Iowa State University

Inside Iowa State
April 18, 1996

Sen. Kassebaum named to Smith chair in Catt Center

by Steve Sullivan
U.S. Sen. Nancy Landon Kassebaum will be the first holder of the Mary Louise Smith Endowed Chair in the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics. The announcement was made April 16 at a fund-raiser dinner for the endowed chair attended by former President George Bush.

Kassebaum, a Republican from Kansas, has been a U.S. senator since 1978. She recently announced her plans to retire.

"Nancy Kassebaum has had a distinguished career in public service. She is known as a coalition builder and respected independent thinker," said Elizabeth Hoffman, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. "Her presence on our campus promises great opportunities for everyone involved in political science and the Catt Center, especially Iowa State students."

At ISU, Kassebaum will be involved in educational activities associated with the Catt Center and will be on campus periodically during the 1996-97 academic year.

As the daughter of 1936 presidential nominee and Kansas governor Alfred Landon, Kassebaum was introduced to the world of politics at an early age. In 1975, she became an aide to Sen. James Pearson of Kansas. When Pearson retired in 1978, Kassebaum won the vacant Senate seat.

She chairs the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee and is on the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. She has focused much of her career on improving education and on health care reform. She also has been an advocate for greater government coordination of family and children's programs.

Mary Louise Smith is the only woman to chair the National Committee of the Republican Party, a position she held from 1974 through 1977.

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