The University of Iowa

Becker Communication Studies Building

Samuel L. Becker

Honoree: Samuel L. Becker
1923 - 2012 


  • Samuel L. Becker earned all his degrees in communications from the University of Iowa (47BA, 49MA, 53PhD)
  • Affectionately dubbed "Mr. University of Iowa," Becker served the university in many capacities and was famous for his signature bow tie and suspenders
  • Appointed Full Professor in 1961 and was Chair of the Department of Speech and Dramatic Arts (now Communication Studies) from 1968 to 1982
  • Directed 59 doctoral dissertations, authored six textbooks, and developed and orchestrated a 325-student freshman-level courses
  • Internationally known for his scholarship on all aspects of communication, in particular, his seminal research on televised presidential debates, the impact of mass media, research methodology, smoking prevention, and speech and media pedagogy 
  • Served as a member of the Board in Control of Athletics and Iowa’s representative to the Big Ten Conference 
  • After retirement in 1993, Becker was called back into service as Interim Director of the School of Art and Art History and Interim Provost 
  • Recognized via a University of Iowa Distinguished Professorship and the University's Distinguished Service Award, Iowa's Hancher-Finkbine Medallion, the Distinguished Communicator Award by the Central States Communication Association (which also has named its outstanding graduate student paper award the Sam Becker Prize), the Andersch Award for Distinguished Service by Ohio University, the NCA's Distinguished Service Award and Distinguished Scholar Award (with the service award finally named after him in 1995), the Fisher Distinguished Mentor Award and Fellow status from the International Communication Association, and, of course, his own building—the Samuel L. Becker Communication Studies Building, 1993. A lecturership in his honor was launched by the University in 2001-2002
  • Additional information

Becker Communication Studies Building


Description of facility:
Built during the presidency of James O. Freedman (1982–1987), Becker Communication Studies Building was state-of-the-art, from the exterior design to its broadcasting facilities. The building hosts the Communication Studies Department and the Cinema and Comparative Literature Department. The building was rededicated in 1993 in honor of Samuel L. Becker, distinguished professor emeritus in communication studies.

Address: 25 South Madison Street
Year built: 1984
Additional building information and map: Becker Communication Studies Building

Aerial View of Building