Norwich University will present former U.S. Senator Robert Dole with an honorary degree in a public ceremony at the World War II Memorial on the National Mall on Thursday, June 25 at 11 a.m.
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 service in the military, Dole was awarded two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star.
Dole finished college and attended law school on the G.I. Bill and began his political career by serving as a member of the Kansas State Legislature from 1951–1953, and later served four terms as prosecuting attorney for Russell County.
A U.S. Senator from Kansas from 1969–1996, Dole served part of that time as U.S. Senate Majority Leader, where he set 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 of the commission to investigate problems at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, along with Donna Shalala.
Dole is special counsel at the Washington, D.C. law firm of Alston & Bird.
At the June 25 ceremony the Honorable Robert Dole will be 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.
Photo credit “Field of Stars”: Rick Latoff / American Battle Monuments Commission