Distinctive Dialogue, Community Conversation

Bucksbaum series brings excellent lectures to Drake and Des Moines communities

Since 1996, Drake University has hosted lectures delivered by the world’s most inspirational and knowledgeable figures in the fields of literature, music, film, environmentalism, athletics, history, politics and journalism.

This tradition will continue on Tuesday, Oct. 25, when Garrison Keillor — best-selling author and host of the iconic radio program “A Prairie Home Companion” — delivers the 27th Martin Bucksbaum Distinguished Lecture.

Bucksbaum Lecture photo slideshow

Garrison Keillor Q&A photo slideshow

The event, which is free and open to the public, will begin at 7 p.m. in the Drake Knapp Center, 2525 Forest Ave. The center’s doors will open at 5:30 p.m. Read more about Keillor and his upcoming lecture.

The Bucksbaum Series provides an opportunity for the Drake and Des Moines communities to come together to listen to fascinating individuals with an array of backgrounds and experiences.

Erica Hartschen, assistant to the president for advancement at Drake, says that the series reflects the University’s strong commitment to reach out to local residents.

“The Bucksbaum Lectures provide the Drake and Des Moines communities with a wonderful opportunity to listen and engage with people of national and international stature,” says Hartschen, who earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Drake. “It is invaluable to hear speakers of this caliber share their views on relevant, interesting and contemporary topics.”

As a testament to the wide-appeal of the series, the average lecture attracts anywhere from 1,500 to 7,000 Drake students, faculty and staff, and members of the Des Moines community.

“I’ve seen several lectures in the Bucksbaum series, and I think they’re just incredible,” says Helen Pille, a Des Moines resident who is a member of the RaySociety at Drake. “These events introduce the community to a whole new world that we can’t experience anywhere else. Thankfully, Drake does an incredible job bringing these speakers to Des Moines.”

JoAnn Davis, who graduated from Drake’s College of Business and Public Administration in 1962, has attended several previous Bucksbaum events.

“Des Moines is very lucky to have access to these valuable lectures,” says Davis, who lives in West Des Moines. “The Bucksbaum lectures pair the Des Moines community with important and influential people with whom we wouldn’t normally have firsthand exposure.”

She adds that she is looking forward to Keillor’s presentation.

Prior to delivering his lecture, Keillor will also meet with Drake students to discuss his professional life and writings in a question and answer session.

The Martin Bucksbaum Distinguished Lecture Series is made possible by a substantial gift from Melva and the late Martin Bucksbaum. Martin Bucksbaum was a member of Drake’s governing board and a leader in the Des Moines community.

Twyla Tharp, Maya Angelou and Magic Johnson have delivered previous Bucksbaum lectures. A complete list of former presenters — as well as further information about the series — is available on the Bucksbaum webpage.

–Stella Hart, Class of 2011


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