Political Science. While attending KU, she was a member of the Dole Institute’s Student Advisory Board. Earlier in the day, Chambers talked with students in the William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications and both Chambers and Daniels sat down with an interview with KUJH-TV’s Francesca Onofrio.

Students enjoyed breakfast for dinner at the Dole Institute while SAB Coordinator Allie Haggar interviewed Chambers and Daniels for the main interview portion of the program. Haggar asked them questions about their careers, writing process, what they have seen at the White House, the 2024 election, and advice they would give to students interested in getting involved in politics or journalism.

“I really enjoyed the opportunity to hear from two young journalism professionals about their experience working in the White House,” said Kenna McNally, a sophomore Strategic Communications major and the Dole Institute’s Marketing and Communications Student Intern. “Being able to see a KU graduate, like Francesca, working in such a powerful position was really inspiring.”

Approximately 60 people were in attendance, adding to the vibrant atmosphere of the evening. Among them, many took the opportunity to actively engage with the guests, posing their own thought-provoking questions and contributing to the enriching dialogue.


Student Advisory Board members sit with the Spring 2024 Dole Fellow Karen Willey while eating their dinner.


One notable moment was when the guests were asked if they had a favorite or memorable story they had written in their careers. Daniels wasted no time in recounting a touching anecdote about interviewing his grandmother prior to the 2020 South Carolina primary. Recognizing the sway of older black voters like his grandmother in South Carolina, Daniels emphasized how their support played a pivotal role in propelling Biden towards securing the party nomination, despite his slow start.

In contrast, Chambers found herself grappling with the challenge of singling out just one favorite story but shared a few examples. One of her memorable stories came after the January 6 United States Capitol attack and she was one of the first reporters to publish a story on what she had found out about Trump’s mindset heading into the day and the rally. She said he was originally planning on marching to the capitol with his supporters but was ultimately convinced not to do it for security reasons.

On a lighter note, both guests shared stories from the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner and the cool interactions they have had there. The gathering of journalists, politicians, celebrities, and other notable figures, including the President of the United States and other administration officials, serves as a venue for them to come together in a less formal setting. As members of the White House Correspondents’ Association, they each have had the opportunity to sit on stage during the event and mingle with everyone from First Lady Dr. Jill Biden to Kerry Washington.

“I liked when the guests were talking about their favorite stories, it injected meaning into the conversation,” said Braiden Bangalan, a junior international studies major and Discussion Groups and Outreach Coordinator. “I also liked Eugene Daniels’ fit.”

If you are interested in getting involved with the Student Advisory Board, please email and learn more online at



Allie Haggar serves as the Student Advisory Coordinator at the Dole Institute of Politics. In this role, Allie leads the Student Advisory Board in meetings and moderates Student Advisory Board programming. Before stepping into the role of SAB Coordinator in May, Allie served as the Students Event Assistant at the Dole Institute for two years. Allie is from Lincoln, Nebraska, and is studying History and Journalism at the University of Kansas.

About the Dole Institute
The Dole Institute was dedicated on July 22, 2003, at the University of Kansas on Senator Bob Dole’s 80th birthday. Home to the personal archives of both Senator Bob and Senator Elizabeth Dole, with a museum facility on par with the U.S. Presidential libraries, the Dole Institute has been a vibrant political forum promoting civil discourse, civic engagement, and idea exchange across the political spectrum for 20 years.

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