Makayla Hipke
Dole Institute of Politics

Dole Institute announces creation of Robert J. Dole Service to Country Award

Thu, 05/03/2018

LAWRENCE – The Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas announced the creation of a new special award for KU students this week.

The Robert J. Dole Service to Country Award is given annually to a member of the institute’s Student Advisory Board (SAB) for their involvement at the institute and commitment to public service and demonstrated leadership. Preference will be given — but not limited to — any SAB member also serving in active duty, the reserves or National Guard, or an honorably discharged veteran of the uniformed services.

The award includes a $1,000 cash prize, and the recipient of the award will be honored at the Dole Lecture.

The Robert J. Dole Service to Country Award was created to recognize the former U.S. lawmaker for his service to our country as a U.S. Senate majority leader, presidential candidate, statesman and World War II veteran. The award was endowed by John Pinegar and Kathleen and Douglas Smith.

“The institute is proud to introduce the Robert J. Dole Service to Country Award,” said Dole Institute director Bill Lacy. “Our Student Advisory Board offers unparalleled opportunities to get involved for students interested in political involvement and public service. We are pleased to have this avenue to honor their contributions, and grateful to John Pinegar and Kathleen and Douglas Smith for their generosity in creating this award.”

The institute was pleased to announce KU senior Claire Meczkowski, of Bentonville, Arkansas, as the inaugural recipient of the honor at last week’s Dole Lecture. A political science major, Meczkowski has been heavily involved with the institute’s SAB throughout her time at KU, including serving as the SAB student coordinator for the 2017-18 school year. Meczkowski is a Pi Sigma Alpha inductee and has been involved with the National Campaign for Political and Civic Engagement and the Civic Engagement and Leadership Council at KU.

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 in 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,

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