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About the Lectureship


The endowment supporting the Martin Bucksbaum Distinguished Lectureship honors the memory of Martin Bucksbaum, the late chairman and CEO of the General Growth Properties, which develops and manages shopping malls across the nation. It was established by a substantial gift to Drake University by Martin and Melva Bucksbaum in 1996. Mr. Bucksbaum was a member of Drake's governing board and a leader in the Des Moines community.

When the Lectureship was established, President Michael Ferrari appointed a committee to oversee it. The Bucksbaum Lectureship Committee included Melva Bucksbaum, widow of Martin Bucksbaum; their daughter, Mary Bucksbaum; Jim Autry, poet, consultant, and retired executive of the Meredith Corporation; David Hurd, former CEO of the Principal Financial Group; Charles Johnson, Chairman and CEO (retired) of Pioneer HiBred International; David Kruidenier, former publisher of the Des Moines Register and a member of the Cowles family; and Lorraine May, a Des Moines attorney. Charlotte Hubbell, served on the initial committee but resigned when her family moved to the Netherlands. Also on the committee are Neil Hamilton, Ellis and Nelle Levitt Professor of Law and Director of the Agricultural Law Center; Susann Siebke, formerly the Director of the Drake Business Center; and Robert Woodward, Ellis and Nelle Levitt Professor of Journalism and Mass Communication. Myron Marty, the Ann G. and Sigurd E. Anderson University Professor, has been the chair of the committee and coordinator of the lectures since its inception. He was assisted by Susann Siebke until his retirement in 2001. Beginning with the lecture in March 2000 by Marian Wright Edelman, administrative support has been provided by Rod Henshaw, dean of Cowles Library, and Susan Breakenridge, special assistant to the dean.

Upon Dr. Marty's retirement, president Maxwell appointed Neil Hamilton, the Dwight D. Opperman Chair of Law, as the new committee chair. Current members include: Mary Bucksbaum Scanlan, Julian Archer, James Autry, Pamela Bass-Bookey, Michael Gartner, Janis Ruan, Marcia Wanamaker, and Eleanor Zeff.

For more information, contact Erica Hartschen, Assistant to the Vice President for University Advancement, at 515-271-4990 or

Previous Lecturers

  • Marie Yovanovitch
  • Jon Meacham
  • Megan Rapinoe
  • Lisa Ling
  • Douglas Brinkley
  • Billy Collins & Clint Smith
  • Krista Tippett
  • Bill Nye the Science Guy
  • Peter Neufeld
  • Nina Totenberg
  • 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