The Presidential Lecture series provides an opportunity for distinguished faculty members to present significant aspects of their work to the greater university community and general public.

The university established the annual series to encourage intellectual communication among the many disciplines that constitute the UI, as well as to provide a public forum for scholarship, research, and creative achievement. The series is made possible by the generosity of donors of unrestricted gifts to the UI Center for Advancement.

Read About the 2023 Presidential Lecture in Iowa Now:


40th Annual Presidential Lecture: "Rivers of Discovery- UI Research, Iowa, and The World."

2022: University of Iowa at 175: Proud Legacy, Promising Future 

Included speakers:

Craig Kletzing - Professor of Physics

Christopher Merrill -Director of International Writing Program

Patricia Winokur - Professor of Internal Medicine-Infectious Diseases

2021 Lecture:
"It's Not a Dream, It's a Memory"

Ted Abel 


Director, Iowa Neuroscience Institute
Professor, Chair and Department Executive Officer of Neuroscience and Pharmacology 
Roy J. Carver Chair in Neuroscience

2020 Lecture: “Violence, Syndemics, and the Biology of Trauma”

Corinne Peek-Asa

Associate dean for research for the University of Iowa College of Public Health and professor in the Department of Occupational and Environmental Health

2019: Violence Against Women

Karen Heimer

Professor of sociology and Collegiate Fellow in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; Courtesy appointment in the Department of Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies; Affiliate of the UI Public Policy Center

2018: Diabetes and Cardiovascular Complications

E. Dale Abel

Francois M. Abboud Chair in Internal Medicine; John B. Stokes III Chair in Diabetes Research; Chair and Department Executive Officer, Department of Internal Medicine; Director, Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center

2017: Global Reach of Air Pollution

Gregory Carmichael

Professor, Chemical and Biochemical Engineering; Director, University of Iowa Informatics Initiative; Co-director, Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research

2016: A Principled Defense of Freedom

Richard Fumerton

F. Wendell Miller Professor of Philosophy

2015: Food, Culture, and Community

Linda Snetselaar

Professor of Epidemiology

2014: "What made it so exciting?"

Alan MacVey

Director of the Division of Performing Arts and professor and chair of the Department of Theatre Arts


More lectures

Browse an archive of previous presidential lectures.