Bob Dole Congratulates the Washburn Law Class of 2020

Photograph: Bob Dole.

Scroll down for text version of Bob Dole's letter.

Graphic: Bob Dole's letter to Washburn Law 2020 graduates.

May 16, 2020

Congratulations to the Washburn Law Class of 2020!

Sixty-eight years ago, I was in your shoes – graduating from Washburn Law, eager to build a career, and eager to make a real impact on the world.

One major difference, of course – home computers didn’t exist in 1952 when I earned my degree. And...there was no pandemic at the time.

I know this particular graduation is far different from the ceremony you had hoped for. Each one of us is adjusting to the new normal, and – both young and old – we are getting through this trying time together.

And speaking of getting through tough times together, I think Washburn University’s motto pretty much sums it up – Non Nobis Solum – or, for those of us who aren’t Latin scholars, “Not for ourselves alone.”

If the current crisis has taught us anything, it’s that none of us walks the path of life alone. Not a single one of us – despite the conditions now separating us all from gathering together in person.

Life has its ups and downs, and life throws us curve balls here and there. In my nearly 97 years, I’ve had my fair share of bumps in the road.

But we help one another along the way. I encourage each one of you to maintain a sense of optimism. Cast your sights on the brighter days to come. They are not far away. Find ways to serve one another, even from afar.

On this very special occasion, I am hopeful that you remain as proud of your Washburn Law degree as I was 68 years ago. While many things have changed since my days on campus, I know for certain that one thing remains the same – the enduring sense of community at Washburn. We are Ichabods, and we are no strangers to adversity. From generation to generation, we’ve survived through a thing or two, and we’ve met challenges head-on….whether in World War II or in a major pandemic. When faced with the obstacles of life, we forge ahead – proud of how far we have come, grateful for the journey, and hopeful for what the future holds.

I wish each and every one of you all the best for a bright future. Congratulations on achieving this major milestone.

God Bless America,


Graphic: American flag.