Dr. Richard Lampe will be 2014 Commencement Speaker

Dr. Richard Lampe will be 2014 Commencement Speaker

Dr. Richard Lampe will be 2014 Commencement Speaker

Buena Vista University has announced that Dr. Richard Lampe, professor of biology at BVU, will be the 2014 Commencement speaker on May 24.

"Buena Vista has been a rich part of my life. I met my wife here, had my early years as a student guided by caring professors and then found myself back on this campus as a faculty member," said Lampe. "My own career has been a wonderful experience in which I have been surrounded by many professionals who also chose this as their life's work. This community of scholars and administrators is a testament of our desire to invest in the lives of students and to prepare them for a life of meaning and purpose."

Lampe received his bachelor's degree from Buena Vista College in 1969, master's degree from the University of Kansas and doctorate from University of Minnesota. He returned to Buena Vista in 1976 as assistant professor of biology, became professor of biology in 1988 and held other administrative roles while remaining at BVU throughout his career before retiring this year.

"Dr. Lampe is an institutional treasure," said BVU President Fred Moore. "As a masterful teacher, mentor and program builder, Professor Lampe has changed thousands of lives over the course of his amazing career. I am sure he will have an inspirational and personal message for our graduates."

Along with his career as an educator, Lampe held the roles of dean for the School of Science from 1986-1991, vice president for Academic Affairs from 1992-1994 and executive vice president and dean of faculty from 1994-97.

Regarded by many as an expert on the North American badger, Lampe has met and interacted with other international researchers studying various badger species around the world. During his tenure as professor of biology, he led courses in zoology, animal behavior, evolution, ecology and conservation biology. He began collecting mammal specimens from Iowa and maintaining existing campus collections, and through his efforts, the University's collection has now grown to include 1,400 specimens, most recently expanding to include taxidermy specimens from around the world.

While at BVU he helped develop the Undergraduate Rural Medicine Education and Development (URMED) program for undergraduate students seeking a career in medicine and the Undergraduate Rural Dental Internship (URDI) program for pre-dental students interested in a rural Iowa dental practice. He also had leading roles in curriculum development, was a member of the design committee for the Estelle Siebens Science Center and guided students on 25 extended study trips.

Throughout his career, Lampe received numerous awards and accolades while at BVU, including being the second recipient of the George Wythe Award, BVU's highest honor for excellence in teaching, in 1989.

Lampe has held additional honors in his career, including two terms as President of the Iowa Academy of Science, two years on the Board of Trustees for the Iowa Academy of Science and 10 years on the Buena Vista County Conservation Board.

He has been active in the Storm Lake community, serving as a member of the Buena Vista Regional Medical Center Healthcare Foundation for 12 years and has served on the Board of Trustees for Buena Vista Regional Medical Center since 2007 and has been chair of the board since 2011. Lampe is also active at St. Mark Lutheran Church on various committees and is currently serving as president, and he has also been active in pulpit supply for various churches in northwest Iowa since 1978.

He plans to spend his retirement sharing his love of nature with others, working with a small group of people who provide citizenship class to the local immigrant community and continuing his work with St. Mark Lutheran Church.

Lampe and his wife Maxine, a retired teacher and school administrator, have lived in Storm Lake for 38 years, and the couple have two children and five grandchildren.