LAWRENCE (KSNT) – The passing for former U.S. Senator Bob Dole leaves many in people in Kansas and around the country in a state of mourning.
Dole leaves behind an impressive legacy, perhaps most clearly seen through the nonpartisan building he founded in Lawrence, Kansas where he attended school before heading to the Army. Those working at the institute plan to keep his mission alive.
Staff members at the Dole Institute of Politics reflected on his life.
“It’s not just a loss for Kansas, it’s a loss for the United States and it’s a loss for the world,” Visitors Services Assistant Skye Conley said. “Because if you want to look at someone who’s always had dedication and always thought of something bigger than himself, Bob Dole has always done that.”
The impact and bipartisan efforts of Dole’s decades of public service can still be felt today. Working in the US Senate for nearly 30 years, Dole was a key part in laws that are still used to this day.
“His legislative legacy is tremendous, any major piece of legislation that went through congress in the later half of the 20th century he had some part of,” Dole Institute of Politics Director Audrey Coleman said. “He touched, either in a big way – whether its food insecurity and agricultural issues, whether its veterans issues.”
His values and approach to lawmaking, help him stand out in politics. With an emphasis on reaching across the aisle and listening to every voice.
“We are inspired by his legacy of public service, of his bipartisanship and his promotion of civil discourse. We work here at KU with KU students, students of all ages and the general public to promote these values as we see them as central to our democracy,” Coleman said.
His message of working to solve issues together, as one nation, will not be forgotten by the members of the Institute anytime soon.
“We’ll remember him every day, and his legacy will go on,” Coleman said.
Photos from the Dole Institute dedication, July, 2003, by Keith Horinek