'Play, Passion, and Purpose: A New Arc for Education' University of Iowa's David Gould to give Spring Convocation lecture Feb. 4

Encouraging students to use higher education as a means to discover their life's meaning and purpose, David L. Gould, the University of Iowa's first Obermann Center Public Scholar, will give the Spring Convocation lecture "Play, Passion, and Purpose: A New Arc for Education" at 9:40 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 4, in the Center for Faith and Life on the Luther campus.

As part of the ceremony, Luther Professor Emeritus David Judisch will receive The Medal of St. Olav, conferred in recognition of his efforts to strengthen the bonds between Norwegian descendants and their home country. Norwegian Honorary Consul Quentin Boyken will present the medal at convocation on behalf of the King of Norway. The Luren Singing Society will provide music for the event.

Convocation, held in the Center for Faith and Life Main Hall, is open to the public with no charge for admission.

Gould's popular "Life Design" course is the basis for his convocation address. Drawing on the work of other scholars to answer the question "Why am I here?" he focuses on the intersection of students' passions and talents.

During his tenure with the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies, Gould organized a faculty institute designed to help faculty connect their teaching and research with the social challenges facing the modern city. He was also instrumental in developing an engaged social innovation major in the University of Iowa's Interdepartmental Studies program. 

Gould recently spent 14 months working with the Downtown Project, an organization led by Zappos.com CEO Tony Hsieh that is dedicated to transforming downtown Las Vegas into the most community-focused large city in the world.

Gould has served as the associate director of Professional Student Development in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and lecturer in the Department of Health and Human Physiology at the University of Iowa.

From 2010 to 2015 graduating seniors at the University of Iowa recognized him as one of the top faculty and staff members who have had a positive effect on their lives. In 2012, he was presented the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences' Star Volunteer Award and the Iowa Outstanding Staff Award.

Gould is a sought-after public speaker, whose presentations include a commencement address for the University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, a TED talk for TEDxUNI and keynote addresses at the Next Gen. Summit and at the conference Educating 21st Century Adolescent Learners held in Tokyo.

As a filmmaker, Gould's credits include "Freestyle: The Victories of Dan Gable" and "The Checker King," which premiered on HBO Signature and HBO2 respectively. Both films enjoyed favorable reviews from national publications including the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and Newsweek. Gould has received a CINE Golden Eagle and a Regional Emmy for Outstanding Achievement.

His documentary, "Two Sides of the Moon," premiered at the 2011 Rhode Island International Film Festival where it won an Honorable Mention for Best Documentary Short. "Two Sides of the Moon" was also an official selection at the 2012 Newport Beach Film Festival, 2012 Atlanta International Documentary Film Festival, 2011 Unspoken Human Rights Festival, and the City of Fort Worth's 2012 Movies That Matter: A Human Rights Film Series, among others. Gould is currently producing the feature film "Diane’s Room," based on the life of wrestler and coach Dan Gable.

A national liberal arts college with an enrollment of 2,400, Luther offers an academic curriculum that leads to the Bachelor of Arts degree in more than 60 majors and pre-professional programs. For more information about Luther visit the college's website: http://www.luther.edu.