Norwich University Honors U.S. Senator Robert Dole in a Ceremony at the WWII Memorial in D.C.

Norwich University officials presented former U.S. Senator Robert Dole with an honorary Doctor of Public Service degree in a public ceremony at the World War II Memorial on the National Mall on Thursday, June 25, at 11 a.m.

Retired Army General Gordon R. Sullivan ’59, former Army chief of staff and chairman of the Norwich University Board of Trustees; Trustee Joel A. Kobert ’65 and Vice President for Academic Affairs Guiyou Huang joined President Richard W. Schneider during the hooding ceremony.

Norwich University was founded in 1819 by U.S. Army Captain Alden Partridge, who created Norwich to educate citizen soldiers by providing the skills necessary to both build and defend the republic. Its structure inspired the Land Grant Act of 1862, and Norwich is regarded as the birthplace of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps.

Schneider has been president at Norwich for 23 years.

“Bob Dole is an American hero who lives a life that embodies the very essence of what Norwich was founded upon – leadership, integrity and service,” Schneider said. “It is an honor and a privilege to forever bond Senator Bob Dole with America’s oldest private military college, Norwich University.”

A highly decorated veteran of World War II and lifetime public servant, Robert Joseph “Bob” Dole was born July 22, 1923, in Russell, Kansas.

In 1942 he left college to enlist in the U.S. Army. He served as a combat infantry officer in Italy in 1944. During his service, he was severely wounded while attempting to save another’s life. For his actions, Dole was awarded two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star.

Dole finished college and attended law school on the G.I. Bill. He began his political career by serving as a member of the Kansas State Legislature from 1951 to 1953, and later served four terms as prosecuting attorney for Russell County.

A U.S. Senator from Kansas from 1969to 1996, Dole served part of that time as U.S. Senate Majority Leader, setting a record as the longest-serving Republican leader.

Married to former cabinet member and former U.S. Senator Elizabeth Hanford Dole of North CarolinaNorwich’s honored 2015 commencement speaker and honorary degree recipientBob Dole was the Republican vice-presidential nominee in the 1976 U.S. presidential election and the Republican nominee in the 1996 U.S. presidential election.

In 2007, President George W. Bush appointed Dole as a co-chair, along with Donna Shalala, of the commission to investigate problems at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

Dole is special counsel at the Washington, D.C., law firm of Alston & Bird.

At the June 25 ceremony, the Honorable Robert Dole was recognized for his dedicated service to others and country before self, a Norwich guiding value celebrated during the Year of Service, the first of five years counting down to the university’s bicentennial in 2019.

Editor’s note: Pictured above (l-r) Retired Army General Gordon R. Sullivan ’59, former Army chief of staff and chairman of the Norwich University Board of Trustees; Norwich University President Richard W. Schneider, Senator Elizabeth Dole and Senator Robert Dole during the June 25 ceremony. Photo by Judy Licht