Valparaiso University’s Institute for Leadership and Service announces its fall 2016 Pathways to Purpose speaker series featuring speakers and topics focusing on professional development.

The speaker series primarily features field experts and service-based leaders who respond to the deepest challenges of our time and help to inspire students to pursue purposeful work.

All events will be held at 5:30 p.m. in the Helge Center unless otherwise noted.

Valparaiso University is the No. 4 master’s university in the nation, as announced today in Washington Monthly’s annual college rankings. According to the magazine’s system, colleges are ranked by their contribution to the country, and it recognizes institutions that provide an outstanding education while maintaining affordability.

Criteria include cutting-edge research and scholarship, recruiting and graduating low-income students and civic engagement, and the rankings include community service hours relative to school size. Valpo students annually perform more than 220,000 hours of community outreach and service learning, and the University regularly appears in the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction.

Valparaiso University has named Thomas Albert (Tal) Howard, Ph.D., as the Phyllis and Richard Duesenberg Chair in Christian Ethics. Professor Howard comes to Valpo from Gordon College, where he served as professor of history, director of the Center for Faith and Inquiry, and director of the Jerusalem & Athens Forum.

“I join the Valpo community in welcoming Tal to the University,” said Mark Biermann, Ph.D., provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. “Tal brings an outstanding record of teaching and scholarly work to this position, and his intellectual contributions have earned him international recognition.”

In his role Professor Howard will develop and teach various courses in the field of Christian ethics, deliver an annual public lecture related to current issues from a theological ethics perspective, and provide campus leadership to support the Lutheran Church-related character of the University.

“Tal will be able to use his unique gifts to move the Phyllis and Richard Duesenberg Chair in Christian Ethics forward in powerful new ways,” Provost Biermann said. “He will be able to build on the excellent work of the chair’s previous holder, Gil Meilander, in order to bring another powerful perspective to the important work of the chair.”

Opening Reception is Aug. 28

The Brauer Museum’s 2016–2017 season kicks off with an opening reception Sunday, Aug. 28, featuring works in a variety of media ranging from abstract to representational.

The fall exhibitions run through Dec. 11 and feature photographs by Louise Witkin-Berg in an exhibition titled “External Reflections — Internal Wars,” housed in the Wehling and McGill Galleries and the Education Room. This retrospective exhibition showcases abstract figurative works by the acclaimed photographer.

Located in the Ferguson Gallery and Gallery 1212, “True to Form: Works from Chicago Sculpture International” is curated by Gregg Hertzlieb and Gloria Ruff and includes sculptures in a wide variety of styles and materials.

Alexander Uryga ’15 has been selected as Indiana’s 2016 James Madison Fellow.

Alexander, of La Porte, Ind., graduated from Christ College, Valparaiso University’s honor college, summa cum laude with majors in political science and history. A first-generation student, he served as student body president as a junior and completed an internship for U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly through the Lutheran College Washington Semester program.

“It’s clear Alex’s hard work, both in his classes and in his internship, has paid off,” said Amy Atchison, assistant professor of political science and international relations. “We have no doubt Alex will bring the same enthusiasm to his students that he brought to all of his political science classes here at Valpo.”

Alexander participated in the 25th annual fellowship competition, sponsored by The James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation of Alexandria, Va., and is the only Indiana recipient among a total of 53 James Madison Fellows to be honored with the award for secondary teachers.

Valparaiso University has achieved recognition by Forbes 2016 rankings as one of the top 75 colleges in the Midwest and regularly appears in Forbes Magazine’s “America’s Top Colleges” list.

The Center for College Affordability and Productivity assists Forbes in the calculating the rankings of America’s Top Colleges through the analysis of factors including student satisfaction, graduation rate and academic success. Additionally, according to Forbes’ methodology postgraduate success and student debt are two of the most important measures of its annual ranking.

Institutions that demonstrate excellent return on investment rank high on Forbes’ list. At Valparaiso University, graduate placement has exceeded 90 percent for 23 consecutive years, and Valpo’s student loan default rate of 3.0 is well below the national average of 11.8.

Concert organist Hector Olivera will perform a recital at Valparaiso University’s Chapel of the Resurrection on Friday, Aug. 26 at 7 p.m. Olivera will play on the University’s 103-rank Schlicker-Dobson Reddel Memorial organ — one of the most spectacular and versatile instruments in the Midwest.

Since entering the Buenos Aires Conservatory as a child prodigy at age six, Olivera has become one of the most sought after and revered international concert organists of the present time.

Valparaiso University will welcome students, parents, and others in celebrating Indiana Private College Week.

From Monday, July 18, through Friday, July 22, Valpo and 30 other private, nonprofit colleges and universities join together in one concentrated week to have visitors walk and experience the campuses through guided tours, informational sessions and conversation with current students and staff regarding academics and financial aid.

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