Makayla Hipke
Dole Institute of Politics

Dole Institute to welcome ‘Nightline’ anchor, ambassador and more

Thu, 08/24/2017

LAWRENCE – The Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas unveiled its full schedule for the fall 2017 semester this week.

Highlights include a visit from “Nightline” co-anchor and award-winning journalist Juju Chang for the 2017 Journalism and Politics Lecture, and a program with Joseph Westphal, the U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia under former President Barack Obama.

“We have a fascinating slate of programs this semester that will cover a wide variety of topics,” said Dole Institute Director Bill Lacy. “There will be a little something for everyone, including talks on journalism, feminism, the Middle East and world hunger.”

The semester will kick off in September with a visit from Gerri Hirshey, the first female contributing editor of Rolling Stone magazine. Hirshey will discuss her book “Not Pretty Enough,” a fascinating biography on Helen Gurley Brown, the longtime editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan. September will also feature the annual Constitution Day program, which will examine religious rights and discrimination in light of recent high-profile court cases, as well as a program on food as a weapon for democracy after World War II.

An expert in the realm of world nutrition, fighting hunger and preventing famine, Catherine Bertini will visit the Dole Institute in October for a talk on humanitarian aid. October will also include a program honoring the 2017 Dole Leadership Prize recipient.

In November, Westphal and Chang’s visits will round out the fall schedule of public programming.

Dole Fellow Cherylyn Harley LeBon will lead the institute’s fall 2017 discussion group series examining how politicians, corporations, organizations and communities engage with women voters. Harley LeBon is a lawyer and media contributor with more than 20 years of wide-ranging experience in politics and business.

Legendary political columnist, commentator and New York Times best-selling author Roger Simon will serve as the Dole Institute’s fall 2017 visiting fellow from Nov. 28-Dec. 1. The longtime chief political columnist for Politico, Simon will visit several classes around campus and join the annual Friends of the Dole Institute Dinner that week.

Afternoon programs throughout the semester will include a program on local Vietnam veterans, a look at President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s quiet campaign to discredit U.S. Sen. Joseph McCarthy and the continuation of the Fort Leavenworth series. 

All events are free, open to the public and located at the Dole Institute unless otherwise noted.

The Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics is dedicated to promoting political and civic participation as well as civil discourse in a bipartisan, philosophically balanced manner. It is located on KU’s West District and houses the Dole Archive and Special Collections. Through its robust public programming, congressional archive and museum, the Dole Institute strives to celebrate public service and the legacies of U.S. Senators Bob Dole and Elizabeth Dole.

More information on all programs, as well as ongoing additions to the schedule, can be found on the Dole Institute’s website,


Evening programs

“Not Pretty Enough: The Unlikely Triumph of Helen Gurley Brown”
Sept. 13 – 7 p.m.
Author Gerri Hirshey, Rolling Stone’s first female contributing editor, will join the Dole Institute to shine new light on the complex life of Helen Gurley Brown. One of the most incomparable women of the 20th century, Gurley Brown served as editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan for more than 30 years and penned the famous book “Sex and the Single Girl.” Hirshey’s biography of Gurley Brown, “Not Pretty Enough,” is a rich story that ties in 90 years of women’s history with the life of a fascinating subject. This program includes a book sale and signing.

“Religious Rights or Unlawful Discrimination?”
Constitution Day program
Sept. 19 – 7 p.m.
Two experts in religious freedom law and anti-discrimination law will join the Dole Institute to discuss the difficult issues that arise when the assertion of religious beliefs conflicts with the rights of others. Does the constitutionally protected free exercise of religion trump state anti-discrimination laws that prohibit denying services based on a customer’s sexual orientation? Robin Fretwell Wilson, professor of law at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Camilla Taylor, senior counsel for Lambda Legal, explore this topic in a conversation moderated by Stephen McAllister, KU distinguished professor of law.

“Fighting Hunger in a Changing World”
Oct. 4 – 7 p.m.
Catherine Bertini’s career has placed her squarely on the front lines of the fight to end world hunger, including time at the United Nations, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and more. The 2003 World Food Prize Laureate, Bertini transformed the U.N.’s World Food Programme into the world’s largest and most responsive humanitarian food organization. Her work on humanitarian aid, girls’ education and food insecurity will serve as the backdrop to this conversation on combating hunger in a changing world.

The Future of the Middle East
Nov. 8 – 7 p.m.
Modern issues in the Middle East are rarely contained to the region — threats from terrorist groups like ISIS, bloody conflicts in Syria and Yemen, and internal disputes among countries are of critical interest to many nations of the world, including the United States. Join Joseph Westphal, former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia, for a conversation on his career, the role of ambassadors in the Middle East and the complex reality of present-day issues in one of the most complicated regions of the world.

