Soon after completing his second term as Governor of Oregon in 1975, Tom McCall came to Oregon State University at the first occupant of the Tom McCall Chair in Public Affairs.  He taught Political Science and Journalism classes during his one term on campus before returning to Portland and a position as a commentator on KATU-TV, Channel 2.

In 1982, the OSU College of Liberal Arts created the Governor Tom McCall Memorial Lectureship in Public Affairs, using funds remaining from the McCall Chair.  From its beginning, the lectureship has had two goals:  to honor the memory of one of Oregon's greatest governors by keeping alive the ideals and values in public service, journalism, and environmental protection to which he dedicated his life; and to bring to campus notable people in journalism and public affairs who exemplify in their lives the excellence displayed by McCall throughout his career.

2024 Lecture: Charles F. Sams III

National Park Service Director
Oregon Since Time Immemorial to Today: Contributions to America’s Best Idea

Thursday, April 25 at 7 p.m. | Peavy Forest Science Center 117
Free, open to all

Charles F. “Chuck” Sams III was ceremonially sworn in as the 19th director of the National Park Service on Dec. 16, 2021, by Interior Secretary Deb Haaland.

Sams is Cayuse and Walla Walla and is an enrolled member of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation in Northeast Oregon, where he grew up. He also has blood ties to the Cocopah Tribe and Yankton Sioux of Fort Peck.
Sams most recently served as Oregon Governor Kate Brown's appointee to the Pacific Northwest Power and Conservation Council (NW Council) where he held a position as a council member from March to December of 2021. Prior to joining the NW Council, he served as executive director for the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation.

For 30 years, Sams has worked in tribal and state government, and in the non-profit natural resource and conservation management field, with an emphasis on the responsibility of strong stewardship for land preservation for this and future generations.

Sams is a veteran of the U.S. Navy where he served as an intelligence specialist. He holds a Bachelor of Science in business administration from Concordia University and a Master of Legal Studies in Indigenous Peoples Law from the University of Oklahoma School of Law. He lives with his wife, Lori Lynn (Reinecke) Sams and their youngest daughter in Alexandria, VA.

Presented by:
College of Liberal Arts and the School of Public Policy
School of Language, Culture and Society
College of Forestry - Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society
College of Agricultural Sciences - Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Sciences
Environmental Sciences Graduate Program, Graduate School


Prior McCall Memorial Lectures

2023 Lecture: Nicholas Kristof

"Homelessness, Poverty, the Urban-Rural Divide -- How Can We Fix the Problems All Around Us?”

Nicholas Kristof grew up in rural Yamhill county, Oregon, a place he and his wife Sheryl WuDunn have highlighted in their best-selling 2020 book, Tightrope: Americans Reaching for Hope. In this book they issue a plea to address the crisis in rural working-class America, while focusing on solutions to mend a half century of governmental failure.

Nick Kristof graduated from Harvard College and received a Rhodes Scholarship at Oxford University in the early 1980s. He later studied Arabic in Cairo and Chinese in Taipei, has lived on four continents, reported on six, and traveled to 170 countries. With the New York Times he has served as bureau chief in Hong Kong, Beijing and Tokyo. He is now a NY Times columnist reporting most often on social justice concerns around the world. 

In 1990 Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, then also a New York Times journalist, became the first husband-wife team to win a Pulitzer Prize for journalism for their coverage of China’s Tiananmen Square democracy movement. Kristof won his second Pulitzer in 2006 for what the judges called “his graphic, deeply reported columns that, at personal risk, focused attention on genocide in Darfur and that gave voice to the voiceless in other parts of the world.” Kristof and WuDunn have written four other best-selling books prior to Tightrope: Half the SkyA Path AppearsChina Wakes, and Thunder from the East. Oprah Winfrey devoted two full programs to their work, and they have been on countless other television programs. Half the Sky and A Path Appears each inspired a prime-time PBS documentary series.

Kristof has won many awards including the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, the Anne Frank Award and the Fred Cuny Award for Prevention of Armed Conflict. He has served on the board of Harvard University and currently serves on the board of the Association of American Rhodes Scholars. Archbishop Desmond Tutu dubbed Kristof as “an honorary African” for his reporting on conflicts there. President Bill Clinton said, “There is no one in journalism, anywhere in the United States at least, who has done anything like the work he has done to figure out how poor people are actually living around the world, and what their potential is.”

Presented by the College of Liberal Arts, School of Public Policy and the School of Writing, Literature and Film

Shemia Fagan, Oregon Secretary of State. Oregon’s voting system and ongoing efforts to establish fair, accessible elections

Video of lecture

James Lindsay, Council on Foreign Relations. Topic: “Ideology and Donald Trump.”

Video of lecture

Congressman Peter DeFazio

Dr. Richard Besser, ABC News Medical Correspondent, Former Acting Director of the CDC.

Mason Tvert, Marijuana Policy Project, spoke on the the Colorado experience in getting recreational marijuana legalization approved by the voters.