The Committee on Lectures was established in 1958 with a series of four speakers and an annual programming budget of under $5,000, operating out of an English professor's office. Today, the Lectures Program Office works with the Committee on Lectures and the National Affairs and World Affairs Series planning committees, as well as a wide range of organizations and offices, to schedule more than 100 speakers each year.

Iowa State University has a unique lectures program that combines the cooperative efforts of students, faculty and staff with the advantages of a centralized office jointly financed by the university and the student government. This successful collaboration and a focus on excellence ensure a quality program that has been honored by the International Platform Association with their Drew Pearson Award and the National Association of Campus Activities Distinguished Lecture Program.