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KU will welcome Big 12 Conference commissioner to present Naismith Lecture

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas Department of Health, Sport & Exercise Sciences has invited Bob Bowlsby, commissioner of the Big 12 Conference, as the keynote speaker for this year’s James Naismith Lecture Series. 

Bowlsby’s presentation, “Positivity Is a Choice,” will take place at 6 p.m. Nov. 13 in the Capitol Federal Hall Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public. 

Bowlsby, a leader who has been at the forefront of change in collegiate athletics, was named the fourth full-time commissioner of the Big 12 Conference in May 2012. He was also appointed to the inaugural NCAA Division I Council in 2012, and he serves as the chair of the Football Oversight Committee, which oversees all aspects of collegiate football and reports directly to the NCAA Division I Council. 

“We are grateful to have someone of Mr. Bowlby’s stature on campus to present at this year’s Naismith Lecture,” said Rick Ginsberg, dean of the School of Education. “Given all that is currently happening in big-time sports, the opportunity to hear from someone as intimately involved in the industry as Mr. Bowlsby is will be invaluable.”

Prior to his role at the Big 12, Bowlsby spent six years directing the Stanford University athletics department. Throughout his career, he has emerged as a national leader in intercollegiate and amateur athletics. Bowlsby was appointed to the U.S. Olympic Committee Board of Directors in 2007 and completed that term at the 2014 Winter Olympiad in Sochi, Russia.

Bowlsby earned a bachelor’s degree from Minnesota State University (Moorhead) in 1975 and a master’s degree from the University of Iowa in 1978. More information on Bowlsby can be found here.

The James Naismith Lecture Series was established in the spring of 2008 to honor the legendary founder of the game of basketball and first chair of the department. Since the first lecture the department has hosted multiple lectures on topics, including:

  • exercise physiology,
  • sport psychology,
  • sport management & administration,
  • sports medicine,
  • health & physical education, and
  • KU’s athletic history and tradition

More information on the James Naismith Lecture Series can be found here.  

The Department of Health, Sport & Exercise Sciences is housed in the School of Education, located in Lawrence. The KU School of Education is a nationally ranked school, preparing educators and health/sport/exercise professionals as leaders.    


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