Iowa State University

Inside Iowa State
November 6, 1998

Elizabeth Dole to hold Smith chair this spring

by Steve Sullivan

Elizabeth Dole, president of the American Red Cross, will hold the Mary Louise Smith Chair in Women and Politics next semester.

Dole will visit Iowa State in the spring to present a public lecture. The date of her visit has not been deter-mined yet, but it will coincide with the annual Strong-Minded Women Celebration sponsored by the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics, said Dianne Bystrom, center director.

"It is a great honor for Iowa State and the Catt Center to have such a nationally recognized leader in public service hold the Mary Louise Smith Chair," said Bystrom. "Like Mary Louise Smith, Elizabeth Dole has dedicated herself to public service and is a role model for many."

Dole has a long career in public service. She has held significant positions under five administrations, including secretary of transportation under President Ronald Reagan and secretary of labor under President George Bush. She was the first woman to hold the transportation secretary position.

Dole was appointed director of the American Red Cross in 1991. She took a 14-month leave of absence, from November 1995 to January 1997, to accompany her husband, former Sen. Robert Dole, during his presidential campaign.

Elizabeth Dole visited Kuwait following the Gulf War to assess Red Cross services provided to U.S. military personnel. In December 1992, she visited Red Cross relief operations in famine-stricken Somalia and Mozambique, as well as in war-torn Croatia. Dole led a fund-raising effort that has generated more than $562 million to assist victims of hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, tornadoes and winter storms, as well as non-weather-related disasters.

Dole, who has been named by the Gallup Poll as one of the world's most admired women, has received numerous awards for her public service and leadership. They include the Women Executives in State Government Lifetime Achievement Award, the League of Women Voters Leadership Award and the Raoul Wallenberg Award for humanitarian service. She was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame in 1995.

The Mary Louise Smith Chair in Women and Politics was created in 1995 to honor Eddyville native Mary Louise Smith, the only woman to serve as National Chairman of the Republican Party. Fund raising continues for the $1 million chair, designed to bring outstanding political scholars and leaders to campus.

Smith led the Republican national committee from 1974 through 1977. She was inducted into the Iowa Women's Hall of Fame in 1977 and is a founding member of the Iowa Women's Political Caucus.

The first two holders of the Smith chair were U.S. Sen. Nancy Kassebaum and Ruth Mandel, professor of political science at Rutgers University.

Iowa State homepage

Inside Iowa State,, University Relations
Copyright © 1998, Iowa State University, all rights reserved
Revised 11/6/98