University Preserves Legacy of Late Senator Wallop

September 16, 2011
Three men
U.S. Sen. Malcolm Wallop, R-Wyo., presents to President Ronald Reagan a belt made by Donald King of Sheridan as U.S. Sen. Alan Simpson looks on, Aug. 3, 1981. (American Heritage Center)

The University of Wyoming is preserving the legacy of the late Malcolm Wallop, who died Wednesday at the age of 78, in two significant ways.

First, a UW initiative launched last year -- the Malcolm Wallop Fund for Conversations on Democracy -- honors him by providing opportunities to add to the body of knowledge about democracy through symposia, keynote speakers, student projects and workshops. Two successful events have already taken place.

Second, the university's American Heritage Center (AHC) houses a large collection of the longtime politician's personal papers.

"Senator Wallop served this state with distinction for many years, and we're proud to honor his legacy at UW," President Tom Buchanan said. "Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time."

Founded by former Wallop staffers, the Malcolm Wallop Fund for Conversations on Democracy provides both American and international perspectives on democracy. The fund works collaboratively with the AHC, the College of Arts and Sciences and the Department of Political Science.

In April, the fund hosted a campus student panel event, "Emerging Democracies and Their Struggle Against Authoritarian Rule," in which students from emerging democracies including Egypt, Libya and Iraq talked about the dramatic changes in their countries.

The panel followed the fund's inaugural event in November 2010 in Sheridan, "Riding Fence: Wyoming Governors on Wyoming and National Issues," featuring then-governor-elect Matt Mead, then-outgoing governor Dave Freudenthal and former governors Jim Geringer and Mike Sullivan. Another event is in the works for spring 2012.

The 289 boxes of Wallop's personal papers held at the AHC include bill files, memos, committee files, legislation, numerous speech files and audio tapes of radio appearances and news conferences during his time in the U.S. Senate (1977-1995). Also included is VIP correspondence between the senator and heads of state and various dignitaries.

"Senator Wallop's papers are an important collection for documenting a time when the Wyoming delegation was a powerful part of steering our nation's direction, especially in the areas of national defense and tax reform," says Leslie Waggener, archivist for the AHC's Alan K. Simpson Institute for Western Politics and Leadership. The Simpson Institute is a program that focuses on the acquisition, preservation and research use of the papers of prominent individuals, businesses and organizations that have provided leadership for Wyoming and the Rocky Mountain West.

The Wallop collection's overview is available via the UW online catalog,


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