Best-selling author Wright Thompson to deliver Marquette’s annual Axthelm Lecture, April 4

March 27, 2024

Wright ThompsonMILWAUKEE — Wright Thompson, a New York Times best-selling author and senior writer for ESPN, will deliver the 2024 Axthelm Memorial Lecture, hosted by the Diederich College of Communication at Marquette University, on Thursday, April 4, at 4 p.m. in Sensenbrenner Hall, 1103 W. Wisconsin Ave.

Registration is open to the public and available online. Media interested in covering the lecture should contact Kevin Conway at

Thompson is a senior writer for and ESPN The Magazine. Previously, he worked at The Kansas City Star and New Orleans Times-Picayune. He is renowned for his profiles on Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods and his rich cultural writing on the South. Thompson’s work has covered a wide range of sports issues from football, basketball and baseball to car racing, sports history, Father’s Day and bullfighting.

Thompson is also the bestselling author of two New York Times best-selling books, “Pappyland” and “The Cost of These Dreams.” In “Pappyland,” he offers a first-hand account of Julian Van Winkle III, the caretaker of the most coveted cult Kentucky Bourbon whiskey in the world, and his fight to protect his family’s heritage and preserve the taste of his forebears. “The Cost of These Dreams” is a collection of true stories about the dream of greatness and its cost in the world of sports.

The Pete and Bonnie Axthelm Memorial Program was established in 1994 to acknowledge and recognize the life of Pete Axthelm and his sister Bonnie. Every year this program awards a scholarship to an outstanding journalism student with an expressed interest in sports journalism and hosts a lecture by a professional in the field

About Marquette University

Marquette University is a Catholic, Jesuit university located near the heart of downtown Milwaukee that offers a comprehensive range of majors in 11 nationally and internationally recognized colleges and schools. Through the formation of hearts and minds, Marquette prepares our 11,100 undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and professional students to lead, excel and serve as agents of positive change. And, we deliver results. Ranked in the top 20% of national universities, Marquette is recognized for its undergraduate teaching, innovation and career preparation as the sixth-best university in the country for job placement. Our focus on student success and immersive, personalized learning experiences encourages students to think critically and engage with the world around them. When students graduate with a Marquette degree, they are truly prepared and called to Be The Difference.

About Kevin Conway

Kevin Conway

Kevin is the associate director for university communication in the Office of University Relations. Contact Kevin at (414) 288-4745 or