Past Commencement Speakers

2013

May John Arthur Nunespresident and CEO of Lutheran World Relief

2012

December Andrew N. Nunemaker, CEO for Dynamis Software Corporation and a member of the Board of Directors of Valparaiso University
May

Randall T. Shepard, former Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justic

2011

December

Rt. Rev. Dr. Munib Younan,  bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land and president of the Lutheran World Federation

May

Bonnie E. Raquet,  corporate vice president (ret.) at Cargill Inc. and a member of the Board of Directors of Valparaiso University

2010

December John P. "Jody" Kretzmann, Co-Director of the Asset-Based Community Development Institute and Research Associate Professor in The School of Education and Social Policy, Northwestern University
May Dr. Kurt Senske, President & Chief Executive Officer, Lutheran Social Services of the South
 

2009

December Mary Burce Warlick, Ambassador to the Republic of Serbia
May Walt Wangerin Jr., Author and Emil and Elfriede Jochum University Professor
May Law Robert D. Rucker, Indiana Supreme Court
 

2008

December David J. Hessler, Senior Partner, Wegman, Hessler & Vanderburg
May Undergraduate Ambassador Clayton Yeutter, Senior Adviser, Hogan & Hartson
May Law John F. Sandner, Chicago Mercantile Exchange
 

2007

December Paul A. Strasen, Phoenix Restaurant Partners
May Undergraduate Bill Kurtis, Producer, A&E Network and The History Channel
May Law Pat Choate, Founder and Director, Manufacturing Policy Project
 

2006

December Stephen A. Furbacher, president and chief operating officer of Dynegy Inc
May Undergraduate Myles Brand, President, NCAA
Law Undergraduate Lee Iacocca, Chairman, the Iacocca Foundation
 

2005

December Lloyd G. McClendon, Coach, Detroit Tigers
May Undergraduate Peter H. Diamandis, M.D., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Zero Gravity Corporation
May Law Mitchell E. Daniels Jr., Governor, State of Indiana
 

2004

December Doris K. Christopher, Founder and Chairman, The Pampered Chef
May Undergraduate Jacki Lyden, alumna, author and NPR correspondent
May Law Randall Shepard, Chief Justice, Indiana Supreme Court
 

2003

December Alumna Rebecca Pallmeyer, U.S. District Court Judge
May Undergraduate Tom Skilling, Chicago meteorologist
May Law Carl Brizzi, prosecuting attorney, Marion County
 

2002

December Alumnus Richard Kauzlarich, former U.S. ambassador
May Undergraduate Richard G. Lugar, Republican leader of the Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee in the Senate
May Law Herbert F. Stride, partner, Stride, Craddock and Stride
 

2001

December Bruce Berner, Valparaiso University School of Law faculty
May Undergraduate Homer Drew, Head Coach, Men’s Basketball
May Law The Honorable Ilana Diamond Rovner, judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
 

2000

December Walter Wangerin, Jr., faculty member
May Undergraduate Linda Chavez, author and president of the Center for Equal Opportunity
May Law Peter J. Rusthoven, partner resident in the Indianapolis office of Barnes & Thornburg
 

1999

December Walter Wangerin Jr., faculty member
May Undergraduate Alumnus James C. Hunter, author of The Servant: A Simple Story about the True Essence of Leadership
May Law Victor Rosenblum, Nathaniel L. Nathanism Professor of Law in the School of Law at Northwestern University
 

1998

December Judith Peters, recently retired faculty member
May Undergraduate LouAnne Johnson, author of My Posse Don’t Do Homework
May Law N. Cornell Boggs III, associate general counsel for Anheuser-Busch Companies Inc.
 

1997

December Alumna Kathryn Baerwald, assistant university counsel at Georgetown University; formerly general counsel at United Way of America
May Undergraduate Alan C. Page, Minnesota Supreme Court Justice
May Law Robert A. Stein, Executive Director of the American Bar Association in 1994
 

1996

December Jean Bethke Elshtain, faculty member at University of Chicago; honorary degree Recipient
May Undergraduate Paul Schrage, retired business executive, alumnus and member of Board of Directors; honorary degree recipient
May Law The Honorable John T. Noonan, Jr., Circuit Judge for the United States Court of Appeals Ninth Circuit
 

1995

December George C. Heider, Ph.D., President, Concordia University, River Forest, Ill.
May Undergraduate Rev. August Bernthal, alumnus, pastor and member of Board of Directors
Also speaking: the retiring president of the student body.
May Law The Honorable William H. Rehnquist, Chief Justice, The Supreme Court of the United States
 

1994

December Christa Klein, alumna and member of Board of Directors; consultant with The Cheswick Center
May Undergraduate Ronald Ploszaj, deputy assistant laboratory director, Technical Division, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena Calif. (Doctor of Science)
Walter Sorell, retired professor, distinguished teacher, critic, and cultural historian, New York, N.Y. (Doctor of Letters)
May Law Luis V. Gutierrez, Representative of the Fourth District of the State of Illinois
 

1993

December Episcopal Bishop Craig Barry Anderson, dean and president, General Theological Seminary in New York
May Kathleen Obier Ell, professor of social work, University of Southern California
 

1992

December Dr. Warren Rubel, retiring professor of humanities in Christ College
May Frederick M. Bernthal, deputy director, National Science Foundation, Washington, D.C.
 

1991

December Fred L. Kuhlmann, vice chairman of the board, Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc.
May Dr. Charles H. and Jeannette R. Kramer, Oak Park, Ill.
Dr. Kramer – full professor, Northwestern University Medical School dept. of psychiatry and behavioral education.
Mrs. Kramer – assistant professor of clinical psychiatry, Northwestern University Medical School dept. of psychiatry and behavioral education.
 

1990

December Representative Jill Long, U.S. House of Representatives from northeast Indiana’s 4th congressional district
May Robert C. Maynard, editor and president of the Oakland, Calif., Tribune
 

1989

December Prof. Normand Widiger, associate professor of theology
May Rev. Edward J. Mahnke, Houston, Tex., director of chaplaincy and pastoral education at the University of Texas Cancer Center at M.D. Anderson Hospital, Houston
 

1988

December Dr. Paul Phipps, professor of English
May Margretta Styles, president of the American Nurses Assoc. who holds the Livingston Chair of Nursing at the University of California – San Francisco.
 

1987

December No record
May Richard John Neuhaus, director of the Center on Religion and Society in New York City
 

1986

December Dr. Paul Phipps, recently installed as the first Walter G. Friedrich Professor of American Literature
May Margretta M. Styles, dean of the School of Nursing, University of California, San Francisco
(two speakers spoke briefly) Walter Wangerin, Jr., faculty member
 

1985

December No record
May Dr. Paul Manske, holder of the Fred C. Reynolds Chair of Orthopedic Surgery and Chairman of the Division of Orthopedic Surgery, Washington Univ. of St. Louis
 

1984

December No record
May The Rev. Dr. Martin Kretzmann, LCMS (brother to O.P. Kretzmann)
 

1983

December Dr. John Strietelmeier, professor of geography
May The Honorable Richard K. Fox, Jr., foreign service officer and deputy inspector general, Dept. of State, Washington, D.C.
 

1982

December Dr. Alice Rechlin, professor of geography, VU
May Edwin Meese, III, counselor to the President of the United States since 1981
 

1981

December Dr. Willis Boyd, professor of history
May Rev. Paul Hartling, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees