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The University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy is partnering with the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas on a new lecture series, Giants of the Senate. The series will be led by author and political consultant Robert Blaemire and hosted virtually from Kansas.

Speakers will discuss former Democratic and Republican senators and their accomplishments and challenges. Featuring former campaign staffers and notable politicos as his guests, Blaemire will lead conversations about times when members of Congress worked together to pass bipartisan legislation.

“In honor of Senator Dole’s recent passing,” said Dole Institute Director Audrey Coleman, “this semester will feature programs inspired by his military service and Senate leadership.”

The program honoring Baker will air on YouTube Live at 5 p.m. EST Wednesday, February 23. Tom Griscom, former staff member in Baker’s Senate office and current board member of the Baker Center, will moderate the discussion.

“The center is honored to collaborate with the Dole Institute,” said Baker Center Executive Director Marianne Wanamaker. “We share the Dole Institute’s priority of celebrating political leadership. I appreciate Tom Griscom’s service on the Baker Center board, and there is no one better to remark on the senator’s legacy.”

The schedule for the series includes Peter Fenn honoring Senators Birch Bayh and Frank Church on March 2, Sheila Burke honoring Dole on March 9, Luke Albee honoring Senator Patrick Leahy on March 23, former Senator Nancy Kassebaum on March 30, and John Shaw honoring Senator Richard Lugar on April 6. All discussions begin at 5 p.m. ET.


Savannah Hall (, 865-974-1549)

Brooks Clark (, 865-310-1277)