Research Centers


Midcontinent Perspectives Lectures

Midcontinent Perspectives was a lecture series sponsored by the Midwest Research Institute as a public service to the midcontinent region. Its purpose was to present new viewpoints on economic, political, social, and scientific issues that affect the Midwest and the nation.

Midcontinent Perspectives was financed by the Kimball Fund, named for Charles N. Kimball, President of MRI from 1950 to 1975, Chairman of its Board of Trustees from 1975 to 1979, and President Emeritus until his death in 1994. Initiated in 1970, the Fund has been supported by annual contributions from individuals, corporations, and foundations. Today it is the primary source of endowment income for MRI. It provides "front-end" money to start high-quality projects that might generate future research contracts of importance. It also funds public-interest projects focusing on civic or regional matters of interest.

Initiated in 1974 and continuing until 1994, the sessions of the Midcontinent Perspectives were arranged and convened by Dr. Kimball at four- to six-week intervals. Attendance was by invitation, and the audience consisted of leaders in the Kansas City metropolitan area. The lectures, in monograph form, were later distributed to several thousand individuals and institutions throughout the country who were interested in MRI and in the topics addressed.

Date Lecturer Affiliation Lecture title
1974-09-27 Sosland, Morton I. Editor and Publisher, Milling and Baking News New Perspectives on Food Prices
1974-11-15 Lindsey, Ernest T. President, Farmland Industries Agricultural Inputs
1975-01-10 Hockaday, Irvine O., Jr. President, Kansas City Southern Industries Transportation Perspectives
1975-02-28 Theis, Willis C. President, Simonds- Shields-Theis Grain Company Grain Marketing
1975-03-28 McCain, James A. President, Kansas State University Food Production-The Key Element
1975-04-25 Harrison, R.D. President, Fleming Companies Food Distribution
1975-05-30 Hueter, Ernest B. Chairman, Interstate Brands Corporation The Baking Industry
1975-06-27 Jensen, William J. Senior Vice President, Butler Manufacturing Company Agricultural Capital
1975-09-26 Noland, Michael C. Director, Engineering Division, Midwest Research Institute Energy Issues in the Midcontinent Region: An Overview
1975-10-24 Boushka, Richard J. President, Vickers Energy Corporation Don't Eat the Big Fish
1975-12-12 O'Shields, Richard L. President and Chief Executive Officer, Panhandle Eastern pipe Line Company An Appraisal of Natural Gas: America's Premium Energy
1976-01-23 Thomas, Robert E. Chairman and President, Mapco, Inc. Dropping the 'In' from Project Independence
1976-02-27 Strauss, Willis A. President and Chairman, Northern Natural Gas Company The View from the Other End of the Microscope
1976-03-12 Crawford, W. Donham President, Edison Electric Institute Electric Power Perspectives
1976-09-29 Hadley, Garland R. Executive Vice President, The Kerr Foundation Toward the Year 2001
1976-11-04 Sosland, Morton I. Editor and Publisher, Milling and Baking News Prospects for Agriculture in the Year 2001
1976-12-17 McCallister, Ben D., M.D. Cardiologist, St. Luke's Hospital Cardiovascular Medicine in the Year 2001
1977-01-27 Gaynor, Robert H. Vice President and General Manager, AT&T Long Lines Communications: 2001
1977-02-24 Menninger, Roy W., M.D. President, The Menninger Foundation Life Styles: What you See in the Year 2001
1977-03-30 Kipp, Robert A. City Manager, Kansas City, Missouri City Government in the Year 2001
1977-04-21 Simons, Dolph C., Jr. President and Publisher, Lawrence Daily Journal-World Newspapers in the Year 2001?
1977-06-30 Pearson, Allen Director, National Severe Storm Forecast Center Meteorology in the Year 2001
1977-07-27 Hockaday, Irvine O., Jr. President, Kansas City Southern Industries Trucking versus Railroads in the Year 2001
