April 28, 2004

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Contact: Stephen R. McAllister or Jonathan Earle, Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics, (785) 864-4900.

Former President Bill Clinton to give inaugural Dole Lecture May 21 at KU

LAWRENCE -- Former U.S. President Bill Clinton will deliver the inaugural Robert J. Dole Lecture at 2:15 p.m. Friday, May 21, in the Lied Center at the University of Kansas, Stephen McAllister, interim director of the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics at KU, announced today.

Tickets for reserved seating will be available beginning at 11 a.m. Wednesday, May 12, at the Lied Center box office or by calling the box office at (785) 864-ARTS. Box office hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Tickets are free, but there is a two-ticket limit per person.

Dole, who personally invited Clinton, said he was delighted his Democratic opponent in the 1996 presidential campaign had agreed to kick off the new lecture series.

"I cannot think of a more appropriate person to inaugurate the Dole Lecture than President Clinton," he said. "It sets entirely the right tone in terms of having the institute embody nonpartisan public service."

The Dole Lecture is one in a series of signature programs designed to bring the institute and the community together. Each spring, on or about the date of Dole's wounding in Italy during World War II, the institute will bring a prominent figure to campus to address some aspect of international politics or diplomacy.

"It is an opportunity for Kansans to hear from and interact with policy-makers and world leaders," said McAllister.

Since leaving office in 2001, Clinton has worked closely with Dole on several projects, including the World War II Memorial, to be dedicated Memorial Day weekend in Washington, D.C. They also co-chaired the fund-raising campaign for the Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund to provide educational assistance for the family members of victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. In 2003, Clinton and Dole also debated national issues in a series of segments for the CBS News magazine "60 Minutes." KU is pleased to welcome, as the first Dole Lecturer, someone who is closely tied to the senator by politics, friendship and a devotion to public service.

Clinton, the 42nd president of the United States, was elected in 1992 and re-elected in 1996. Prior to his election, he served four terms as governor of Arkansas and one term as that state's attorney general. An Arkansas native, Clinton graduated from Georgetown University, was a Rhodes scholar and received his law degree from Yale University.

Clinton has spent much of the past two years working on his foundation, which aims to fight AIDS globally; economic empowerment of poor communities; racial, ethnic and religious reconciliation; and citizen service (http://www.clintonpresidentialcenter.org). His wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton, is a U.S. senator representing New York.

The Dole Institute, which houses the nation's largest Congressional archive, was dedicated last summer in a four-day gala celebration attended by hundreds of veterans plus special guests including former President Jimmy Carter, former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice.

With limestone walls, soaring stained-glass windows and a large reflecting pool reminiscent of Washington's Tidal Basin, the institute is a KU landmark. The $11 million, 28,000-square-foot facility houses state-of-the-art exhibits as well as meeting spaces. A 14-foot replica of the Kansas state seal is one of several distinctive architectural features. Others include two columns from the World Trade Center, a 19-foot stone map of Kansas and a 12-foot replica of the Capitol dome in Washington, D.C., accompanied by a multi-screen video "tour" of the legislative process, narrated by Dole.

The institute has sponsored a variety of programs, including speeches by C-SPAN founder Brian Lamb and presidential adviser David Gergen and a presidential lecture series featuring Pulitzer Prize-winning biographers David McCullough, Roger Wilkins, Edmund Morris and Robert Caro.

The institute is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon-5 p.m. Sundays. Admission is free. For more information, call (785) 864-4900 or visit www.doleinstitute.org.

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