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    With limestone walls, soaring stained-glass windows and a 32,000 square foot reflecting pool (Gift of Polly Bales of Logan, Kansas) reminiscent of Washington’s Tidal Basin, the Dole Institute of Politics building has become a KU landmark. Completed and opened in 2003, the Institute is home to state-of-the-art exhibits and one of the nation’s largest Congressional papers collections, as well as public meeting and programming spaces.

    A 14-foot replica of the Kansas state seal (Gift of the Dane G. Hansen Foundation of Logan, Kansas) crowns the building’s façade. Inside, visitors enter and face a 19-foot red granite map of Kansas and see brass stars symbolizing the three towns of Russell (Gift of the Billings Family) Topeka, and Lawrence, all of which played an important role in Senator Dole’s life.

    Overlooking the map is the 20-foot-by-12-foot “Russell Window,” a stained-glass work of art evoking the landscape of Russell, Kansas (Dole’s hometown) and many similar western Kansas towns. The window was donated by the Senator in memory of his parents, Doran and Bina Dole.  Visitors then pass under the Memory Wall, a photo montage of hundreds of images of World War II veterans which covers the south wall of the Darby Gallery (Gift of the Darby Foundation).

    Once inside the exhibit hall, a 29-foot stained-glass American flag (Gift of KU Alumni Forrest and Sally Hoagland) soars to the 36 foot tall ceiling, flanked by the World Trade Center memorial (Gift of KU Alumni Fred and Virginia Urban Merrill), which consists of two 11 ½ foot columns salvaged from the Twin Towers.  At the opposite end of the central exhibit hall (Gift of the Dane G. Hansen Foundation of Logan, Kansas), a 12-foot replica of the U. S. Capitol Dome (Gift of Senators Bob and Elizabeth Dole) tops a multi-screen video “tour” of the legislative process, narrated by Bob Dole. 

    The Institute’s upper floor contains offices, the Rhodes conference room (Gift of Roland and Winona Rhodes), the Simons Media seminar room (Gift of Dolph and Pam Simons), kitchen prep areas, IT and telecommunications studio, and a library/ reading room. The state-of- the-art archive stack area is furnished and equipped according to the standards followed by the National Archives’ Presidential Library system.
    The cost of the 28,000 square foot building and its special architectural features was $11 million, $8 million of which came from private funds. The goal of achieving a $24 million endowment will ensure the future of the Dole archive and other important Institute programs.

    The Dole Institute of Politics is a bipartisan facility. Our mission; to encourage political and civic involvement, especially among young people; to encourage civil discussion on important issues; to emphasize that politics is an honorable profession; and to provide opportunities for all to interact with political leaders, practitioners and writers.
    While content on the blog will be moderated, we in no way wish to stifle vigorous debate. We request that participants engaging in the online discussion avoid personal, vitriolic attacks, and maintain respect for different opinions.
    David D. Perlmutter, Editor Login
    Facts about the Dole Institute
    Dole Institute of Politics: A calm place to discuss hot topics
    How to find us

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    Dole Institute Fellows Fall 2008
    Jennifer Schmidt

    A Summary of the 2006 Blogger-Reader Survey

    Fall 2006 Blogger/Reader Survey Details and Research Reports
    In December of 2006 Dr. Dhavan Shah of the University of Wisconsin and his “Blogclub” of graduate students and Dr. David D. Perlmutterof the University of Kansas conducted a survey of major political blogs and their readers. The project was partially sponsored by a grant from the Knight/Carnegie Foundation’s Future of Journalism initiative. The summary of the results are posted here--please fully cite us if you refer to the findings.

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