Valparaiso University will host the 64th annual Northwestern Indiana Science and Engineering Fair on March 25 in the Harre Union Ballroom.

Students in grades 6–12 from schools in Porter, Lake, LaPorte, Starke, Jasper, Pulaski and Newton counties will participate and compete for many prestigious awards and more than $5,000 in cash prizes, including scholarships to the University.

WHO: Valpo art students and faculty will auction creative, handmade ceramic bowls, drawings and prints in this annual community event. All proceeds will benefit Women in Bloom, a nonprofit organization that helps women prepare for the workforce through mentoring and scholarships.

WHAT: The annual Soup Bowls for the Hungry art auction fundraiser is part of a national movement, the Empty Bowl Project, in which potters donate income from their wares to worthy causes.

WHO: Scott Strazzante, who was part of the Chicago Tribune team that won a Pulitzer Prize in 2007 for investigative journalism, will visit Valparaiso University’s campus for a free, public lecture.

Strazzante has covered sports, disasters, culture and corruption throughout his 30-year career. An 11-time Illinois Photographer of the Year, Strazzante previously worked for the Herald News in Joliet, Ill., and the Chicago Tribune for 13 years before joining the photography staff of the San Francisco Chronicle in 2014.

Valpo’s Graduate School will welcome prospective applicants to campus on Saturday, April 8, at the Duesenberg Welcome Center, located at 1620 Chapel Dr. in Valparaiso, Indiana. Check-in begins at 10 a.m., with activities starting at 10:30 a.m.

Graduate School Admissions staff will be available to inform, guide and answer questions about pursuing your specialty within a graduate program. Financial Aid staff will also be present to discuss ways to pay for graduate school. Attendees will have the opportunity to meet current graduate students and learn about their experiences and engage with professors during lunch from 11:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. CST. Campus tours are available upon request and begin at 1 p.m. CST.

The Institute of Liturgical Studies at Valparaiso University has named Jennifer Baker-Trinity ’99 and Brian Johnson, assistant vice president for mission and ministry at Valparaiso University, as co-directors of the Institute, accepting two-year appointments effective April 2017.

In their roles as co-directors, Baker-Trinity and Johnson will lead, supervise, and direct the Institute of Liturgical Studies. They will be responsible for strategic and tactical planning, oversee day-to-day operations, and lead and host the annual conference.

“I am delighted these two inspiring individuals will be working closely together to engage, inform, and renew church leaders, congregations, and musicians,” said Mark L. Biermann, Ph.D., provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. “Deacon Baker-Trinity’s alignment with the mission of the Institute and knowledge of liturgical worship combined with Rev. Johnson’s extensive experience and passion for the liturgy and music make them an ideal fit to lead the Institute.”

Headliners: Victor Wooten Trio on April 7

CALJE (The Chicago Afro-Latin Jazz Ensemble) on April 8

Valparaiso University will host the 2017 Jazz Fest April 3–8 with an array of exciting performances by talented artists, including local performers as well as CALJE (The Chicago Afro-Latin Jazz Ensemble) and the Victor Wooten Trio featuring Dennis Chambers and Bob Franceschini.

As the result of an academic matter, Valparaiso University removed Jubril Adekoya from basketball competition consistent with our requirements as an NCAA member institution. The University and the NCAA collaboratively conducted a review related to this matter. At the conclusion of the review, the University proposed suspension for half of the season; however, the NCAA decided Jubril was ineligible to play in any regular or post-season games.

Valpo appealed this decision through several avenues. The appeals were unsuccessful, and we are bound by the NCAA decision.

The “BIG Dream Gathering” is coming to Valparaiso University on Tuesday, Feb. 28, at 6:30 p.m.

These events provide a fun, safe and encouraging environment for people to think about their big dreams and ideas, write them down and then get help to make those dreams a reality.

“Some people come knowing exactly what their goals are, but most people come to figure that out,” said co-founder, Mitch Matthews.

“I was a stranger and you invited me in.” — Matthew 25:35

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff:

Valparaiso University is constituted by people of different backgrounds and beliefs in dialogue with one another in the common pursuit of Truth. Those of us who have chosen to link our destinies with this place — whether faculty, students, alumni, staff, or friends — value, respect, invite, and welcome a wide array of opinions, beliefs, and cultural practices. This, we believe, is fundamental to our truth-seeking enterprise. Therefore, we are called to dialogue across our differences — even when those differences may be irreconcilable.

As an institution of faith and higher learning rooted in the Christian intellectual tradition, we take Jesus’ words from Matthew 25 to heart when he says, “I was a stranger and you invited me in … Truly I tell you, whatever you do for the least of these brothers and sisters, you do for me.” Similarly, the Quran encourages adherents of Islam to “do good — to parents, kinsfolk, orphans, those in need, neighbors who are near, neighbors who are strangers, the companion by your side, the wayfarer (you meet).” — Q:4:36

Valparaiso University rejects messages and actions rooted in prejudice, racism, xenophobia, and religious intolerance. Our dear friends and colleagues — the international students, faculty members, staff members, and members of our local communities — are our sisters and our brothers and those neighbors who are near and those neighbors who are strangers. All of these members of our community, and our Muslim students and faculty members in particular, are an integral and necessary part of our truth-seeking journey. They are Valpo. And because they are Valpo, they dedicate their time, leadership, and service for the sake of the world. Whenever any member of this community falls victim to hateful actions and speech it is our moral duty, to speak out against intolerance and injustice and to demand change.

On Friday, Jan. 27, 2017, the President of the United States signed an executive order that suspended entry of all refugees to the United States for 120 days. The order blocks entry to the U.S., for at least 90 days, for citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. It targets Muslim-majority nations. The order also suspends the issuance of visas and other immigration benefits to nationals from these countries. It is unclear whether this list of nations will be expanded in the future or even if the executive order is legal. Over the weekend we saw people, bearing legal documents like green cards and valid visas, barred entry to the U.S. and held for extended periods of questioning even if they had legal documentation with them. To the best of our knowledge, all of Valpo’s current faculty and students from the affected countries are accounted for and safe.  More specific information and advice will be provided to all international students by the Provost’s office, and an information session is being planned for early this week.

As we navigate these difficult and polarizing times, where truth-seeking and truth-telling becomes ever more precious, I implore you to remember what we are called to do together in this place as members of the Valpo community. I encourage you to be in dialogue with one another with humility, care and respect. I remind you of the life and example of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his transformative national movement for peace, justice, and equality through non-violence. Finally, I share with you the statements adopted unanimously by Valparaiso University’s faculty and student senates that repudiate anti-Muslim rhetoric and sentiments. May we use this moment in our nation’s history to reaffirm our values as a community committed to freedom, faith, inclusion, and dialogue. And may we continue to cherish our diversity — using our words and actions to model for others what it could look like to live in a community where love abounds and where mutual dialogue and understanding flourish.

Thank you for all you do to make our community a beacon of light and a source of hope in this troubled world.

Sincerely,
Heckler_Sig_HighRes

Mark A. Heckler, Ph.D.
President
Valparaiso University

WHO:  Valparaiso University and the Special Olympics of Indiana come together for the 2017 Polar Plunge, an event raising awareness and funds to sponsor the Special Olympics throughout the state. This is the seventh year the University will host the event.

WHAT: The Polar Plunge invites participants who have raised $75 or more to jump into a pool of freezing water. Participants are encouraged to dress up in costumes, and prizes will be given to those who have the best costume, the largest team and those who raised the most money for Special Olympics Indiana. The event is open to the public and free to watch.

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