Governor Kelly Cuts Ribbon on New Washburn University School of Law Building Dedicated to Senator Bob Dole

TOPEKA – Governor Laura Kelly today joined Washburn University leadership, elected officials, and members of the Dole family to celebrate and cut the ribbon on the new Washburn University School of Law building. The university announced earlier this month that the building is named after one of its most prestigious alumni, the late Senator Robert J. Dole.

“Washburn Law has developed bright young minds who have gone on to be attorneys, judges, ambassadors, and public servants all across Kansas and beyond,” Governor Kelly said. “I can’t think of a more fitting way to acknowledge the indelible link between Bob Dole and Washburn University and pay tribute to their shared values.”

Robert J. Dole Hall features numerous lecture halls, two courtrooms, lounge space, and a café. Construction of the building started in June 2021.

“For more than a century, Washburn University School of Law has played an integral role in the esteemed legal community of Kansas,” said JuliAnn Mazachek, president, Washburn University. “This new state-of-the-art facility only enhances our ability to train the next generation of lawyers, many of them choosing to work here and make Kansas their home. Whether through the Rural Law Externship program or partnerships with other Kansas institutions providing seamless pathways from undergraduate to a law degree, Washburn is committed to ensuring the Kansas legal community is strong for years to come.”

Senator Dole graduated from Washburn University with his undergraduate and law degrees in 1952.  Dole was committed to serving and giving back to Washburn throughout his life. Along with his wife, Sen. Elizabeth Dole, they established and funded at Washburn the Senator Robert J. Dole Law Professorship, the Robert J. Dole Center for Law and Government and the Honorable Robert J. Dole Scholarship for Law Students with Disabilities. He served on the School of Law board of governors and the Alumni Association and Foundation board of trustees.

“We are excited about this next exciting chapter in the history of Washburn Law and the learning experience it provides for our students as they prepare for a wide range of opportunities upon graduation,” said Jeffrey Jackson, bba ’89, jd ’92, interim dean, Washburn Law. “We are proud that our students leave Washburn Law practice-ready, and this facility allows us to build upon that great tradition.”

Senator Bob Dole would have turned 100 years old tomorrow, July 22, 2023.

The following photos from today’s ribbon cutting are available for media use: