Bucksbaum Lecture

Bucksbaum Lecture

At Drake, we believe that access to influential world leaders is an exceptional way for you to experience thought-provoking ideas and develop into responsible global citizens. The Martin Bucksbaum Distinguished Lectureship is one of several programs at Drake that ensure you’ll have the opportunity to hear from and interact with individuals who have changed the world with their ideas and actions.

Presidents, media icons, CEOs, best-selling authors, and other renowned figures have all taken the stage at Drake’s Knapp Center to opine on vital global issues as part of the Bucksbaum Lecture, held twice annually in Drake’s Knapp Center.

Admission to the lecture is free, and there’s always a Q&A session during which members of the audience are invited to pose questions. Because thousands of community members also attend, the lecture serves as a powerful tie between the University and the city of Des Moines.

Founded by Martin Bucksbaum, a former member of Drake’s governing board and leader in the Des Moines community, the lecture has become a cornerstone of the University’s commitment to promoting responsible global citizenship.

Past Bucksbaum lecturers have included:

  • Former United States President Jimmy Carter and first lady Rosalynn Carter.
  • Thomas Pickering, 17th undersecretary of state for political affairs
  • Garrison Keillor, famed public radio host and bestselling author
  • Lisa Ling, Acclaimed journalist and host of CNN's This is Life
  • Megan Rapinoe, US Women's National Soccer Team co-captain
  • Bill Bryson, best-selling author and Drake alumnus
  • David McCullough, American historian and two-time Pulitzer Prize winner
  • Ken Burns, documentarian of Civil War, baseball and national parks
  • Azar Nafisi, author of Reading Lolita in Tehran
  • Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, co-founders of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream
  • Vicente Fox, former president of Mexico
  • Bob Costas, American sportscaster for NBC Sports