1977-07-27 Powell, George E., Jr. Chairman, Yellow Freight System Trucking versus Railroads in the Year 2001
1977-09-29 Miller, Marshall V. Partner, Swanson, Midgley, Gangwere, Thurlo & Clarke International Trade and Investment in the Year 2001
1977-10-27 Meyer, C.E., Jr. President, Trans World Airlines, Inc. The Domestic Airline Industry in the Year 2001
1977-11-17 Rappaport, Paul Director, Solar Energy Research Institute Solar Energy in the Year 2001
1978-01-19 Kraft, Christopher C., Jr. Director, Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center Space Exploration in the Year 2001
1978-02-23 Wheeler, Robert R. Superintendent, School District of Kansas City Public Education in the Year 2001
1978-03-23 Alcott, James A. President and Publisher, Harper's Magazine Printed Media in the Year 2001
1978-04-25 Valenti, Jack President, Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. Motion Pictures and their Impact on Society in the Year 2001
1978-09-15 Will, George F. Author and Columnist The Future of American Cities
1978-11-13 Nielsen, Waldemar A. Waldemar A. Nielsen Inc. Corporate Social Responsibility
1978-12-19 Mascotte, John P. Executive Vice President, The Mutual Benefit Life Insurance Company The Life Insurance Industry in the year 2001
1979-01-31 Curran, Charles E. President, Kansas City Association of Trusts and Foundations Philanthropic Foundations: A Perspective about their Mission and their Future
1979-02-21 Coe, Ralph T. Director, William Rockhill Nelson Gallery of Art-Atkins Museum Art Museums – Past/Present/Future
1979-04-04 Bloch, Henry W. President, H&R Block, Inc. Taxation in the Year 2001
1979-09-13 Olson, James C. President, University of Missouri Higher Education - A Short Look Ahead
1979-10-19 McNally, Edward T. Chairman, McNally Pittsburgh Manufacturing Company Coal as a Vital Energy Source
1979-11-26 Henson, Paul H. Chairman, United Telecommunications Computer/Communications Outlook 1984
1979-12-13 Dayton, Kenneth N. Chairman, Dayton Hudson Corporation The Case for Corporate Philanthropy
1980-03-12 Dillon, George C. Chairman, Butler Manufacturing Company The Challenge of Broadening Corporate Governance
1980-04-08 Hayes, Denis Director, Solar Energy Research Institute and Vice President of MRI The Solar Prospect
1980-04-14 Kemper, James M., Jr. Chairman and President, Commerce Bancshares, Inc. The Role of Banking in a Credit Oriented Society
1980-06-26 Herman, Michael E. Senior Vice President, Marion Laboratories, Inc. The Economics of Baseball
1980-11-06 Ainslie, Michael L. President, National Trust for Historic Preservation An Assessment of Historic Preservation in the United States
1980-12-03 Morrison, Peter A. Director, Rand Population Research Center Accommodating the Demography of the 1980's
1981-01-08 Richardson, William R. Commander, US Army Combined Arms Center Challenges to our National Security in the 1980s
1981-03-26 Zobrist, Benedict K. Director, Harry S. Truman Library Long Term Significance of Presidential Libraries, Corporate Records, and Personal Papers
1981-04-09 Gibbons, John H. Director, Office of Technology Assessment of United States Congress The Role of Analysis in Government
1981-05-21 Dunn, William H. Chief Executive Officer, J.E. Dunn Construction Company An Insider's View of the Construction Industry
1981-09-10 Garreau, Joel Assistant National Editor, The Washington Post The Nine Nations Of North America
1981-10-08 Lyons, Fred W., Jr. President and Chief Operating Officer, Marion Laboratories, Inc. Pills, Perils And Prognosis
1981-11-19 Reed, William A., M.D. Program Director, Cardiovascular Surgery, Mid-America Heart Institute at St. Luke's Hospital Cardiac Surgery: Past, Present, And A Look At The Future
1982-01-27 Bell, James B. Director, New England Historic Genealogical Society In Search Of America's Roots
1982-03-02 Fitt, Michael G. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, ERC Management Corporation Why Reinsurance?
