Valparaiso University welcomes Thomas Cedel, Ph.D., as the Distinguished Visiting Professor of Leadership. In this role, Cedel will be affiliated with various departments and colleges throughout the University, and work closely with Mark L. Biermann, Ph.D., provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, as well as key faculty members and stafffrom Student Affairs and Campus Ministries.

Beginning in the spring semester 2015, Cedel will also teach courses at Valpo and partake in pedagogical work that will enhance the student experience. This may include lectures, activities in support of the CORE program and facilitation of campus discussions related to the pedagogy of leadership. Additionally, Cedel will work closely with faculty and staff to support and guide the development, implementation and assessment of student learning outcomes related to leadership.

“While Tom’s work will focus primarily on curricular activities related to leadership, he will also work with students, faculty and staff to develop, implement and coordinate a broader range of leadership programs in co-curricular and extracurricular areas,” Biermann said. “We are confident that Tom’s experience, background and expertise will complement Valpo’s already strong people and programs in leadership and related fields.”

Additionally, Cedel will work with civic, business and community organizations throughout Northwest Indiana and the Chicago area.

“My wife, Penny, and I are delighted to join the Valparaiso University community. I began my career in higher education after a conversation with Valpo’s previous president, Alan Harre,” Cedel said. “The University’s mission to prepare students to lead and serve in church and community is dear to our hearts, and we look forward to being a part of it.”

Prior to this position at Valpo, Cedel served as the president of Concordia University Texas from 2002 – 2014.  Under his leadership, the university moved from a 23-acre campus to a larger location encompassing more than 380 acres, and Concordia University Texas experienced tremendous enrollment growth from just more than 1,000 students in 2002 to nearly 2,600 students in 2013. Additionally, Cedel’s leadership resulted in increased fundraising and program growth.

Cedel’s early career was spent serving in the military, from which he retired as a colonel in the Air Force. A fighter pilot, he commanded a fighter squadron. Cedel earned his Ph.D. and undergraduate degree in biology from the University of Pittsburgh. He also attended the Industrial College of the Armed Forces and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he completed Seminar XXI, International Relations.

Cedel was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, designated an Andrew W. Mellon pre-doctoral fellow and named a National Institutes of Health post-doctoral fellow at Carnegie-Mellon University.

With his wife, Cedel launched the Concordia University Texas’ prominent Excellence in Leadership program in 2007 to recognize annually a Christian leader in the community and simultaneously raise funds for the university’s scholarship fund. The Cedels have two adult children and two grandchildren.

The Department of Music at Valparaiso University presents the 2014-2015 music season, which brings world-class musical talent to campus and to the region with performances by renowned guest artists as well as Valpo’s nationally and internationally recognized student ensembles.

Major performances include:

  • Confucius Institute at Valparaiso University, Sept. 29 at 6 p.m., Chapel of the Resurrection. Conductor Dennis Friesen-Carper will lead visiting high school orchestras and international guest artists as part of the Great Lakes Music Festival. This event is free and open to the public.
  • Homecoming Choral Concert, Oct. 11 at 4 p.m., Chapel of the Resurrection. The performance features the Valparaiso University Chorale, the Men’s Choir, and the Women’s Choir, conducted by Christopher M. Cock and Maura Janton Cock. Tickets cost $15 for adults and $10 for senior citizens and non-Valpo students. Admission is free for Valpo students, faculty, and staff.
  • Homecoming Concert, Oct. 11 at 8 p.m., Chapel of the Resurrection. Conductor Dennis Friesen-Carper will lead the Valparaiso University Symphony Orchestra, with Nicole Lee on the piano. Tickets cost $15 for adults and $10 for senior citizens and non-Valpo students. Admission is free for Valpo students, faculty, and staff.
  • Dido and Aeneas, Nov. 12-14 at 8 p.m. and Nov. 15-16 at 2 p.m., University Theatre. A special five-day performance includes music by Henry Purcell and libretto by Nahum Tate. Tickets cost $15 for adults and $10 for senior citizens and non-Valpo students. Admission is free for Valpo students, faculty, and staff.
  • A Carol Festival: The Valparaiso University Christmas Concert, Dec. 5 at 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 6 at 5 p.m., Chapel of the Resurrection. The annual celebration features the Valparaiso University Chorale, the Men’s Choir, the Women’s Choir, the Chamber Concert Band, and the Symphony Orchestra. Tickets cost $15 for adults and $10 for senior citizens and non-Valpo students. Admission is free for Valpo students, faculty, and staff.
  • Advent-Christmas Vespers, Dec. 12 at 7 and 10 p.m., Chapel of the Resurrection. The service features the Valparaiso University Kantorei and the handbell choirs of the Chapel of the Resurrection. Admission is free with reserved seating cards available at the Chapel of the Resurrection.
  • Christmas Oratorio Parts IV-VI, Dec. 19 at 7:30 p.m., Chapel of the Resurrection. Christopher M. Cock will conduct the Bach Institute.

