Former U.S. Senator Kassebaum gets Dole leadership award

Staff writer

Former U.S. Senator Nancy Landon Kassebaum of Burdick has received the 2016 Dole Leadership Prize from the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas.

The award was presented Saturday at a “Giants of the Senate” event with Senator Bob Dole.

Her son, Bill Kassebaum of Burdick, and granddaughters, Theo and Nellie, attended the presentation.

Kassebaum said the award took her by surprise.

“I didn’t know about it until it was announced,” she said. “I’m kind of amazed they did that.”

“Senator Kassebaum’s service to Kansas and the nation has been exemplary,” Bill Lacy, director of the Dole Institute, said. “It was a great honor to present her with the Dole Leadership Prize, and even more special to have Senator Dole as part of the program. He thought it would be fun to be in attendance and make the award a surprise.”

First elected in 1978, Kassebaum served nearly two decades in the U.S. Senate representing the state of Kansas, eventually becoming the first woman to chair a major Senate committee. She was the only woman in the 100-member Senate upon her arrival. She served with Dole during her entire 18-year tenure.

The award included a $25,000 honorarium. Kassebaum said she would not keep the money but will return it to the Dole Institute or donate it to some other charitable cause in Kansas.

Her late husband, Senator Howard Baker of Tennessee, received the award in 2006.

Kassebaum lives on a ranch northeast of Burdick. She remains active in the area and said she would be happy to entertain calls from people who would like to visit with her about her public service.

Her phone number is (785) 983-4408.

Last modified Sept. 21, 2016

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