School of Law



The Statesman

Bob Dole

From Russell, Kan., to Washington, D.C., from Washburn Law to the United States Senate, Bob Dole has dedicated his life to public service.

Dole discovered his passion for the law and for government service while attending Washburn Law.

“When I was a law student, I was interested in public service, but I did not know if it was the right direction to go. The faculty, especially Beth Bowers, encouraged me to pursue a career in public service and politics. That helped set the course for my career,” Dole said.

“Because Washburn Law is located in the state’s capital, I had the opportunity to meet with and learn from Kansas legislators and politicians. That experience was invaluable.”

Over the years, as Dole’s career as an outstanding and well-respected statesman unfolded, he stayed connected to the law school. In 1999, he endowed the Honorable Robert J. Dole Scholarship for Students with Disabilities. A few years later, he established the Senator Robert J. Dole Law Professorship Fund. Most recently, he established the Robert J. Dole Center for Law and Government Fund.

“I believe I have a responsibility as an alumnus to support Washburn Law. I received an outstanding education at Washburn Law. The faculty was exceptional, and they continually challenged me,” Dole said. “I learned I could achieve almost anything I wanted if I worked hard for it. I want other law students to have that same opportunity.”

Today at age 90, Dole serves as special counsel for the Washington, D.C., office of Alston & Bird LLP. He remains one of the most sought-after advisers in the public policy arena. Dole is also counted among Washburn Law’s most distinguished alumni.

Story originally published in Fall 2012.