Washburn Announces $1 Million Challenge Gift for Dole Plaza

A $1 million challenge gift from an anonymous donor will pay tribute to Senator Bob Dole, BA ’52 and JD’52, and go toward naming a new plaza outside of the planned Washburn University School of Law building. The challenge, which starts Thursday, Feb. 6, will coincide with Washburn’s 155th birthday and the University’s annual Day of Giving.

"We are very grateful for this challenge gift to enhance the area outside of the new building in honor of Senator Dole and his service to our country," said Jerry Farley, president, Washburn University. “We are proud to continue to celebrate his life and his distinguished career with this space dedicated to him.”

Everyone is invited to make a gift toward this challenge at wualumni.org/doleplaza. The $1 million challenge will continue past the Day of Giving and celebration of Washburn’s 155th birthday. The money will go to fund a plaza for outdoor entertaining near the new law school at the corner of 21st Street and Washburn Avenue. The challenge will match gifts dollar for dollar up to $1 million for the law building and will name the outdoor plaza after Senator Dole.

“I am humbled to be recognized in this way,” said Senator Dole. “Washburn University provided me with a firm foundation for a life of public service, and I am excited for the future of Washburn Law with this new building.”

Dole has developed a worldwide reputation for public service, holding elected positions in the Kansas House of Representatives, as Russell County (Kan.) attorney and as U.S. congressman before spending nearly 30 years as U.S. senator. He was chair of the Republican National Committee, Senate Minority Leader and Senate Majority Leader, where he set a record as the longest-serving Republican leader. Dole was President Gerald Ford’s vice-presidential running mate in 1976 and a Republican presidential candidate in both 1988 and 1996, earning the GOP nomination in 1996. He served as national chair of the World War II Memorial Campaign and has been a strong advocate for veterans and the disabled. In January 2018, Dole was honored with the Congressional Gold Medal, Congress’ highest civilian honor. He received two honorary doctor of law degrees from Washburn University, in 1969 and 1985.

"We look forward to completing this generous challenge as quickly as possible as we know so many alumni, friends, and Kansans know and admire Sen. Dole and all he has done for the American people," said Marshall Meek, president, Washburn University Alumni Association and Foundation.