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The Martin Bucksbaum Distinguished Lecture Series

Nina Totenberg

Thursday, March 12, 2015, 7:00 p.m.,
Drake University Knapp Center

Nina Totenberg is National Public Radio's award-winning legal affairs correspondent. Her reports air regularly on NPR's critically acclaimed newsmagazines, All Things Considered, Morning Edition, and Weekend Edition.

Totenberg's coverage of legal affairs and the Supreme Court has won her widespread recognition. Newsweek says, "The mainstays [of NPR] are Morning Edition and All Things Considered. But the crème de la crème is Nina Totenberg." She is also a regular panelist on Inside Washington, a weekly syndicated public affairs television program produced in the nation's capital.

In 1991, her groundbreaking report about University of Oklahoma Law Professor Anita Hill's allegations of sexual harassment by Judge Clarence Thomas led the Senate Judiciary Committee to re-open Thomas's Supreme Court confirmation hearings to consider Hill's charges. NPR received the prestigious Peabody Award for its gavel-to-gavel coverage – anchored by Totenberg – of both the original hearings and the inquiry into Anita Hill's allegations, and for Totenberg's reports and exclusive interview with Hill.

That same coverage earned Totenberg additional awards, among them: the Long Island University George Polk Award for excellence in journalism; the Sigma Delta Chi Award from the Society of Professional Journalists for investigative reporting; and the prestigious Joan S. Barone Award for excellence in Washington-based national affairs/public policy reporting, which also acknowledged her coverage of Justice Thurgood Marshall's retirement.

In 1988, Totenberg won the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Silver Baton for her coverage of Supreme Court nominations. The jurors of the award stated, "Ms. Totenberg broke the story of Judge (Douglas) Ginsburg's use of marijuana, raising issues of changing social values and credibility with careful perspective under deadline pressure."

Totenberg has been honored eight times by the American Bar Association for continued excellence in legal reporting, and has received a number of honorary degrees. On a lighter note, in 1992 and 1988, Esquire magazine named her one of the "Women We Love."

A frequent contributor to major newspapers and periodicals, she has published articles in the New York Times Magazine, the Harvard Law Review, the Christian Science Monitor, Parade magazine, New York Magazine, and others.

Before joining NPR in 1975, Totenberg served as Washington editor of New Times Magazine, and before that she was the legal affairs correspondent for the National Observer.

Nina Totenberg has won every major journalism award in broadcasting, and is the only radio journalist to have won the National Press Foundation award for Broadcaster of the Year. On the non-broadcasting side of her career, she has written for newspapers and periodicals, from the New York Times Magazine to the Harvard Law Review

For more information, contact Erica Hartschen, Coordinator for the President's Office, at 515-271-4990 or erica.hartschen@drake.edu.

Learn more about the Lectureship

The Martin Bucksbaum Distinguished Lecture Series is made possible by a gift from Melva and the late Martin Bucksbaum, longtime member of Drake's governing board. Martin Bucksbaum Distinguished Lectureship Committee: Neil Hamilton (chair), Julian Archer, James Autry, Pamela Bass-Bookey, Melva Bucksbaum, Michael Gartner, G. David Hurd, Janis Ruan, Mary Bucksbaum Scanlan, and Eleanor Zeff.

Previous Lecturers

  • Tim Gunn
  • Walter Isaacson
  • Neil deGrasse Tyson
  • James Balog
  • Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter
  • Vicente Fox
  • Garrison Keillor
  • Twyla Tharp
  • Dr. Azar Nafisi
  • Dr. Maya Angelou
  • Bill Bryson
  • Thomas R. Pickering
  • Erik Peterson
  • Nicholas Kristof
  • Bob Costas
  • Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield
  • David Chipperfield
  • Dr. Jane Goodall
  • Tim Russert
  • Sarah Jones
  • Salman Rushdie
  • Wynton Marsalis
  • Michael Beschloss
  • Earvin 'Magic' Johnson
  • Ken Burns
  • Bill Moyers
  • Martin Marty & Archbishop Rembert Weakland
  • Marian Wright Edelman
  • Senator Paul Simon
  • Doris Kearns Goodwin
  • David McCullough
  • Ben Bradlee
  • Thomas Friedman
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