Buzz mounting ahead of Andrew Luck Ubben lecture


Indainapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck.

As with every Ubben lecture, Ken Owen attempts to entice students to attend interesting lectures

Owen said he has achieved a, “wow factor.”

Andrew Luck, the quarterback of the Indianapolis Colts, is set to speak at DePauw on April 24 at 7 p.m. in Kresge Auditorium.

“I think [Luck] brings a really good case study to a liberal arts college where the people that are involved in athletics play for the love of the game, they’re here to study first and foremost and athletics is a second thing to them,” said Ken Owen, Executive Director of Media Relations.

Luck’s lecture, entitled “Creating Your Personal Game Plan for Success,” will be open to DePauw students first. 

“The idea will be that the program will be about life choices and about coming up with a schematic of what you’re going to do with your life and how you make decisions,” Owen said. “[This lecture will] get his ideas as to what compelled him to stay in school, how did he make the choices he made, how do you balance study and work and having fun outside of class.”

Luck (25) would have been number one in the NFL draft his junior year of college at Stanford, but he chose to stay in school and complete his degree in Architecture. He was still number one in the draft after he graduated.

“He is an advocate for studying hard and having goals in life,” Owen said.

DePauw’s own football coach Bill Lynch will moderate Luck’s lecture, but the topic of football will mainly be discussed in a separate meeting between Luck and DePauw’s football team.

“I believe our team will enjoy their conversation with Andrew. He's not far removed from being a college student-athlete himself, so he'll be able to share how he handled the difficult balance between academics and football,” Lynch said. “Hopefully we'll be able to talk about his background, his experience at Stanford and in the NFL with the Colts. I'm sure he'll have some great stories to tell as well.”

Sophomore quarterback Matt Hunt agrees with Coach Lynch.

“It's a great opportunity for our school and our football team. He's a great role model for student athletes and I'm looking forward to [hearing] what he has to say,” Hunt said. “I'm interested to hear his thoughts on balancing academics with athletics at a school like Stanford. I've followed him throughout his career and looking forward to listening to him and meeting him.”

Many students are aware of his academic, as well as football background, and know he will offer a lot of substantial advice for DePauw students.

“I think he’s going to be a really great speaker at DePauw because he’s not only a football player, he’s also really intelligent; he graduated from Stanford with a degree in Architecture,” said sophomore Sarah Wilson. “A lot of football players that know they’re going to go professional kind of blow off academics but he most definitely did not so he is a great example of a superb student athlete.”

Luck will be the first professional athlete to speak at DePauw since Peyton Manning’s 2004 Ubben lecture. Different than Manning’s lecture, who read a speech from paper, Luck plans to have a conversation involving important things to which students can relate. There will also be time for students to ask questions.

“There’s an element of sports that sometimes you bring in people and it’s very clichéd… but I think in this kind of setting [with Luck], you get something different, it’s not canned and the moderator can guide the conversation in certain ways,” Owen said.

Owen had been trying to get Luck to come since fall of 2012 and it didn’t work out until now. 

Since Andrew Luck doesn’t typically do lectures like this, many parents of students plan on coming to DePauw to hear his lecture.

“A lot of people hold him in high regard,” Owen said.

When Owen is looking for potential people to speak as an Ubben lecture guest at DePauw, he looks for people that haven’t spoken a lot, especially people who haven’t spoken a lot near DePauw.

To further ensure the “wow factor” with Ubben lectures, Owen usually writes into his contracts that the speaker “cannot speak in a 90 mile radius of [DePauw] for 90 days.”

Regardless of Luck’s contract, many students, staff, faculty and parents in the DePauw community plan to attend his lecture.

“If you look at people in the sports world, it doesn’t get more appropriate than him,” Owen said.