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KU News Release

September 21, 2005
Contact: Todd Cohen, University Relations, (785) 864-8858.

Media Advisory: Press conference with ex-Polish President Walesa on Thursday

WHAT: Press conference with Nobel Peace Prize winner and first democratically elected president of Poland Lech Walesa. He will receive the 2005 Dole Leadership Prize at a speech Thursday night at the University of Kansas.

WHEN: Noon, Thursday, Sept. 22.

WHERE: Rhodes Conference Room, Dole Institute of Politics on KU's West Campus (adjacent to the Lied Center).

MEDIA PASSES FOR 8 p.m LECTURE: Reporters or photographers needing access to the lecture must reserve tickets by 5p.m. Wednesday. E-mail Todd Cohen at tcohen@ku.edu or send a fax to (785) 864-3339. There is limited number of tickets available.


BACKGROUND:
Walesa is the third recipient of the Dole Prize, which was first awarded in 2003 to former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. Former Democratic presidential nominee Sen. George McGovern received the $25,000 prize in 2004.

Walesa received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1983 for his role as the leader of the union Solidarity, which challenged the then-Soviet dominated Communist government of Poland.

In 1990, Walesa won the nation's first direct presidential election in a landslide. During his presidency, Poland had its first free parliamentary elections in 1991, and the country changed completely from a Soviet-controlled Communist country with a state-run economy to an independent democracy with a fast-growing free-market economy. Walesa's lecture, parts of which will be in Polish and translated, and the award presentation will take place at 8 p.m. in the Lied Center. The event is sold out.

The Dole Institute, established at KU in 1997 to honor the former Senate majority leader and 1996 Republican presidential nominee, is designed to encourage student participation and citizen involvement in public service. The institute houses Dole's papers, one of the largest archives associated with a congressional leader. It also features a 3,300-square-foot public forum, a 120-seat seminar room/media center, KU's first satellite uplink and extensive exhibits.

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The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

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