The season continues in the spring semester with a variety of festivals, recitals, and other performances, highlighted by a visit from the Cathedral Choir of St. Paul’s in London. Visit for a complete calendar of events.

Tickets for all events, unless otherwise stated, are $15 for adults, $10 for senior citizens and non-Valpo students, and free for Valpo students, faculty, and staff. Musical performances will be held in the Chapel of the Resurrection unless specified otherwise.

Valpo honored again as No. 2 in Midwest for Best Undergraduate Teaching

 For the 26th straight year, Valparaiso University has been identified as one of the best universities in the Midwest by U.S. News & World Report magazine. In the 2015 edition, released today, Valpo is the No. 5 Best Regional University, among more than 140 universities in the category, and is ranked No. 2 in the Midwest for Best Undergraduate Teaching.

“We are honored to once again be recognized by U.S. News & World Report for the exceptional education at Valparaiso University,” said Mark A. Heckler, Ph.D., University president. “This achievement reflects the steadfast focus on exceptional quality as we continue to develop cutting-edge academic programs, expand campus infrastructure, and enroll outstanding students who will carry on the Valpo legacy.”

Notable U.S. News rankings:

  • Valpo is No. 5 in the ranking of Best Regional Universities in the Midwest, which evaluates academic reputation, retention, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, graduation rate and alumni support.
  • Valpo ranked second among regional universities in the Midwest for both best value and best undergraduate teaching.
  • Valpo is tied for first in the Midwest for Up-and-Coming Regional Universities. These rankings recognize institutions that have recently made the most promising and innovative changes in the areas of academics, faculty, student life, campus or facilities.
  • Valpo was once again placed on the list of A+ Schools for B Students, which measures institutions that provide opportunities for students of different academic achievement levels to thrive.
  • Valpo’s College of Engineering is listed as one of the top 30 undergraduate engineering programs in the country.

Valpo has increased enrollment of undergraduate students for the past six years. And with 4,520 undergraduate, graduate and law students, Valpo’s total enrollment is now at the highest level in 34 years. Total graduate enrollment, at 777 students, is the largest since the Graduate School’s inception in 1963.

As Valpo prepares students to enter an increasingly globalized workforce, it has increased the diversity of its student body. International student enrollment is at 613 students, the highest level in the University’s history. The total percentage of undergraduate American minorities is also at its highest level at 17.3 percent.

In addition to enrollment growth, campus infrastructure and academic programs continue to expand. In the past two years, Valpo constructed a new residence hall, classroom building and the Duesenberg Welcome Center. The College of Business added a bachelor’s degree in business analytics, and the College of Nursing and Health Professions expanded to include additional health science degree options including public health and a five-year B.S./M.S. physician assistant studies program. This summer, Valpo welcomed a new provost, Mark L. Biermann, as well as new deans for the Graduate School and the Law School.

Valpo consistently earns recognition from national and regional rankings and was recently named one of the top 100 colleges in the Midwest by Forbes Magazine and the No. 3 master’s university in the nation for contribution to public good by Washington Monthly.

Parking garage to open late 2014

Valparaiso University has officially taken possession of the former Porter Hospital property and will restore the parking structure for use in fall 2014.

Following extensive environmental analysis, Valpo announced plans to recondition the parking ramp, improve lighting, and install security cameras between now and November. The site will provide additional parking for student and athletic events, including home basketball games. A walkway will be constructed to connect the ramp and the Athletics-Recreation Center, and new lighting will be installed to enhance the path.

“The acquisition of this property moves Valparaiso University forward in alignment with the Strategic Plan and supports its growth initiatives,” said John A. Palmucci Jr., senior vice president for finance and administration.

Additional buildings may be used for future growth of the College of Nursing and Heath Professions, demolished, or reconditioned.

And, Valpo will identify uses for the grassy area where the hospital structure was to explore opportunities to consolidate, expand, and improve existing athletics and recreational facilities anchored by the Athletics-Recreation Center.

Plans for the existing building and additional parking on the corner of Roosevelt and Lincolnway are in development and will enhance the community and connection between the University and the City of Valparaiso.

Opening Reception is Sept. 5

Valparaiso University’s Brauer Museum of Art continues to grow its permanent collection with major acquisitions from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. These, along with prints, sculptures, paintings and other works from artists from around the world comprise an exciting 2014-2015 season, which kicks off with an opening reception Sept 5.

