I hesitate as I write this letter because of my extreme bias in her favor; after all I have admired Elizabeth Dole since I watched her speak at the 1996 Republican National Convention. But in her defense, in light of the editorial about her campaign event last Wednesday and in response to the reaction of many here at Duke, I would like to take a moment to point out this University's undeniable bond and debt to Dole. First of all, she touts a record at Duke that most of us could not even dream up, from numerous honors of leadership and academics to leading the women's student government and writing the honor code that we are still discussing today. Her ties to this University do not end with her graduation though, in fact she served on the Board of Trustees for eleven years, chairing and vice-chairing different committees.
If you had attended her dinner last Wednesday (which, by the way, was open to students), you too could have heard Coach K hit on the highlights of her career. The truth be known, when she does become North Carolina's next Senator, I suspect that the University's attitude might change. After all her success has boosted the University's statistics, and judging by her credentials I would think that she would be considered one of our most distinguished and accomplished alumni.
Right now my political science professor is laughing. He likes to disparage Dole in class and also enjoys belittling my enthusiasm for Dole and her campaign, even though our class is on American government and our last few lectures have been on the importance of participation in elections. I am not asking him, nor anyone else to agree with her politics or to vote for her on election day (though that would be a fine choice!).
But, before you criticize again or find fault in this University's scant support of her, I suggest you visit her website at www.elizabethdole.org and find out a little bit more. She may not fall under your party's label or affirm the same beliefs that you do, but she has made quite a name for herself and has a history and resume of which any University should and would be proud.
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