Sen. Bob Dole was honored with a statue on Friday, Sept. 28 at Washburn University. The university celebrated Dole’s lifetime achievements as one of the university’s most contributed alumnus.
The statue resides in front of Carnegie Hall at the center of Washburn University. It is meant to inspire students and staff who walk by the statue.
“To have the opportunity to place something to remember him by on this campus is spectacular,” said President Jerry Farley. “I just love the idea.”
It took seven months to construct by the statue. It was created by a Kansas native. The statue was funded privately through donations from Dole’s friends, according to Farley.
Dole graduated from Washburn University in 1952 with a bachelor and doctorate degree after serving in World War II. He has made many achievements since that time.
“Washburn provided me with a firm foundation to set my sights on great things,” said Dole.
Dole is a retired American politician and attorney who represented Kansas in Congress from 1961 to 1996 and served as the Republican leader of the U.S. Senate from 1985 until 1996. He ran for president in 1996.
Dole is one of the longest serving senators in U.S. history.
“I spent 36 years in the Congress,” said Dole. “I traveled back and forth between D.C. and Kansas for more than a thousand times.”
The new bronze statue honors Dole’s achievements not only in the state, but also the nation in his lifetime.
“I am a proud Kansan and I love the state,” said Dole. “I love people in this state whether they are democrats, republicans, independents.”
In Dole’s speech, he thanked all of the people who have supported him in his life, including his family, friends and colleagues. He also shared his views toward politics.
“My view is once you’re elected you serve the people, you don’t serve only members of your party, you serve everyone in your state,” said Dole.
Students and staff at Washburn came to the ceremony to support and honor Dole, a contributed alumnus.
“Sen. Bob Dole is one of the alumni that truly stands out and makes an impact in our state and in our nation,” said JuliAnn Mazachek, vice president of academic affairs at Washburn who worked with Dole for many years. “I think it’s an honor for us to be able to have that statue.”
People came from many places in the state, including Wichita, Lawrence, Manhattan or Kansas City, to watch the unveiling of the statue. Some of them are longtime friends of Dole’s.
Judy Allen Morris is one of a lifelong fan of Dole’s. Morris came from Lawrence, Kansas. She held a book of Dole’s, written in 1945. She also had a hat with Dole’s name on it, which was from Dole’s senator campaign many years ago.
“He is a wonderful man and he deserves anything,” said Morris. “My mother gave this hat, and I brought it here today to support Sen. Bob Dole.”
In Dole’s speech, he also encouraged students at Washburn who want to purchase a career in the law field and serve people.
“Young people working in this way, if you study hard, you can get another statue of you placed on campus someday,” said Dole.
Dole is a notable alumnus of Washburn. The statue of Dole inspires Washburn students to work hard and to have their own achievements in the future.