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Governor’s Lecture in the Humanities

2020 Lecturer: Doris Kearns Goodwin

Tuesday, September 22, 2020 • Lied Center for Performing Arts • Lincoln (and live online)
  • The benefit reception and dinner that usually precede the lecture have been cancelled. 
  • The lecture will be held at the Lied Center for Performing Arts in Lincoln only if it is deemed safe to do so*. It will be live-streamed either way so that anyone who is not comfortable attending an in-person event can still enjoy the lecture and ask a question. 
  • Social distancing must be maintained at all times. 
  • Information on how to watch the lecture live online will be posted on this web page soon. Please check back regularly. The lecture will *not* be recorded for rebroadcast later. 

*The health and safety of all participants and audience members is of the highest importance. Humanities Nebraska and the E.N. Thompson Forum are monitoring the local and state COVID-19 conditions on an ongoing basis. All local, state, and national directed health measures will be followed, and additional precautions taken as determined necessary by HN, ENTF, UNL, and the Lied Center. A major consideration is the City of Lincoln's COVID-19 Risk Dial, which we hope to see in the green ("low") or yellow ("moderate") category for an in-person event. See also the Lied Center's new health, safety, and ticketing policies here. Please continue to check in with the Humanities Nebraska and/or E.N. Thompson Forum websites for information updates.

A limited number of free lecture tickets will be available August 13. Please call The Lied Center for Performing Arts at (402) 472-4747 for tickets.

< Click the button to become a sponsor via our online system. For additional information about various sponsorship levels and accompanying benefits, please send email to Heather Thomas, director of development. 

World-renowned presidential historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Doris Kearns Goodwin will deliver the 25th annual Governor’s Lecture in the Humanities on Tuesday, September 22, 2020 at the Lied Center for Performing Arts in Lincoln. The lecture will be presented by Humanities Nebraska (HN) and the E.N. Thompson Forum on World Issues and sponsored in part by the Duncan Family Trust and the University of Nebraska. HN board members Connie Duncan and Chris Zygielbaum are co-chairs of the event.

Goodwin’s career as a presidential historian and author was inspired when as a 24-year-old graduate student at Harvard she was selected to join the White House Fellows, one of America’s most prestigious programs for leadership and public service. Goodwin worked withPresident Johnson in the White House and later assisted him in the writing of his memoirs.

She then wrote Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream, which became a national bestseller and achieved critical acclaim. Her next book, No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II, was honored with a Pulitzer Prize. She also authored multiple other books, such as The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys, Lincoln Prize winner Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, and Leadership in Turbulent Times, each garnering critical acclaim and multiple awards. 

Goodwin is seen frequently on major television stations, cable networks and shows including “Meet the Press” and “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.” She has served as a consultant for various documentaries, including “Baseball” by Ken Burns and several about American presidents. She was awarded the Charles Frankel Prize, given by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Sarah Josepha Hale Medal, the New England Book Award, as well as the Carl Sandburg Literary Award. 

The Sower Award in the Humanities will be presented to Dr. Natalie Hahn immediately preceding the lecture. The benefit dinner that typically precedes the free public lecture has been cancelled due to the pandemic, but this event still raises important funds for HN’s statewide programs. For information regarding sponsorships, please contact Heather Thomas at Humanities Nebraska.

The E.N. Thompson Forum on World Issues is a collaboration of the Cooper Foundation, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and the Lied Center for Performing Arts. Humanities Nebraska is a non-profit organization that inspires and enriches personal and public life by delivering opportunities to engage thoughtfully with history and culture. Visit to learn more.

This lecture will not be recorded for future broadcast. 

Guidelines for attending the lecture at the Lied Center:

  • People will be required to wear masks at the Lied. 
  • The social distancing requirements are 6 feet between families/households for seating.
  • Entrances in and exits out will be one way.
  • No food or drinks will be available and no intermissions.


Thank you to our 2020 co-sponsors:

Tuesday, September 22, 2020
7:30 pm9:30 pm
Lied Center for Performing Arts, Lincoln

Humanities Nebraska programming is made possible by:

and generous individuals, foundations, and businesses across Nebraska.