8/26/2004

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Contact: Todd Cohen, University Relations, (785) 864-8858.

McGovern to receive Dole Prize, give public lecture at KU Sept. 13

LAWRENCE -- Former U.S. Sen. Robert Dole and the Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas today announced that George McGovern,former senator and 1972 Democratic presidential nominee, will receive the second Dole Leadership Prize next month.

McGovern, a World War II combat bomber pilot, author, statesman and one of the world's leading experts on the fight to eradicate hunger, will receive the $25,000 award in a free public ceremony at 7:30 p.m., Sept. 13 at the Lied Center.

Tickets to the public lecture will be available starting Aug. 30 at the Lied Center box office or by calling (785) 864-2787. Limit four tickets per person.

After the speech McGovern will sign copies of his new book, "The Essential America: Our Founders and the Liberal Tradition." The next day he will participate in a discussion on contemporary politics with invited KU students. Dole's schedule will not allow him to attend.

The first Dole Prize was presented to former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani at the Dole Institute's dedication ceremonies in 2003.

"I can't imagine anyone more deserving of such recognition than my colleague George McGovern," said Dole, the former Senate Majority Leader and 1996 Republican presidential nominee. "His lifetime of distinguished service to the nation and the world is an inspiration to so many people in public life. He is a man who from his youngest days has been unafraid to lead and to search for answers to the most complex political questions."

For Dole, the event also marks an opportunity to honor a longtime political opponent who is also a close friend.

"Senator McGovern and I have a lot in common. We both served in Italy in the Second World War. We both represented Midwestern states in the Senate. And we both came up short in the race for the presidency after winning our party's nominations."

George McGovern biography

McGovern was born in Avon, S.D., on July 19, 1922, the son of a Methodist minister. As a pilot of a B-24 bomber based in Italy during World War II, he flew 35 missions and received the Distinguished Flying Cross.

He earned a doctoral degree in history and government at Northwestern University and was professor of history at Dakota Wesleyan University.

In 1956 McGovern was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives; in 1960 President Kennedy appointed him first director of the U.S. Food for Peace Program and special assistant to the president.

Elected to the U.S. Senate in 1962, he was re-elected in 1968 and 1974. In 1998 he was appointed U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Food and Agricultural Agencies by President Clinton. He has taught and lectured at more than 1,200 American colleges and universities and numerous European, Asian and Latin American universities. He is the author of eight books.

The Dole Institute of Politics

The Dole Prize is one of several signature programs at the Dole Institute.

The Dole Lecture, delivered each spring on or near the date Dole was wounded in World War II, was inaugurated last spring by Clinton. The Presidential Lecture Series, which for two years has taken place in November, will be moving to President's Week in February beginning in 2005.

In its place, the Institute will present a monthlong series of programs based on a theme. This year's theme is political humor, and events will include lectures, panels and performances by leading political figures, writers, comedians and artists.

The Dole Institute, established at KU in 1997 to honor the former Senate majority leader and presidential nominee, is designed to encourage student participation and citizen involvement in public service.

The institute houses Dole's papers -- the world's largest collection associated with a congressional leader. It also features a 3,300-square-foot auditorium and visitors center; a 120-seat seminar room/media center; KU's first satellite uplink; and extensive exhibits including the building's signature 29-by-12-foot stained glass American flag. Visit the institute's web site at www.doleinstitute.org.

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