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McMurrin Lectureship

2020-2021 McMurrin Lectureship

The call for nominations for the McMurrin Visiting Professor for 2020-2021 is sent out in October, 2019.  Nominations are due January 10, 2020.  The McMurrin Visiting Professor for 2018-19 was, for the first time, nominated by students.  Voices of the U, an ASUU-sponsored club in association with the Department of Communication, was selected for their proposal, Dialoguing Across Differences.  For 2020-2021 the call for nominations will go out to students and to deans, department chairs, and program directors. 

The McMurrin Professorship

The Sterling M. McMurrin Distinguished Visiting Professorship at the University of Utah was endowed by O. C. Tanner in 1980. This professorship honors Professor McMurrin who was himself an E. E. Ericksen Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University, former U.S. Commissioner of Education, former Dean of the Graduate School at the University of Utah, and a noted philosopher and historian.

The McMurrin Professorship brings to the University a scholar of recognized eminence in his or her field. The purpose of this endowed chair is to raise the level of campus discourse and enrich undergraduate education in cooperation with a selected college or department each year. McMurrin Professors are expected to offer one or two public events and to be available to meet with undergraduate students and faculty.

Duties and responsibilities of McMurrin Professors are associated both with the Undergraduate Studies Program and with the college or department in which the visiting scholar's discipline is located. This arrangement is intended to enrich the opportunities available to the McMurrin Professor, while maximizing the benefits that will accrue to the University.

The search committee for McMurrin Professors is the Undergraduate Council. The committee seeks nominations from college councils, deans, department chairpersons, and individual faculty.

Past Appointees

  • Reginald F. Cane, Professor of Chemistry at the University of Tasmania
  • Elof A. Carlson, Distinguished Teaching Professor of Biology at the State University of New York at Stony Brook
  • Marvin Harris, Professor of Anthropology at the University of Florida
  • Herbert C. Kelman, Cabot Professor of Social Ethics at Harvard University
  • Richard Howard, Nathaniel Ropes Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Cincinnati & recipient of the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry in 1970
  • Jacques d'Amboise, founder of the National Dance Institute and for years a principal dancer with the New York City Ballet
  • William S. Fyfe, world-renowned earth scientist and Dean of the Faculty of Science, University of Western Ontario
  • Marshall W. Kreuter, international authority on health education and community intervention programs, founder of Health 2000 and former Director of the Division of Chronic Disease Control & Community Intervention
  • Sotigui Kouyate, a griot from Mali (griots transmit history orally from generation to generation) and a member of the world renown Peter Brook Company
  • Werner Herzog, German film director (films include Aguirre, Wrath of God, Nosferatu, and Fitzcarraldo)
  • Jeffrey O. Segrave, Professor & Chair, Dept. of Exercise Science, Dance and Athletics at Sidmore College and specialist on the modern Olympic Games
  • Jane Goodall, famous for her research with chimpanzees and founder of the Jane Goodall Institute for Wildlife Research, Education and Conservation
  • Philip Lee, Professor at the School of Public Health, University of California and former Assistant Secretary for Health for presidents Kennedy, Johnson and Clinton
  • Martha C. Nussbaum, Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics, University of Chicago Law School
  • David C. Young, an Olympic historian, Department of Classics at the University of Florida
  • Martha Nussbaum, Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of law and Ethics, University of Chicago Law School
  • Stephen Hartnett, Speech Communication, University of Illinois, Urbana
  • Charles C. Mann, journalist and author of "1491: A History of the America Before Columbus"
  • Doug Sweetland, animator and director at Pixar Studios
  • Tom Vanderbilt, author of "Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We do and What it Says About Us"
  • John Ochsendorf, a structural engineer and architectural historian who works to preserve historic structures and to reinterpret ancient technologies for contemporary use
  • Adam Gopnik, a leading cultural essayist and renowned author
  • Jonathan Burrows, dance choreographer, and Matteo Fargio, musician
  • Mark McGurl, Professor of English at Stanford University
  • Phillip Deloria, Professor of American Studies at Yale University, who exams culture and representation concerning American Indian people
  • Phil Neisser & Jacob Hess, authors of "You're Not as Crazy as I Thought (But You're Still Wrong!) :  Conversations between a Devoted Conservative and a Die-Hard Liberal"
Last Updated: 4/15/21