Harry Lee Waterfield Distinguished Lecture in Public Affairs

Begun in 1977 and sponsored by the Department of Political Science and Sociology, the Harry Lee Waterfield Distinguished Lecture in Public Affairs was the first annual lecture series to be established at Murray State University. It was named in honor of Mr. Harry Lee Waterfield, who grew up in Calloway County and graduated from Murray State University in the 1930’s. Reared in poverty but determined to get an education and succeed, he distinguished himself in three careers: journalism, politics and insurance. Mr. Waterfield was twice elected Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky and later founded the Investors’ Heritage Life Insurance Company in Frankfort. The purpose of the lecture series is to bring to campus distinguished individuals of significant accomplishment to speak on topics of historical and political importance. Speakers have included Governors of Kentucky such as Louie Nunn, Paul Patton and Steve Beshear, United States Senators Richard Lugar, James Abourezk and Paul Simon, Professors Richard Fenno of the University of Rochester, Richard Neustadt of Harvard University and Alexander Heard of Vanderbilt University, and Judges Robert Stephens, Edward Johnstone, Joseph Lambert and Bill Cunningham.


2024: Dr. Anand Sokhey, Professor of Political Science, University of Colorado at Boulder 

2023: Professor Francesca Procaccini, Assistant Professor of Law, Vanderbilt Law School 

2022: Dr. David E. Lewis, Professor of Political Science, Vanderbilt University

2021: Dr. Lauren Heidbrink, Associate Professor of Human Development, California State University-Long Beach

2019: Dr. Anna Guevarra, Sociology, University of Illinois at Chicago

2018: Dr. James E. Campbell, UB Distinguished Professor, University at Buffalo

2017: Dr. Julia Lynch, Professor of Political Science, University of Pennsylvania

2016: Dr. Jan E. Leighley, Professor of Government, American University

2015: Dr. John Vasquez, Professor of Political Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

2014: Dr. David Dunn, executive vice-president for health affairs at the University of Louisville

2012: William T. Robinson III, President, American Bar Association

2011: Hon. Roger Vinson, Judge, United States District Court for the Western district of Florida

2010: Dr. Constantine Curris, former president of Murray State University and current member of the Board of Regents

2009: Prof. Roger Billings, Prof. of Law, Chase College of Law, NKU

2008: Hon. Steve Beshear, Governor of Kentucky

2007: Hon. Bill Cunningham, Associate Justice, Supreme Court of Kentucky

2006: Dr. Thomas Layzell, President, Kentucky Council on Post-Secondary Education

2005: Hon. Joseph E. Lambert, Chief Justice, Supreme court of Kentucky

2004: Dr. John C. Green, Distinguished Professor of Political Science, University of Akron

2003: Dr. Thomas E. Mann, W. Averell Harriman Chair and Senior Fellow in Governmental Studies, The Brookings Institution

2001: Dr. Roderick R. Paige, Secretary, U.S. Department of Education

2000: Dr. John S. Jackson, III, Professor of Political Science & Interim Chancellor, Southern Illinois University

1999: Hon. Paul Patton, Governor of Kentucky

1998: Hon. Paul Simon, U.S. Senator (ret.), Illinois and Director of Public Policy Institute, Southern Illinois University

1997: Hon. Edward H. Johnstone, U.S. District Judge (ret.), Western District of Kentucky

1995: Mr. Reuben Greenberg, Chief of Police, Charleston, South Carolina

1994: Dr. Diane Blair, Professor of Political Science, University of Arkansas

1993: Prof. Paul Marcus, Marshall-Wythe School of Law, College of William and Mary

1992: Hon. Robert F. Stephens, Chief Justice, Supreme Court of Kentucky

1991: Dr. Thomas D. Clark, Professor Emeritus of History, University of Kentucky

1990: Dr. Richard Neustadt, Professor of Government, Harvard University

1989: Dr. Alexander Heard, Chancellor Emeritus and Professor of Political Science, Vanderbilt University

1987: Mr. H. Stuart Knight, Former Director, U.S. Secret Service

1986: Prof. Rennard Srickland, Dean, School of Law, Southern Illinois University

1985: Ms. Dorothy S. Ridings, President of the League of Women Voters

1984: Dr. Richard Fenno, Professor of Political Science, University Rochester

1983: Mr. James McIntyre, Director of the Office of Management and Budget, Carter Administration

1982: Hon. Richard Parker, U.S. Ambassador (ret.), Algeria, Lebanon & Morocco, University of Virginia

1981: Hon. John LeBoutillier, U.S. House of Representatives, New York

1980: Hon. James Abourezk, U.S. Senator, South Dakota

1979: Dr. Gordon Tullock, Professor of Political Science, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

1978: Hon. Richard Lugar, U. S. Senator, Indiana

1977: Hon. Louie Nunn, Governor of Kentucky

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