The Magee address was established in honor of John B. Magee, Professor of Philosophy and Religion. Dr. Magee was an ordained United Methodist minister and an outstanding professor, author, and mentor who was one of the driving forces in establishing a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa at the University of Puget Sound in 1986. He is the author of several books including: Religion and Modern Man: A Study of the Religious Meaning of Being Human, Reality and Prayer: A Guide to the Meaning and Practice of Prayer and Philosophical Analysis in Education. In addition to the Magee address being named for him, the university also honors his work through the Magee Professorship of Science and Values.

The address focuses on either the lecturer's professional scholarly inquiry or intellectual hobbies and includes a reflection about how PBK values (e.g., broad intellectual curiosity, scholarly ethics and rigor, personal excellence, commitment to the liberal arts) have impacted the lecturer's work.


Previous Magee lecturers include:

  • Sara Freeman, Professor of Theatre Arts, "The Dream of a Shared Curriculum" (2019)
  • David Latimer, Assistant Professor of Physics, "Weak Harbingers of New Physics" (2018)
  • Greta Austin, Professor of Religious Studies and Director of the Gender and Queer Studies Program, "If I Major in the Humanities, Will I Live in my Parents’ Basement Forever?”: How do the Humanities Matter?" (2017)
  • Barry Goldstein,Geology, "From the Eye of the Storm: Perspectives on Climate Change" (2016)
  • Justin Tiehen, Philosophy, "A Theory of Everything that Exists in the Entire World" (2015)
  • Ronald R. Thomas, University President, English, "No Subject" (2014)
  • Rachel DeMotts, Environmental Policy and Decision Making and Politics & Government, "The Elephants of Our Imagination" (2013)
  • Katherine Smith, History, "Love, War, and Prophecy in the Twelfth Century: How Medieval Historians Tackled the First Crusade" (2012)
  • David Tinsley, Foreign Languages and Literature, "Finding Diversity in History: Images of the Muslim Other in the Middle Ages and their Meaning for Today" (2011)
  • Sarah Moore, Psychology & Leon Grunberg, Comparative Sociology, "Living through Turbulent Times: Workplace Changes and Their Impacts on Employee Well Being" (2010)
  • Alan Thorndike, Physics, "Remarks about Penrose Tilings" (2009)
  • Aislinn Melchior, Classics, "Caesar in Vietnam: Did Roman Soldiers Suffer from PTSD?" (2008)
  • Julie Christoph, English, "Little College on the Prairie: Exploring Relationships Between Personal Experience and Academic Inquiry" (2006)
  • Barry Bauska, English (2005)
  • Catherine Hale, Psychology, "Alzheimer's Disease: Unraveling the Mystery" (2003)
  • Eric Orlin, Classics, "The Romans and Foreign Cults" (2002)
  • John Hanson, Chemistry