Horning Lecture

The Annual Ross Horning Lecture

The Annual Ross Horning Lecture is the signature public event for the Department of History each year. The lecture series is meant to reflect the many dimensions of the life of Dr. Ross Horning (1920-2005), professor of history, patron of the arts and the community, professional baseball player, international traveler, and student mentor.

Born October 10, 1920, in Watertown, S.D., Horning led a life that many people only dream of, from playing professional baseball to dining with dignitaries around the world. He lived abroad in India, Russia, and Canada and visited a number of other places like Istanbul, Moscow, the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Austria, Hungary, and China.

Horning earned his B.A. in history from Augustana College, S.D. He then earned his M.A. in foreign affairs and his Ph.D. in Russian history, international law, and European and American diplomatic histories from George Washington University. At George Washington, Horning was a Sanders Fellow and a Fulbright Scholar in India. He also studied at the Institute of Languages & Linguistics, Georgetown University and at Moscow State University. He served three years in the U.S. Air Force.

Horning began teaching at Creighton University in 1964 as an assistant professor of history. He became an associate professor in 1965 and a professor in 1968. Horning was elected president of the University Faculty three times and served on the University Athletic Board and the University Public Honors Committee. He was a member of Alpha Sigma Nu, the national Jesuit honor society, and the Omaha Press Club, among many other associations. He was a life member of the Fulbright Alumni Association, a platinum member of the Jaybackers, and a strong supporter of various Omaha foundations. In 1982, Horning received the Distinguished Faculty Service Award from Creighton University

2020 Lecture--CANCELED

David Grann

David Grann

Author and Journalist
"The Art of Storytelling: Bringing True Tales to Life"



Past Ross Horning Lectures

Charles C. Mann, 2019

Author and Journalist
"Wizards and Prophets: The Edge of the Petri Dish?"


David Olusoga, 2018

Historian, Broadcaster and Filmmaker
“Remembering and Forgetting: Black History and the British Empire”

Author Eric Larson

Eric Larson, 2017

Award-winning, Best-selling Author
“Why I Like to Drown My Readers”

Terry Tempest Williams, 2016

Conservationist and Author
"The Hour of Land: A Personal Topography of America’s National Parks"

Margaret MacMillan, 2015

Oxford University Historian,
“Was World War One Inevitable?”

Now available on YouTube



Eric Schlosser, 2014

Investigative Journalist and Author,
“Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons and the Illusion of Safety”

Scott Simon, 2013

Host of Weekend Edition Saturday on NPR,
“How Jackie Robinson Transformed America”


Senator Chuck Hagel, 2008

Nebraska’s Senior Senator,
“America: Our Next Chapter”


Mr. Kim Butler, 2007

Consul General of Canada, Minneapolis,
“Common Ground, Common Cause: The Canada-United States Partnership”


George McGovern, 2006

Former Senator and Global Ambassador on World Hunger,
“America: The Road Ahead”