facebook icon twitter icon youtube icon

The Culver Lecture

The bipartisan Culver Lecture series is one of the highlights of the academic year for the John C. Culver Public Policy Center at Simpson College. The Center was established in 2010 to honor the service of John C. Culver, who served the people of Iowa for 16 years in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.

Journalist John Nichols delivered the 11th Annual Culver Lecture at Simpson College on April 14, 2022 in Hubbell Hall, Kent Campus Center. 

John Nichols is a journalist, political commentator and pioneering political blogger. He is the author of fourteen books on American politics, including The Fight for the Soul of the Democratic Party: The Enduring Legacy of Henry Wallace’s Antifascist, Antiracist Politics. Nichols’ book draws heavily on Senator John C. Culver’s biography of Henry A. Wallace, American Dreamer: A Life of Henry A. Wallace. Simpson College has recognized both John C. Culver and Henry A. Wallace in the naming of the John C. Culver Public Policy Center and Wallace Hall.  “In The Fight for the Soul of the Democratic Party, John Nichols illuminates the long shadow of Iowan Henry A. Wallace’s continuing influence on progressive politics in the U.S., adding significantly to the body of knowledge on Wallace collected by Senator Culver in American Dreamer,” said Seth Andersen, Director of the John C. Culver Public Policy Center at Simpson College. “Nichols’ book is essential reading for students of American political history and social movements.” In conjunction with the 11th Annual Culver Lecture, the Culver Center also hosted a screening of Joan D. Murray’s film tribute to her grandfather, Henry A. Wallace: An Uncommon Man.


Professor Larry J. Sabato delivered the 10th Annual Culver Lecture in a virtual format on October 14, 2020. Recognized as one of the nation's most respected political analysts, Sabato is the founder and director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics and Sabato's Crystal Ball. He is a New York Times bestselling author, a four-time Emmy winner and a regular fixture on national TV channels, including FOX, CNN, MSNBC and CNN International. Sabato’s lecture focused on analysis of the impending 2020 General Election and a broad range of political trends affecting federal races nationwide.

Sabato is the author or editor of two dozen books on American politics, including “The Blue Wave,” which explores the 2018 election and its outcome. He has taught more than 20,000 students during his 40-year career and the University of Virginia has given him its highest honor, The Thomas Jefferson Award.

Sabato heads up Sabato’s Crystal Ball, which the Pew Charitable Trust recognized as the No. 1 leader in the field of political prediction. A thorough statistical analysis of all 2018 prognosticators found that the Crystal Ball was the best. Nate Silver of fivethirtyeight.com was second.

Possessing an active presence on social media, Sabato’s Twitter feed, @LarrySabato, was named by Time Magazine as one of the 140 most influential. 

Linda Greenhouse delivered the Third Annual Culver Lecture at Simpson College on March 19, 2013. Greenhouse’s lecture reflected on her experience covering the United States Supreme Court for The New York Times from 1978 to 2008. She continues to author regular opinion columns on law and the Court for The New York Times. She won the Pulitzer Prize in 1998 and the Goldsmith Career Award for Excellence in Journalism from Harvard University’s Kennedy School in 2004. Greenhouse authored a biography of Justice Harry A. Blackmun, Becoming Justice Blackmun and Before Roe v. Wade: Voices That Shaped the Abortion Debate Before the Supreme Court’s Ruling (with Reva B. Siegel). In 2012, she authored The U.S. Supreme Court, A Very Short Introduction, published by Oxford University Press. 

Greenhouse currently serves as the Knight Distinguished Journalist in Residence and Joseph M. Goldstein Senior Fellow at Yale Law School, where she teaches courses on The Institutional Supreme Court, Warren Burger’s Supreme Court, and the Supreme Court Advocacy Clinic. She is one of only two non-lawyer honorary members elected to the American Law Institute. Greenhouse received her B.A. in Government from Radcliffe College (Harvard) and a Master of Studies in Law from Yale Law School in 1978.