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Volunteers help lecture series

Story by Emily Gregor

Photo by Luke Nankivell, photo editor

carter speech-w2000-h2000Inspiring lectures, interesting people and an opportunity other schools don’t have. The Bucksbaum Lecture Series is an event that incorporates all of those to give Drake students and the Des Moines community a different avenue of learning.

“It is such a perk of being a student here, not many people can say they saw Jimmy Carter speak at their school,” sophomore Taylor Rookaird said.  “It’s a very distinguished opportunity that Drake should be proud of.”

Rookaird helps with coordinating the events, alongside Assistant to the President for Advancement Erica Hartschen.

“My first one (Bucksbaum Lecture) was the Vicente Fox one and through the office of leadership I ushered for that and I was kind of like chatting with some people and I really liked these types of events,” Rookaird said.

After realizing her interest in events of this nature, Rookaird talked to Hartschen about her role in the event and started keeping in contact and assisting her.

“I just did a lot of coordinating with the volunteers and I help with like logistical things, I help organize programs, I help set up the gymnasium,” Rookaird said.

Being a public relations major, events like this undoubtedly will help Rookaird with her future.

“I think it’s cool getting a hand in one of the biggest events on campus,” Rookaird said.

First-year Emily Enquist has gotten involved as well due to her dedication to volunteering.

“I’d rather be helping other people,” Enquist said. “It doesn’t make sense to give all this time to yourself when you can give so much more to other people.”

Enquist and the other volunteers handed out programs, made sure people knew where to sit and other tasks to make the lecture run smoothly.

“I was upstairs seating people and after everyone was seated we got to sit on the floor like fifteen rows back, so that was really cool,” Enquist said.  “It was nice to be able to experience the lecture as well.”

The variation of the speakers showcased at the lecture shows the diversity and focus of the series, featuring speakers from Dr. Maya Angelou to Earvin “Magic” Johnson, covering a range of topics.

“Every time it’s a new thing, it’s not a standard procedure thing,” Rookaird said.  “Going from the Carter lecture, we had different details, and then you have this one where it’s a lot more relaxed.”

This Wednesday, photographer, adventurer and founder of the “Extreme Ice Survey,” James Balog will be speaking at the latest installment of the lecture series in the Knapp Center at 7 p.m., and students and community members anticipate the upcoming lecture opportunity.

“I always learn so much through the series and it has made me a more diverse person,” said first-year Adam Graves.


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