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The Martin Bucksbaum Distinguished Lecture Series

Tim Gunn

Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014, 7:00 p.m.,
Drake University Knapp Center

Tim Gunn is Chief Creative Officer of Liz Claiborne Inc. In this role, he is responsible for attracting, retaining and developing the creative talent within the Liz Claiborne, Inc. portfolio of brands.

Prior to joining Liz Claiborne Inc., Gunn served as a member of the administration and faculty at Parsons School of Design for 24 years and has a rich and deep history with the institution. In August 2000, Gunn was appointed Chair of the Department of Fashion Design at Parsons with the charge of retooling and invigorating the curriculum for the 21st century.  Under his direction, the department was repositioned as the indisputable leader in fashion design education in America and as one of only a handful of leading programs in the world.  Upon leaving Parsons, Gunn received the title of Honorary Chair of Fashion Design at the school.  In addition, Liz Claiborne, Inc. endowed a scholarship in his name.

Gunn has lectured widely on fashion and lifestyle design and, especially, Parsons’ profound role in putting America on the global design map.  His interviews have appeared in a wide range of publications, from Newsweek and The New York Times to Entertainment Weekly and Martha Stewart Living, as well as Women’s Wear Daily, Fortune and Fast Company.  In 2009 he delivered the keynote at Harvard Business School’s Conference on Luxury Retail in 2009.  He has also covered the red carpet at the Academy Awards, Emmy Awards and Golden Globes for The Today Show and Entertainment Tonight, and he co-hosted the Official Oscar Red Carpet Pre-Show in 2009 and 2011 for ABC.  He has written articles for Elle, Seventeen, People, US Weekly and Fortune and has a monthly feature in People Style Watch and Marie Claire.  The now 57-year-old was named one of People magazine’s “sexiest men alive” in 2006.  Finally, Marvel comics made him a superhero in their 2009 revival of Models, Inc. with a special feature, “Loaded Gunn,” in which he dons the Iron Man armor to fight crimes against fashion.

Gunn serves as co-host of the six-time Emmy-nominated Project Runway, a reality-based fashion design incubator, the eighth season of which broke all previous seasons’ ratings records.  Project Runway received GLAAD Media Awards in 2007 and 2011 and a Peabody Award in 2008.

Gunn has made cameo appearances on the television shows Ugly Betty, How I Met Your Mother, and Gossip Girl.  He also made a cameo appearance in Sex and the City 2 and in The Smurfs Movie.

Gunn’s first book, A Guide to Quality, Taste and Style, was the core of Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style, a two-season makeover show on Bravo.  His new book, Gunn’s Golden Rules, was released on September 7 and rose to #5 on the New York Times bestseller list.  The paperback version will be released this Fall.

Gunn gives a good deal of his time to charitable organizations, especially those associated with domestic violence, AIDS awareness and GLBT issues.  Those organizations include the National Domestic Violence Hotline, GMHC, the Hetrick-Martin Institute, Bailey House, and the Human Rights Campaign.

Gunn’s latest project, The Revolution, is a daily show about health and lifestyle transformations. The show is hosted by a team of experts and rotating guest contributors who help viewers transform all areas of their lives, from relationships to family, food, style, home design, finance and more. The Revolution (working title) is a one-stop shop for better living. 

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

  • 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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