Washburn University joins the nation in mourning the loss of one of its most decorated and celebrated alumni

Washburn University joins Kansas and the United States in mourning the loss of one of its most...
Washburn University joins Kansas and the United States in mourning the loss of one of its most decorated and celebrated alumni, Bob Dole.(WIBW)
Published: Dec. 5, 2021 at 7:08 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Washburn University joins Kansas and the United States in mourning the loss of one of its most decorated and celebrated alumni, Bob Dole.

“Sen. Dole made America a better place for all Americans,” said Washburn University President Jerry Farley. “Like many of the students who come to Washburn today seeking an education, Bob Dole grew up in a small town in Kansas. It is our duty to pass on to future generations his importance and the impact he made from those humble beginnings here in Kansas. He truly lived Washburn’s motto of ‘non nobis solum,’ ‘not for ourselves alone,’ and we are proud to call him an alumnus of Washburn and the School of Law.”

The university said Dole remained committed to serving and giving back to Washburn throughout his life. Along with his wife, Sen. Elizabeth Dole, they established and funded at Washburn the Senator Robert J. Dole Law Professorship, the Robert J. Dole Center for Law and Government, and the Honorable Robert J. Dole Scholarship for Law Students with Disabilities.

The university said Dole and his wife also made substantial gifts to other areas on campus including the new School of Law building. It said Dole served on the School of Law board of governors and the Alumni Association and Foundation board of trustees.

“Sen. Dole’s service to Washburn and the School of Law will forever be unmatched,” said Marshall Meek, president, Washburn University Alumni Association and Foundation. “On behalf of all alumni and friends of Washburn University, we mourn his passing. But we also celebrate a life lived in service to so many, including his beloved alma mater. The mark he made at Washburn University through his generosity and service will forever be a part of his great legacy.”

Washburn recognized Dole with two honorary doctors of law degrees in 1969 and 1985. it said a bronze statue of Dole was erected on campus in 2018 and an outdoor plaza at the new School of Law building will be named in his honor.

The Washburn Alumni Association honored Dole with a Distinguished Service Award in 1966, and the School of Law Alumni Association gave him a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007.

“He built relationships throughout his life based on trust, respect, and integrity,” Farley said. “From his dedication to veterans and disabled Americans to his principled congressional leadership, he set an example every American should emulate. Washburn University joins the rest of Kansas, the United States, and the entire world in mourning his passing while honoring, celebrating, and memorializing his amazing life.”

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