BODMAG Dole Article

                The most notable alumni of the Washburn Law School is former senator Bob Dole, a prominent figure in politics as well as a former presidential candidate.

Born in 1923 and raised in Russell, Kansas, Dole and his family worked hard to earn a steady living. Living through the Great Depression, they rented out the upper floors of their house to bring in revenue. In 1941, Dole graduated high school and was accepted to Kansas University, studying pre-med and playing for Kansas’ basketball and football teams. His study at Kansas University was interrupted by World War II, where he joined the army and fought with the 10th Mountain Division. In a battle in Italy, he was badly wounded by machine gun fire, which tore through his arm and shoulder. He was sent back to the United States and made a slow recovery because of infections. Dole was awarded two purple hearts, a bronze star, and a combat “V”, for valor, after trying to assist a downed radioman. After the war, Dole attended the University of Arizona in 1948 until 1951, when he came to Topeka to attend Washburn Law School. While in college, Dole was a member of the Kappa Sigma fraternity, in 1970 earning the Kappa Sigma “Man of the Year” award. Dole received his BA and LLB degrees from Washburn in 1952. Dole ran for Kansas House of Representatives in 1950 and served a two year term, then moved back to Russell as county attorney until 1960. He was then elected to the United States House of Representatives, serving in Kansas’ first congressional district, which he served 3 terms in. Dole was elected to the United States Senate in 1969, then re-elected in 1974, 1980, 1986 and 1992, and resigned in 1996 to focus on his presidential campaign. He served as both Senate Minority and Majority leader during his time in the senate.

Dole was Washburn’s Grand Homecoming Marshall in 2015, commemorating the University’s 150th Homecoming. In this time visited Washburn’s parade and homecoming football game.

Dole remembered his life and his many achievements and gave advice to students on how to achieve such feats.

“Study hard, sometimes that’s not so easy with so many activities going on,” said Dole. “But one thing I learned in law school was that if I didn’t apply myself and get good grades, it’ll make it much more difficult finding a good position at graduation.”

Dole also talked about how students should approach the job market when graduating.

“Of course some of the law students there will go back home if they’re from Kansas and run for county attorney,” Dole. “Others will want to practice law depending on what jobs are available. They may have to start at a lower level and work their way up the tree. Others may go into another business. One thing about a law degree is; you can get into business and other things because of what you’ve learned while you were in law school because it requires a great deal of effort. Now that helps you whether you’re in business or whatever it might be.”

He also talked about getting into politics, how students should approach diving into the world of running for office and the political spectrum.

“When I graduated, I ran for county attorney in Russell, Kansas. From there I ran for Congress, I was in the House [of Representatives of Kansas] for eight years, then I went to the [United States] Senate for twenty-eight years. These are very sophisticated students graduating from law school, so they may know a lot about politics. If you’re not going to run for office, you should get involved in a campaign, so if you’re interested you can learn a little more about it, whether it’s for you or for someone else or if you want to run for county attorney, House of Representatives or Senate or even join the presidential race. The more you do, the more you’re gonna learn. You may, after some time decide you don’t wanna go into politics, or you might wet your appetitie and get involved and run for office yourself or help someone else. There are a lot of government guys that need good lawyers. That’s a job often overlooked by students.”