The Student News Site of Buena Vista University

The Tack Online

The Student News Site of Buena Vista University

The Tack Online

The Student News Site of Buena Vista University

The Tack Online

Preparation Into the American Heritage Lecture: Walter Isaacson


The upcoming American Heritage Lecture event has been a major point of conversation since the student panelists were announced in September.

The American Heritage Lecture Series has been a tradition at Buena Vista University since 1989, welcoming many notable figures such as Jimmy Carter, Margaret Thatcher and George Bush. This year, American journalist, author, and innovator, Walter Isaacson will join as the speaker.

Walter Isaacson recently released a written biography of Elon Musk on September 12, 2023. President Lenzmeier is seen with his copy above. 

When choosing a guest speaker, Lenzmeier wanted someone who could relate well to students, as they would be leading the discussion. 

“He really speaks well to what it takes to be innovative and really change the world,” said BVU President Brian Lenzmeier. “He talks about how the people that make the greatest leaps are the people that can do things like connect technology to humanity, to understand why people act the way they act and what it means to be human [and] understand the connection between art and science. And that’s what got me really excited when we were able to get him here.” 

To qualify as panelists, students, who were self-nominated or nominated by another person, were asked to submit essays highlighting their interest in American innovators and the guest speaker’s work.

The students who were selected to serve as panelists and represent Buena Vista University on stage this year were Joshua Tigges, digital media major; Kayla Farmer, English and history double major; Peter Roland, biomedical science major; Vinh Nguyen, animal science and biology double major; Hannah Olson, accounting and finance double major; and Andrea Leusink, history and English double major. Additionally, Caitlyn Eibert, animal science and biology double major, and Megan Warren, history education and social science double major, were chosen to be alternate panelists.  

“When I saw [the announcement] sent out, it was something that caught my eye right away because Walter Isaacson is such a prominent name, and he has a lot of credibility, said Tigges on the process of applying to be a student panelist. “When I got that email that I was selected, it was like, ‘Wow! I’m really going to get this chance to ask these questions and have a conversation with Walter Isaacson.’ It’s truly an honor to be selected to represent the university.” 

Since the summer, students have been preparing for the panel with BVU faculty members serving as their mentors and coaches, a practice that differs from previous years.  

“Personally, I’m excited to see what questions the BVU students come up with. I’m curious to see [how] their books that they read really drove their questions … that’s really what the Siebens family and the other benefactors that have supported this are most excited about as well,” said Lenzmeier. 

The American Heritage Lecture is scheduled to take place at 3 p.m. in Schaller Chapel on Nov. 3. 

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Emelia Jacobs
Emelia Jacobs, News Editor
I’m Emelia Jacobs, I am a junior double majoring in strategic public relations and communication studies. I am currently involved in the ag club and BVTV. Last year I graduated from Riverland Community College with my Associates Degree in Liberal Arts and my high school diploma from Alden-Conger Public School. In high school, I was on our yearbook from 9th-12th grade, so I do have some experience in this area. I look forward to gaining much more experience though that could be attributed to my major and being a part of some important stories.

Comments (0)

All The Tack Online Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *