2023 marks the Dole Institute’s 20th Anniversary and 100 years since the birth of renowned Kansan, veteran, legislator, and statesman, Senator Bob Dole. The Dole Institute, along with our generous corporate and individual sponsors, is producing a months-long celebration in honor of Senator Dole’s legacy.
This Landmark Celebration gives Kansans—along with the whole nation—an opportunity to reflect on the transformative power of principled leadership that seeks to find common ground with those who disagree. The Dole Institute of Politics begins another 20 years fully committed to this ideal, continuing to grow generations of new and dynamic leadership that our present moment demands.
Explore highlights from the Landmark Celebration we held on July 22, 2023, as well as other opportunities to celebrate this unique moment in history.
On July 22, 2023, we hosted distinguished guests and members of the public from far and wide to celebrate the 100th birthday of Senator Bob Dole and the 20th Anniversary of the Dole Institute. This landmark occasion inspired us to collaborate with internationally recognized earthwork artist Stan Herd and many others to commemorate the life and legacy of one of Kansas’ greatest sons, and one of this country’s most respected legislators and statesmen: Robert Joseph Dole.
Earlier in the year, we began laying the foundation for our Landmark Celebration—literally!
In late April, we broke ground on our tribute earthwork of Senator Bob Dole on the East Lawn of the Dole Institute with legendary earthwork artist Stan Herd, and former Senators Trent Lott and Tom Daschle. Soon after, Stan Herd and his team began crafting the earthwork using raw materials sourced from throughout the state of Kansas. Bordering the earthwork are over 1,000 unique pieces of art created by Kansans of all ages.
You can watch a recap of our groundbreaking of the Senator Dole Tribute Earthwork on our YouTube channel!
Kansas Governor Laura Kelly issued a proclamation declaring July 2023 “Bob Dole Month” in Kansas.
We also were honored to have many corporate and individual sponsors for this celebration, including AARP-Kansas and Microsoft.
The Landmark Celebration kicked off on Saturday morning with tributes to Senator Bob Dole and the Dole Institute, and an official dedication of Stan Herd’s tribute earthwork.
Special guests from throughout the country joined us in our celebration, including Robin Dole, daughter of Senator Bob Dole; Kansas Governor Laura Kelly; Dole Institute Board of Advisors member Fred Logan; and President JuliAnn Mazachek of Washburn University.
Dole Institute Director Audrey Coleman, Senior Associate Director Barbara Ballard, and former Student Advisory Board member Eric Pahls spoke on the lasting impact of Senator Dole’s legacy, and how it has shaped the Dole Institute for over 20 years.
Artist Stan Herd also spoke about his inspiration for creating the Senator Bob Dole tribute earthwork.
Our formal tribute program included a presentation of the colors by the U.S. Army Color Guard from Ft. Leavenworth, musical presentations by Loaded Brass, part of the 312th Army Band, U.S. Army Reserves, from Lawrence, Kansas, and a T-38 Talon flyover by members of the 435th Fighter Training Squadron from Randolph Air Force Base in Texas.
The Landmark Celebration continued that afternoon with special programs presented by Kerry Tymchuk, speechwriter to Senators Bob and Elizabeth Dole and CEO of the Oregon Historical Society, and Bill Lacy, Director Emeritus of the Dole Institute of Politics.
Tymchuk recounted many moments from throughout Bob Dole’s career that highlighted his humor and candor—something that distinguished him from his legislative colleagues.
Lacy was joined virtually by Richard Norton Smith, the founding Director of the Dole Institute and noted presidential historian, for an in-depth conversation on the extraordinary legacy of an “ordinary” man, President Gerald Ford, and how he and Bob Dole developed their relationship throughout both of their careers. Afterwards, in a surprise presentation, pilots from the 435th Fighter Training Squadron presented Robin Dole with two flags that had flown over the crowd and the Dole Institute earlier in the morning to close our tribute program.
Throughout the day, we welcomed guests from all over for an open house at the Dole Institute of Politics.
Later on, we were delighted to have artist Stan Herd, singer/songwriter Ryan Manuel, former Kansas City Chiefs defensive lineman John Lohmeyer and quarterback Tony Adams all join us for our party commemorating Senator Bob Dole’s 100th birthday.
Before everyone enjoyed cupcake treats, Senior Associate Director Barbara Ballard led the crowd in the birthday song. The celebration concluded with a civilian flyover by Derek Rogers of Lawrence, Kansas—it truly was “icing on the cake!”
You can catch more highlights from the day by viewing our Landmark Celebration videos on our YouTube channel!
See the life and legacy of Senator Bob Dole through your eyes by viewing our special exhibit, Landmarks in Leadership: Bob Dole’s Legacy at 100 Years.
Featuring objects, manuscripts, and photographs from the Robert and Elizabeth Dole Archives and Special Collections, the exhibit tells the story of major moments in Senator Dole’s career through archival collections, such as a vintage 1968 Dole for Senate billboard, a scale model of the Dole Institute, and rocks used for the construction of the WWII Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Mark and Bette Morris Family Foundation
Alston & Bird
H. Neil Mecaskey, Jr. Foundation, Inc.
KU Alumni Association
Kansas Public Radio
Great Plains Media
C.J. and Becca Mahoney
Jeff and Mary Weinberg
Carol and Fred Logan
Crickett and Scott Reed
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