“Anchoring ‘Nightline’: Juju Chang”
2017 Journalism and Politics Lecture
Nov. 15 – 7 p.m.
Juju Chang is an Emmy and Peabody Award-winning journalist, the co-anchor of ABC News’ “Nightline” and a regular contributor for “Good Morning America” and “20/20.” Her career has seen her cover breaking news stories like the Boston Marathon bombing and Superstorm Sandy, in-depth reporting on LGBTQ issues, gender equality and sexual assault, and global issues like Boko Haram and the #BringBackOurGirls saga. Chang will take guests inside her work as an anchor and reporter in the fast-paced world of network television for the 2017 Journalism and Politics Lecture.


Afternoon programs
“Douhet and Command of the Air”
Fort Leavenworth series
Sept. 7 – 3 p.m.
After World War I, some military theorists saw airpower as a way to avoid the horror of the trenches. Gates Brown discusses the promises of airpower theorists like Giulio Douhet, who argued that air forces could end wars before traditional military forces were ready to begin fighting. The work of these theorists helped develop the U.S. Army Air Corps’ strategic bombing doctrine during the interwar period.

“The Elusive Quest for the Lacrosse Mom: How do Politicians, Corporations, Organizations and the Community Engage Women?”
Discussion Group series
Sept. 12, 19, 26; Oct. 3, 24; Nov. 14 – 4 p.m.
An experienced campaign adviser, D.C. insider and media contributor, Fall Fellow Cherylyn Harley LeBon will lead a discussion group series examining how various organizations, corporations and political entities attempt to engage with women and why they can be a difficult constituency to reach.

“Vietnam: Three who Served”
Sept. 21 – 3 p.m.
Matt Keenan shares the unique stories of three local Vietnam combat veterans: John Gerstle, U.S. Army; John Solbach, U.S. Marine Corps, and Norm Fretwell, Army Ranger and paratrooper, and graduate from the 1966 West Point class described by Rick Atkinson in his Pulitzer Prize-winning book, “The Long Gray Line.” Common threads will emerge as Keenan and his guests examine the ways in which the war changed them and their country.

“Food: The Ultimate Weapon for Democracy”
Sept. 28 – 3 p.m.
In 1946, starvation abounded in the world. World War II had led to hunger, and now coupled with world drought was causing massive starvation. Guns had started and won the war, yet peace would be written by bread. Don Loeslie shares the story of how food became a primary weapon for peace in the postwar recovery effort, including programs led by President Harry Truman and U.S. Secretary of State George Marshall.

“The Marines and Amphibious Doctrine”
Fort Leavenworth series
Oct. 5 – 3 p.m.
As entry into World War II and a war with the Japanese became increasingly likely, the future of the Marine Corps was becoming increasingly uncertain. Amphibious assault doctrine caught the service’s interest as a method of making the Marines indispensable to the coming fight and to the future military organization of the U.S. Janet Valentine shares the intellectual process that allowed for the development of an effective doctrine for amphibious assault — a task that others were convinced could not be accomplished.

“Ike and McCarthy: Eisenhower’s Secret Campaign”
Oct. 12 – 3 p.m.
In January 1954, Joseph McCarthy was arguably the most powerful member of the Senate. By the end of that year, he had been censured by his colleagues for unbecoming conduct. David Nichols, author of “Ike and McCarthy,” shares the story of how President Dwight Eisenhower masterminded the downfall of the anti-Communist demagogue McCarthy with a clandestine campaign against the senator. This program includes a book sale and signing.

“Nuclear Containment in a Bipolar World”
Fort Leavenworth Series
Nov. 2 – 3 p.m.
The wartime alliance of the U.S. and Soviet Union began to crack even before the end of World War II, but relations completely crumbled in the immediate aftermath of the conflict. As both nations boasted nuclear weapons, the U.S. attempted to use containment as the primary strategy for dealing with the Soviet Union throughout the Cold War. David Mills will explore the military and political confrontations between the two countries as well as the U.S. government’s attempts to idolize American democratic systems while denigrating communism.


Ongoing special exhibits

“The League of Wives: Vietnam’s POW/MIA Allies & Advocates”
Open through Dec. 31
In the late 1960s, POW/MIA wives bucked government protocol and challenged the traditional role of “military wife.” These courageous women worked with Congress and the Nixon administration to demand accounting for their husbands and pursue their safe return after years of imprisonment and torture by the North Vietnamese. Curated by 2017 Dole Archives Curatorial Fellow Heath Hardage Lee, and based on her upcoming book, “The League of Wives: a True Story of Survival and Rescue from the Homefront” (2019, St. Martin’s Press), this special exhibition features documents, photos, oral histories and memorabilia from the Dole Archives, personal collections of POW/MIA families and other institutions.

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