Jon McBride featured speaker at UNK’s Last Lecture event

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KEARNEY – Former University of Nebraska at Kearney Athletics Director Jon McBride is the featured speaker at the annual Last Lecture event presented by the Xi Phi Chapter of Mortar Board at UNK.

The event, which is open to the public, is at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 12 in Copeland Hall 142. McBride’s talk is titled “ Leadership Traits – Learned and Lived.”

Jon McBride MugThe purpose of the Last Lecture is to honor a member of the UNK faculty, staff or administration by inviting them to give a lecture on any topic of their choosing, said Mortar Board Senior Adviser Amber Messersmith.

“The Last Lecture concept is billed by Mortar Board as an uplifting and inspirational message delivered to the campus community,” Messersmith added.

McBride was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2009. He served as UNK’s athletics director from 2002-13 before stepping down, and he currently serves as special assistant to the chancellor at UNK.

“Often, the individual chosen to give the Last Lecture is someone who has recently retired or is nearing the end of their career at UNK,” said Messersmith. “The topics are always important to them personally and have wide appeal.”

Last Lecturers are instructed to think about insights and wisdom they would like to share if given just one chance to address an audience. A reception will follow the event to allow audience members to speak with McBride and reflect on what they heard.

Established in 1918, Mortar Board is a national honor society recognizing college seniors for their exemplary scholarship, leadership and service. UNK’s Xi Phi Chapter is one of 230 chartered chapters nationwide.

The Last Lecture series has occurred at UNK for almost 20 years. Mortar Board chapters have hosted across the country for more than four decades.

Source: Amber Messersmith, 308.865.8966,
Writer: Todd Gottula, 308.865.8454,


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