1982-09-29 Hoch, Clinton Executive Vice President, The Fantus Company Economic Development In The Midcontinent Region
1982-11-11 Lake, Thomas H. President and Chairman, Lilly Endowment, Inc. The Role Of Philanthropy In Economic Development
1982-11-30 Burkhalter, David A. City Manager, 1971 – 1981 The City And Its Role In Economic Development
1983-01-27 Freeman, David Director, Tennessee Valley Authority The Tennessee Valley Authority: Harnessing Natural And Human Resources For The 1980's
1983-04-13 Haw, C.L. William President and Chief Executive Officer, National Farms, Inc. Kansas City's Niche In Agricultural Economic Development
1983-11-03 Sosland, Morton I. President, Sosland Companies The Current State And Future Of Agribusiness: An Agenda For Kansas City
1983-12-15 McCallister, Ben D., M.D. Clinical Cardiologist, Mid America Heart Institute at St. Luke's Hospital Cardiovascular Medicine In The Year 2001 – An Update
1984-03-29 Kingsley, James Gordon President, William Jewell College Sort Of Higher Education: An Overview From Underneath
1984-06-27 Kemper, David W. President, Commerce Bancshares, Inc. Deregulation, Entangling Alliances, And Risk In The American Banking System
1984-11-06 Esrey, William T. President, United Telecom Communications, Inc. Intercity Telecommunications: Today And Tomorrow
1985-03-28 Dunn, William H. President and Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, J.E. Dunn Construction Company Current Trends In The Construction Industry
1985-05-22 Hall, William A. President, Hall Family Foundations To Whom And How Much: Observations On Philanthropy
1985-11-20 White, Michael T. Polsinelli, White & Vardeman, P.C. Creating A Climate For Development – Tax Increment Financing, Chapter 353, And Community Attitudes
1986-01-29 Hall, Adele C.   The Future For Voluntary Action
1986-02-20 Lerner, Scott T., M.D. Director of Medical Education, St. Luke's Hospital The Changing Relationship Between Doctor And Patient: Some Personal Observations
1986-05-06 Mobley, Jane Editor, Corporate Report/Kansas City My Mentor/My Self: Reflections On Professional Relationships
1986-10-16 Pearson, Richard D. Former President, Trans World Airlines Deregulation – An Insider's View
1987-01-08 Holland, Robert C. President, Committee for Economic Development Leadership For More Dynamic Midwestern States
1987-01-27 Harsh, William P. Retired Executive Vice President, Hallmark Cards, Inc. Some Observations On Kansas City's Future As A Convention City
1987-03-24 Johnson, William S. Retired Director of Public Relations, Hallmark Cards, Inc. Private Thoughts About Public Relations
1987-09-29 Hunkeler, John, M.D. Ophthalmologist, Eye Consultants Inc. Innovations In Eye Health Care
1987-11-10 Martin, Louis E. Director, Linda Hall Library Research Libraries In The Information Age
1988-01-14 Van Der Tuuk, Terry President & CEO, Graphic Technology, Inc. Significance Of The Bar Code Industry
1988-04-19 Gunn, James Department of English, University of Kansas Science Fiction: Its Past, Present, And Future
1988-10-04 Wilson, Don W. Archivist of the United States Documenting and Preserving Our National Heritage Through the National Archives
1988-11-16 Curran, Joan F. Trustee of the New England Historic Genealogical Society Family History: A Legacy For Your Grandchildren
1989-01-17 Kingsley, James Gordon President, William Jewell College Do the Brits Do It Better? A Perspective on Higher Education In Britain and America
1989-03-21 McGuff, Joe Vice President and Editor, The Kansas City Star and Times Are Big-Time College Athletics Damaging the Integrity of Our Educational System?
1989-09-07 Hubbard, Harold M. Director, Solar Energy Research Institute Global Environmental Issues and Their Impact on the Midcontinent Region
