Iowa State University

Inside Iowa State
March 21, 1997

Kassebaum Baker makes second visit

by Steve Sullivan
Former U.S. Sen. Nancy Kassebaum Baker, holder of the Mary Louise Smith Endowed Chair in the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics, will make her second visit to campus April 2-3. Kassebaum Baker was recently appointed by President Bill Clinton to co-chair a campaign finance reform effort.

Kassebaum Baker will give a public address at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 2, at the Catt Center's Strong Minded Women dinner and awards ceremony in the Brunnier Museum, Scheman. She also will meet with students in sociology, journalism, English and political science classes. The classes are open to the public (see online calendar for schedule). Other groups meeting with her include the ISU Women's Network, the League of Women Voters and the Story County Bull Moose Club.

Kassebaum Baker, a Republican from Kansas, was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1978 and retired in 1996. She was named the first holder of the Smith chair in April 1996 and made her first campus visit last October.

She recently married former U.S. Sen. Howard Baker Jr., a Republican from Tennesee who also served as White House Chief of Staff for President Ronald Reagan.

Kassebaum Baker has been appointed co-chair of a bipartisan commission on campaign finance reform with former Democratic vice president Walter Mondale. The commission will work at the grassroots level to promote public interest in campaign finance reform.

Mary Louise Smith, an Eddyville native, is the only woman to chair the National Committee of the Republican Party, a position she held from 1974 through 1977. In 1976, she became the first woman to organize and call to order the National Convention of a major U.S. political party.

Smith was inducted into the Iowa Women's Hall of Fame in 1977 and is a founding member of the Iowa Women's Political Caucus.

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