Former congressman Dan Glickman came home Monday.
In a private reception Monday night at Wichita State University, Glickman told a gathering of about 100 family and friends how much Wichita meant to him and why he chose to donate his private and professional papers to the school’s Special Collections and University Archives.
“I was born here, my dad was born here, and my mom was born in Kansas City. This is my home,” Glickman said. “This is the logical place to donate the papers and hopefully to get people to do the kind of research to know what our government is about.”
For nearly two decades, Glickman represented Kansas’ 4th District, which included Wichita. He served as U.S. secretary of Agriculture from 1995 to 2001 and was chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America from 2004 to 2010.
He currently is a senior fellow at the Bipartisan Policy Center and executive director of the Aspen Institute’s Congressional Program.
On Monday night, he spoke about the need to bring civility to government and Congress, aspects of what he does now with the Bipartisan Policy Center and the Aspen Institute.
“I have a great sense that our country still has the unbelievable ability to change the world,” Glickman said. “But I must tell you, it is much tougher than it used to be.”
Glickman, 69, told how he worked during his years in Congress with then-Sens. Bob Dole and Nancy Kassebaum, both Republicans.
“We worked for Kansas together,” Glickman said. “Bob Dole was a great listener, and I never felt any degree of vengeance or hostility on his part. Nancy was a terrific person to work with.
“But the days of that delegation are different – not just in Kansas but everywhere – where we have a tribal mentality between Republicans and Democrats. And that makes it very difficult to compromise and reach consensus.”
Monday’s reception was held in the basement of Ablah Library and was hosted by the WSU Foundation and University Libraries.
Russ Meyer, chairman emeritus of Cessna Aircraft, told the group he had known Glickman for more than 40 years and had worked with him on numerous issues involving the Wichita community and the aviation industry.
“Dan was an enormously effective member of Congress,” Meyer said. “He was knowledgeable, responsive, dedicated and highly respected by his peers. But most important, he understood that an essential element of statesmanship is the willingness to compromise.”
Meyer said he was most grateful for the role Glickman played in helping to create and pass the General Aviation Revitalization Act, which was enacted in August 1994.
“That literally saved the propeller aircraft industry and created thousands and thousands of jobs,” Meyer said.
Elizabeth King, WSU Foundation president and CEO, said that among the Glickman collection are pens used to sign prestigious bills, his junior high and high school report cards and numerous scrapbooks his mother kept.
“You are a son of Wichita. You are a son of Kansas,” WSU president John Bardo told Glickman.
“Having your papers at home allows people who most benefit from your work to have the opportunity to learn from them and to share that knowledge with others.”