Kemp '74 and '03 to Receive Dole Leadership Prize

Photograph: John Kemp

John D. Kemp, ’74 and ’03, a nationally-recognized disabilities advocate, was selected to receive the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics Leadership Prize. The Prize is awarded annually to an individual or group whose public service leadership inspires others.

“As a wounded veteran and tireless advocate for disability rights, Senator Dole has taken a personal interest in Mr. Kemp’s outstanding service to the disabilities community,” said Dole Institute Director Bill Lacy. “Senator Dole and the Dole Institute are passionate about highlighting the unique work and inspiring life of Mr. Kemp and what he has accomplished for the disabilities movement. He simply couldn’t be more deserving of this award.”

On Sunday, December 14, 4 pm, the Dole Leadership Prize will be awarded to Kemp at an interview-style program at the Dole Institute, Lawrence, Kan., that is free and open to the public. Senator Dole has personally selected Kemp for the Prize based on his public service leadership. He is the first disability leader to receive this award. Kemp has chosen The Viscardi Center to be the recipient of the Prize’s $25,000 monetary award.

Kemp graduated from Washburn University School of Law in 1974 and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Law in 2003. He serves as president and CEO of The Viscardi Center, a network of non-profit organizations that provides a lifespan of services that educate, employ, and empower children and adults with disabilities based in Albertson, N.Y. As a person with a disability who uses four prostheses, Kemp inspires others to achieve the impossible through knowledge, experience, vision, personality, and persistence.

“I am humbled to have been chosen by the Senator to receive this year’s Dole Leadership Prize and to join an elite group of past recipients who have made positive impacts on the lives of people around the world,” said Kemp. “I have dedicated my life to improving the quality of life for all people with disabilities and it is my hope that this distinction shines the spotlight on The Viscardi Center and the work it does every day to build the leaders of tomorrow and contributing members of society today.”