1989-10-17 Sosland, Morton I. Chairman, Sosland Publishing Company Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, Milling and Baking News Coming Off Agriculture's Worst Decade: MCP Special: The Jeff B. Maillie Memorial Lecture
1990-05-03 Hall, William A. President, The Hall Family Foundations Second Thoughts on Philanthropy
1990-06-21 McCallister, Ben D., M.D. Consultant in Cardiovascular Diseases, The Mid America Heart Institute of St. Luke's Hospital Cardiovascular Medicine – 1990
1990-10-02 Mongan, James J., M.D. Executive Director, Truman Medical Center Dean, UMKC School of Medicine The Rising Costs of Health Care
1990-11-15 Wilson, Marc F. Director, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art Art and Art Museums in the 1990s: Tougher Than Usual Times Ahead
1991-01-31 Kreamer, Janice President, Greater Kansas City Community Foundation and Affiliated Trusts The Problem of Drug and Alcohol Abuse
1991-04-24 Deadwyler, John B. President, Marion Merrell Dow Inc. Foundation Strategic Philanthropy: Creating Partnerships for Scientific Education and Regional Growth
1991-06-13 Jennings, A. Drue Chairman and President, Kansas City Power & Light Company The Energy of Kansas City
1991-10-30 Bodde, David L. Vice President, Midwest Research Institute Technology and the Creation of Wealth: New Challenges, New Opportunities
1992-01-23 Serda, Daniel Harvard University Boston Investors and the Early Development of Kansas City, Missouri
1992-02-20 Rogers, Robert B. President and Chief Operating Officer, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation A Role for Large Foundations in Building Community in the '90s
1992-04-21 Rowland, Landon H. Chairman, The Kansas City Southern Railway Company Racing, Shuffling, or Stumbling Into the Millennium: Surface Transportation After 2000
1992-10-21 Serda, Daniel William T. Kemper Research Associate, University of Missouri-Kansas City An Intentional Community: History and Local Identity
1992-12-02 Braude, Michael Kansas City Board of Trade A Century of Agriculture and Its Commerce
1993-01-28 Worley, William S. Sterling College, Sterling, Kansas Development of Industrial Districts in the Kansas City Region: From the Close of the Civil War to World War II
1993-04-14 Kingsley, James Gordon President, William Jewell College Tidying Up Harvard Yard: Foundations of Higher Education in Kansas City, 1849-1933
1993-10-28 Serda, Daniel William T. Kemper Research Associate University of Missouri-Kansas City A Blow to the Spirit: The Kaw River Flood of 1951 in Perspective

Note: Included in this collection are 102 lectures given over a period of 20 years. We have made every effort to provide the lectures in the form that they were originally published by including the lecture text, the questions and answers, and any graphics attached to the presentation. We have, however, changed the format from a 5x8 inch to a standard 8x11.5 inch letter size to ease the printing of the documents off-line. Moreover, to reduce the digital size of the files we have occasionally moved the graphics into separate documents called from the main text. Though not as convenient as having the images published in the body of the document, it significantly reduced download time for those few lectures that were highly illustrated.

Internal evidence suggests that there may have been 106 presentations in the series. Unfortunately we have not been able to identify the missing four documents. We would welcome any additional information on these lectures.

We wish to thank Dr. James Spigarelli, President and CEO of MRI, for his permission and support for this project. In particular we are thankful for his providing Kirk Hall, Director of MRI's Information Technology Center, to give advice and assistance in developing a search mechanism for the Lectures. Lastly, we appreciate the help of Katherine Long, Head of the Special Collections Department at the Kansas City Public Library for helping identify missing Lecture booklets.