Dole Institute announces initial spring 2022 programming

January 25, 2022 - News

The Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas is pleased to announce its early spring 2022 programming lineup, featuring a variety of incredible speakers. This semester’s guests include a former U.S. Senator from Kansas, a former Chief of Staff for Senator Bob Dole, a Historian Emeritus of the Senate, and presidential historians and library leaders.

“In honor of his recent passing, this semester will feature programs inspired by the military service and senate leadership of Senator Bob Dole,” said Audrey Coleman, director of the Dole Institute. “We’re excited to gather online and, for the first spring since 2020, in person. We will continue to monitor conditions of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, keeping the safety of our staff and our visitors in mind.”

Evening programs will launch on February 10 with the first installment in the virtual Presidential Lecture Series. The theme of this year’s series is “Military Veterans in the Oval Office.” The Presidential Lecture Series will consist of four virtual events throughout February and March, featuring former Dole Institute Director Richard Norton Smith as well as leaders from the Truman and Eisenhower presidential libraries.

This semester’s seven-part Discussion Group series will be led by author and political consultant Robert Blaemire. Blaemire served in a variety of roles for Senator Birch Bayh (D-IN), including acting as Bayh’s political director for his 1980 re-election campaign. Joined by guests with differing political affiliations, Blaemire will host conversations on former Democratic and Republican Senators. His guests will include Don Ritchie, Historian Emeritus of the U.S. Senate, Sheila Burke, former Dole Fellow and chief of staff to Senator Bob Dole, and former U.S. Senator from Kansas Nancy Kassebaum.

The popular Fort Leavenworth series will continue with monthly lectures from faculty from the Command and General Staff College in Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas. This year’s theme is “The Periphery of War.”

The fifth annual A Conversation on Race series will return in February, with Dole Institute Associate Director Barbara Ballard leading the discussion.

This spring will also feature a new slate of exhibits and activities in the Institute’s Museum galleries – including an encore of our 2020 exhibit, “What Would a Woman Offer Her Country? Elizabeth Dole’s Ground-breaking, Trail-blazing Life of Service.”

The Institute will resume its in-person annual Easter Egg Roll with Dole. This family-friendly event features an egg rolling race, inspired by the White House Easter Egg Roll held annually on the White House South Lawn.

All programs are free to the public and are live streamed to the Institute’s YouTube channel. In light of the ever-evolving COVID-19 pandemic, programs are subject to change. Additional programs will be announced later this spring. More information on programs, as well as ongoing additions to the schedule, can be found on the Dole Institute website.


Evening Programs ­

Presidential Lecture Series: “Military Veterans in the Oval Office”

Join notable historians and archivists as they discuss the military service of former U.S. presidents and the relationship of that service to their own politics, leadership, and policy – both foreign and domestic. How did they – and the Americans they served – value that experience?

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.

From Revolution to Roosevelt
Richard Norton Smith
Thursday, February 10 | 7 p.m.
Virtual event

Richard Norton Smith worked for Senator Bob Dole as a speechwriter and literary collaborator and was the first Director of the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics. He served as Director of the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum, the Dwight D. Eisenhower Center, the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and the Gerald R. Ford Museum and Library.

President Harry S. Truman
Kurt Graham and Mark Adams
Thursday, February 24 | 7 p.m.
Virtual event

Kurt Graham has been the director of the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum in Independence, Missouri, since 2015.

Mark Adams, education director, Harry S. Truman Library and Museum, is a history educator with more than thirty years of experience.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dawn Hammatt and Jim Ginther
Thursday, March 3 | 7 p.m.
Virtual event

Dawn Hammatt is the director of the Eisenhower Presidential Library, Museum, and Boyhood Home in Abilene, Kansas.

James Ginther is the supervisory archivist at the Eisenhower Presidential Library, Museum and Boyhood Home in Abilene, Kansas.

World War II and Beyond
Richard Norton Smith
Thursday, March 24 | 7 p.m.
Virtual event

Save the date ­

A Conversation on Race, Part V
Monday, February 28 | 7 p.m.

Afternoon Programs

Fall 2021 Discussion Groups SeriesGiants of the Senate
Robert Blaemire

The fall 2021 discussion group series will discuss former Democratic and Republican Senators, their accomplishments, and their challenges. Featuring former campaign staffers and notable politicos as his guests, Blaemire will lead conversations about times when the Senate and Congress worked together and when many bipartisan acts were passed.

