News

Willamette Alumnus to Give 51½-Hour Lecture for World Record

In a bid to break the current 51 hour 30 minute world record for "Longest Lecture Marathon," Dustin Buehler will start lecturing in Willamette University's Eaton Hall, Room 309, at 6 a.m. on Friday, April 25. If he is successful, he will break the record at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, April 27.

Buehler, 24, an aide in the Oregon Legislature who holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in politics and history from Willamette, will lecture on the topic, "The History and Evolution of the American Presidency." The Willamette Philomathean Society, the oldest debating society in the western United States, will host the lecture.

According to Guinness World Records, the current record for the longest lecture marathon belongs to Masanam Venu, who spoke on the fundamentals of chemistry from January 5-7, 2003, at the Kavitha Memorial Degree College in Khammam, India. The rules for lecture marathon attempts allow the lecturer to take a 15-minute break every eight hours, but otherwise require continuous lecturing on one topic.

When asked about his topic, Buehler said he has a deep interest in the history and politics surrounding the American Presidency. "The debates during the Constitutional Convention of 1787 are fascinating, particularly the discussions regarding executive veto, the Electoral College and pardon power," he said. "Even more interesting is how the role of the presidency has evolved over the centuries."

So what motivates Buehler to stay up for more than two days, talking on and on about long-forgotten presidents such as Franklin Pierce and Rutherford Hayes?

"I have a free weekend, and I want a really good story to tell my grandchildren one day," said Buehler. "More seriously, though, it's a great opportunity to realize a childhood dream, while bringing attention to the history of the presidency. You can learn a lot about a society by observing its leaders."

Note: During late night and weekend hours, the outer doors of Eaton Hall may be locked for security purposes. If this is the case, call the lecture room at (503) 375-5488. For more infomration, visit the Willamette Philomathean Society website.

04-17-2003