The M. E. John Memorial Lecture is sponsored annually by the friends and family of the late Dr. Macklin E. John and the Department of Agricultural Economics, Sociology, and Education at The Pennsylvania State University. Dr. John was born in Paw Paw, Illinois, on January 23, 1906. He received his B.S. degree in 1929 and his M.S. degree in 1932 from Iowa State College and his Ph.D. degree in 1937 from Cornell University. He arrived at Penn State as Professor of Rural Sociology in 1936 and later took on the assignment of Extension Specialist in Rural Sociology. He assumed the Department Head position in 1947. At this time, the department was renamed the Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology. Dr. John stepped down as head in 1969 and retired from the university in June 1970.

The purpose of the annual M. E. John Memorial Seminar Series is to increase understanding of important historical, current, and emerging social science and public policy issues important to rural people and places in Pennsylvania, across the United States, and internationally. The signature seminar in the series is the M. E. John Memorial Lecture, held in the spring of each year since 1981. The three disciplinary clusters of the department (agricultural economics, rural sociology, and agricultural extension education) take turns to identify and invite a speaker who gives a public lecture on a major social or economic issue affecting our society.

M.E. John

Macklin E. John 1906 - 1983

Past M. E. John Memorial Lectures

  • 2023: Janet M. Currie, Ph.D.
  • 2022: Dr. Amanda McMillan Lequieu
  • 2021: Parfait M. Eloundou-Enyegue
  • 2020: The lecture was not held due to the pandemic
  • 2019: Don A. Dillman (Video: 2019 Lecture presented by Dr. Don A. Dillman)
  • 2018: Cathy Kling
  • 2017: Kenneth M. Johnson
  • 2016: Kenneth Jones
  • 2015: Craig Gundersen
  • 2014: C. Mildred (Mil) Duncan
  • 2013: David Wallinga
  • 2012: David Just
  • 2011: Molly Jahn
  • 2010: Paul Thompson
  • 2009: Linda M. Lobao
  • 2008: Per Pinstrup-Andersen
  • 2007: Andrew M. Isserman
  • 2006: Lionel J. "Bo" Beaulieu
  • 2005: Mark Drabenstott
  • 2003: Tim Josling
  • 2001: Julian Alston
  • 2000: Susan Offutt
  • 1999: Nell Ahl
  • 1998: August Schumacher, Jr.
  • 1997: Donald Dufek
  • 1996: Walter Coward
  • 1995: Emery N. Castle
  • 1994: William Browne and Bruce Gardner
  • 1993: Kitty Reichelderfer
  • 1987: John A. Hostetler
  • 1986: Frederick Fliegel
  • 1984: Don A. Dillman
  • 1983: Rural Sociologists at Work/Festschrift
  • 1982: Lawrence Fouraker
  • 1981: Charles E. Bishop