The Dole Discussion Groups are made possible by a grant from Newman’s Own Foundation and are presented in partnership with the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University and the Frank Church Institute at Boise State University.

The U.S. Senate Then and Now: A Historical Perspective
Don Ritchie, Historian Emeritus of the U.S. Senate
Wednesday, February 16 | 4 p.m.

Howard Baker of Tennessee – Senate leader, White House Chief of Staff, Ambassador to Japan
Tom Griscom staff of Senator Howard Baker (R-TN)
Wednesday, February 23 | 4 p.m.

Birch Bayh and Frank Church: Two Democratic Giants of the Senate in the ‘60s and ‘70s
Peter Fenn, staff of Sen. Frank Church (D-ID)
Wednesday, March 2 | 4 p.m.

How Bipartisanship in the Senate Changed America
Sheila Burke, staff of Senator Bob Dole (R-KS)
Wednesday, March 9 | 4 p.m.

Luke Albee, staff of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT)
Wednesday, March 23 | 4 p.m.

Nancy Kassebaum, Senator (R-KS)
Wednesday, March 30 | 4 p.m.

John Shaw, biographer on Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN)
Wednesday, April 6 | 4 p.m.

Ft. Leavenworth Series
This year’s Ft. Leavenworth Series theme is “The Periphery of War.” The first lecture will take place on Wednesday, February 2, and the following events will take place the first Thursday of each month at 3 p.m. the Dole Institute or may be live-streamed on our YouTube channel.

France and Corsica: The Range of Military Operations
Dr. Jonathan Abel
Wednesday, February 2 | 3 p.m.

Defending New York City in the Early Republic
Dr. Rich Barbuto
Thursday, March 3 | 3 p.m.

Victory at Sea: World War 2 on Film
Dr. John Kuehn
Thursday, April 7 | 3 p.m.

Examining War Crimes in World War 2: A Panel Discussion
Drs. Dave Cotter, Mark Hull, Benjamin M. Schneider
Thursday, May 5 | 3 p.m.

Hybrid War in the Shenandoah in 1864
Dr. Ethan Rafuse
Thursday, June 2 | 3 p.m.

Bleeding Kansas and British Kaffraria in the 1850s
Dr. Randy Mullis
Thursday, July 7 | 3 p.m.

Easter Egg Roll with Dole
Saturday, April 16 | 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Come one, come all, for the Dole Institute’s Easter Egg Roll with Dole. Join us for a free morning of family fun, including a White House-style egg roll race, egg hunt, games, crafts and more. The event is free and open to the public and will go on rain or shine.

Education and outreach

The Dole Institute offers a variety of educational programming to fit the needs of students, including onsite visits to the Dole Institute, classroom outreach and online access to our digital archives.

Virtual Girl Scout Programs (advance registration required)

Democracy for Brownies
Wednesday, January 26 | 5-5:45 p.m.
Thursday, March 3 | 5-5:45 p.m.
Wednesday, March 30 | 5-5:45 p.m.

Democracy for Juniors
Thursday, January 27 | 5-5:45 p.m.
Thursday, February 3 | 5-5:45 p.m.

Celebrating Community for Brownies
Wednesday, February 2 | 5-5:45 p.m.
Wednesday, February 9 | 5-5:45 p.m.

Democracy for Daisies
Thursday, February 10 | 5-5:40 p.m.
Wednesday, March 2 | 5-5:40 p.m.
Thursday, March 31 | 5-5:40 p.m.

Inside Government for Juniors
Wednesday, February 16 | 5-6 p.m.
Wednesday, February 23 | 5-6 p.m.

In-Person Girl Scout Programs

Bring Your Own Chair
Saturday, March 12 | 1-2:30 p.m.

All virtual programs above require advance registration and can also be scheduled as in-person events. To learn more about attending the events or to book your own sessions, contact Julie Clover, public education coordinator, at


What Would a Woman Offer Her Country? Elizabeth Dole’s Ground-breaking, Trail-blazing Life of Service
Opens March 2022

A fresh design features items from Dole’s own historical collections, which she donated to the Dole Institute in 2017. The exhibit chronicles her more than six decades of public service, people-focused leadership and policymaking – all while breaking barriers and blazing trails for other women to follow in her footsteps.

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 legacies of U.S. Senators Bob Dole and Elizabeth Dole.


The Dole Institute is committed to universal accessibility in all programs and resources. We are in the process of making all of our web projects fully accessible. An accessible version of the material represented on this site will be made available upon request. Please contact us at to request the material be made available in an accessible format, or for general assistance.