Archive for September, 2017


Will you RISE with me?

I will have a pleasure of speaking to a group of Junior National Honor Society students at their upcoming induction ceremony and I’ve been thinking about what to say (I love these kinds of events)!  No doubt the group is strong academically, so I want to give them some “out of classroom” pearls of wisdom, and here is what I know for sure.  I sure wish when I was 12 or so, someone would have shared this message with me. But you know what?  It is never too late!  So whether you are 12 or 50 or more, listen up and RISE!

Build a Global Perspective.    The chance that you will work and live with people from other cultures is very high.  To achieve this, you have to continue to work on it.   

Focus on friendships.  When you go through school, a lot of people tell you to focus on grades and to work hard, but having lasting friendships may be just as important for your future success as excelling in school.   You may be leaving each other one day to go to different high schools, but I want to encourage you to stay in touch. Your friends will be a source of joy your entire life, and will pick you up when you are down.  Your friends will also encourage you to go for your dreams.  

Do what you love.  Think about how fast the time goes when you are doing what you love to do.  When you love something, focus on it.  It will make your life as great as it can be.  Because passion is the key to success.   Whether it is drama, math, science, writing or performing – follow your heart. Whatever you love – throw yourself into that.  Time will fly by and work will be play.

Challenge yourself by saying YES when you are asked to do something and then let yourself fail if it doesn’t work out because we all learn from your failure.  Even if you are not successful, and maybe even more so, you will learn from doing things that are not easy.  In both fall and spring I understand that you lost the teacher-student soccer challenge games, but you won’t give up soccer because of it, right?  You will just keep trying to do better.  That’s a lesson for life.  You may not always win – or succeed, so learn to find the lesson in the losing and don’t give up trying.  Eventually you will be successful.  But you have to keep that spirit of saying YES to new challenges and Remember that if you are not successful, there are LOTS of lessons in losing.  Learn to learn from losing.  In that way, no matter what, your effort can be called a success.

Put the time in to work hard. Invest Finally, you have learned here that you have to put in the time if you want to be successful. Your school day is almost an hour longer than regular public schools – I probably don’t need to remind you of that.  That alone may be the best lesson of all.  When you continue to bring that sense of discipline and effort to your life – literally putting the time in—you will find that it pays off.
 You are on your way to great success.    By continuing to build a global perspective, foster lasting friendships, following your passion, learning from failure, and putting the time in — you will be setting yourself up for a life of continued success, passion, adventure and fun! 

Expect to RISE  Leadership * Connections * Growth


R  – relationships are everything – build them locally and globally

             How can you reach out to someone who can help you flesh out your dreams and goals? List three people you will call upon this week in some way to share your new ideas.


            What can you learn about another culture so that you are more globally aware?  Do you have a friend from another culture?  How can you get to know them better? 


I   – invest time in your friendships

What can you do to reach out to a friend to reconnect after a while or to make a new friend?  _____________________________

S  – share your passion with as many people as possible – blog, speak, write (it is not who you know, it is who you let know you)


E  – expect to evolve – if at first you don’t succeed (and you probably won’t) change and try again!

What have you tried to do that was not successful and what can you do to try again? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________






Elizabeth Dole’s Scholarly Papers

Everyone knows where a former president’s papers go:  to his

Presidential Library. That’s simple. But what about the significant collection of papers of a spouse of a candidate who has been a political powerhouse in her own right?  Where will her papers go?  To her alma mater?  As I walked around Duke University this past weekend, my thoughts turned to Elizabeth Dole, an alumna of Duke and North Carolinian,  since she was the subject of my 1999 dissertation, a co-authored book, a number of scholarly articles and chapters.  Her significant contribution to American life has shaped my academic career.  And yet, when I ask my students “who is Elizabeth Dole?” very few, if any, can answer me. That is just plain wrong!  I hope some of the work I have done and continue to do, about significant women in American politics helps improve the notoriety of Dole and other women who have made significant contributions.

Elizabeth Dole is a former presidential candidate and spouse of former Kansas Senator Bob Dole.  Bob Dole was the 1996 Republican nominee for president, and Elizabeth brought the house down at the 1996 GOP Convention with her speech about “the man I love.”  No spouse of a candidate since then has come close to “nailing” the spouse speech, although Michelle Obama’s 2008 speech and Bill Clinton’s 2016 speech come to mind as hitting the mark.

Elizabeth Dole is a former senator from North Carolina, former secretary of labor and secretary of transportation and former president of the American Red Cross.  So her papers could go many places, however, she has gifted them to The Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas.  They will become part of the Dole Institute Archive and Special Collections. I had the great pleasure of visiting the Dole Institute a few years back and it is a treasure trove.

The Dole Institute will also feature the Elizabeth Dole Women in Leadership Lecture in her honor. The inaugural lecture was delivered by Elizabeth Dole  in spring, and the signature series will take place in the fall semester beginning in 2018 and will feature women who break barriers, make significant contributions to their fields and reach positions of leadership. Guest speakers will be leaders who exemplify perseverance, motivation, innovative thinking and the ability to overcome challenges.

I can’t wait to visit the archive and continue to read and write about Elizabeth Dole, who has had a groundbreaking career in American politics and who, in 2012, founded the Elizabeth Dole Foundation to increase services and support for America’s 5.5 million military and veteran caregivers – the spouses, mothers, dads and other loved ones providing voluntary care for wounded warriors at home.

The gift of Dole’s papers represents a new chapter in the life of the Dole Archive and Special collections, which already houses the career papers of former U.S. Sen. Robert J. Dole. By combining the papers of both public servants, the Dole Archives will offer a robust selection of information and knowledge for visiting researchers.

I will always be indebted to Elizabeth Dole for her gracious generosity and significant contributions to American life.  Onward!



September 2017
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