New UW Initiative Honors Wallop, Aims to Educate on Democracy

Senator Malcolm Wallop, 1976, Courtesy Tessa Dalton

 Whether through statesmanship, discourse or love of state and country, Malcolm Wallop has been a symbol for democracy throughout his remarkable political and public service career.  A newly-created University of Wyoming initiative, founded by a group of former Wallop staffers and housed jointly at the AHC and the College of Arts and Sciences, ensures his devotion to democracy will live on in the Cowboy State.  The Malcolm Wallop Fund for Conversations on Democracy will not only serve to honor the three-term Wyoming senator (1977-95) but provide opportunities — through symposia, keynote speakers, student projects and workshops — to add to the body of knowledge about democracy.

The fund’s inaugural event will be Tuesday, Nov. 9, at Sheridan College’s Presentation Hall.  “Riding Fence: Wyoming Governors on Wyoming and National Issues” will feature outgoing governor Dave Freudenthal, former governors Jim Geringer and Mike Sullivan and 2010 gubernatorial candidates Matt Mead (R-Cheyenne) and Leslie Petersen (D-Jackson). Geoff O’Gara of Wyoming PBS will moderate the panel discussion.  The event, free and open to the public, will begin at 7:15 p.m. and be taped for broadcast on Wyoming PBS (7 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 11). The audience will be encouraged to submit questions during the final portion of the program and have the opportunity to meet the speakers following the 90-minute event.

“Senator Wallop has lived a life of ideas and has pursued those ideas and policy formation through the rigors of intellectual exploration,” says Kendall Hartman, a longtime Wallop staffer who recently retired from Barrasso’s state staff. “His life has indeed been about the conversations around ideas, and there was always a place in his world for those who made the effort to learn, to be thoughtful, to champion their beliefs.  “The senator is not unique in his love of country or for our democratic system, but he is thrilled that this passion he has lived might inspire others to reflect on, be aware of and pursue the hard work required for democracy to thrive.”

The 77-year-old Wallop has deep roots in Wyoming, where his family homesteaded some 130 years ago. He attended public school in Big Horn and later became a businessman, cattle rancher and politician in the Cowboy State.  Today, Wallop’s children and grandchildren in Big Horn and Sheridan represent the fourth and fifth generations of the family in Wyoming.

–Steve Kiggins, UW Media Relations, and Leslie Waggener, Simpson Archivist

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