The fall exhibitions run through Dec. 14, with selections from the permanent collection on display in the Sloan Gallery. In the Wehling and McGill Galleries, “Orange Meditations: Recent Sculpture by Herbert George” features technically exquisite and formally inventive stone sculptures that reflect the artist’s ongoing interest in themes of justice and humanity.

Andrew Nunemaker ’91, an influential entrepreneur and philanthropist who serves on Valpo’s Board of Directors, has assembled a remarkable collection that demonstrates his interest in both the diverse approaches of the contemporary scene and the Modern masters. The West Gallery features selections from this impressive collection.

In the Ferguson Gallery, “From 2/11 to Today: Recent Work by Ted Halkin” showcases new paintings and works on paper by legendary Chicago artist Ted Halkin that explore gesture and surface.

The final fall exhibition, “Uniforms, Outfits, and Accessories: Photographs by Joel DeGrand,” highlights the Northwest Indiana photographer’s insights and masterful handling of his medium in the Education Room and Gallery 1212.

Valparaiso University expects to welcome nearly 1,000 new undergraduate students when classes begin Tuesday for the fall 2014 semester. Valpo anticipates total enrollment will be nearly 4,525 — the largest in 34 years.

“It’s an exciting time of positive momentum at Valpo, and we continue to recruit, enroll and retain remarkable students of outstanding character,” said Michael Joseph, vice president of Enrollment Management.

Valpo anticipates total enrollment growth across disciplines, despite national trends in higher education. The University expects to enroll 500 new students in the College of Arts and Sciences, 125 new students in the College of Business, 125 new students in the College of Engineering, and 215 new students in the College of Nursing and Health Professions.

The academic year begins Tuesday, Aug. 26, with the 86th annual Opening Convocation. During the service, all new students will be invited to sign the student-initiated Honor Code that has guided academic integrity for more than seven decades: I have neither given or received, nor have I tolerated others’ use of unauthorized aid. The pledge signifies the students’ commitment to hold themselves and others to the highest standard.

Valpo’s class of 2018 continues the University’s record of attracting high-quality students. The incoming freshman had an average high school GPA of 3.6, and they averaged 1660 on the SAT and 26 on the ACT — both well above national averages.

In addition to enrollment growth, campus infrastructure and academic programs continue to expand. Beacon Hall, a suite-style residence hall, is now open for sophomore students, featuring 16 community lounges. The College of Business added a bachelor’s degree in business analytics, and the College of Nursing and Health Professions expanded to include additional health science degree options.

Valpo also expects record enrollment for the Graduate School, with 260 new graduate students, representing 36 different countries. The Law School expects to welcome 174 new students.

Washington Monthly has named Valparaiso University the No. 3 master’s university in the country in this prestigious ranking. 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 commitment to service. The rankings include community service hours relative to school size, and at Valpo students annually perform more than 90,000 hours of community service. The ranking is also based upon the number of alumni who serve in the Peace Corps and ROTC.

Valpo students and alumni are highly regarded for deep commitment to making the world a better place, and the University is regularly recognized for service-learning experiences worldwide. Valpo’s Engineers Without Borders has traveled to Tanzania and Kenya to help the communities abroad. And, Valpo’s nursing students regularly travel to India, Thailand, Costa Rica and Nicaragua on service-learning trips.

Affordability is also a key component of the Washington Monthly ranking. The magazine also considers the number of Pell Grant recipients, graduation rates and financial assistance. Valpo annually awards more than $80 million in financial assistance to all students.

Valpo moved up one spot to No. 3 from last year’s ranking.

Christ College – The Honors College at Valparaiso University announces the Symposium Speakers Series for the 2014-2015 academic year. The Symposium features internationally distinguished guest speakers addressing their distinct perspective surrounding this year’s theme, “What is Beauty?”

Convening monthly in a lecture-style gathering, the Symposium begins in September and concludes in March.

Fall speakers include:

  • Augusta Read Thomas: “The A.R.T. of Composing,” Sept. 11, 6:30 p.m., Duesenberg Recital Hall, Center for the Arts. As a recent composer-in-residence with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Thomas wrote a wide variety of musical compositions, including choral and chamber music, orchestral works, ballet and concertos. A fellow of the Royal Academy of Music, she is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
  • Roger Scruton: “What is Beauty and Why Does it Matter?” Oct. 1, 2014, 6:30 p.m., University Theatre, Center for the Arts. A philosopher and author of more than 40 books, including works of criticism, political theory and aesthetics, Scruton’s work is well known on both sides of the Atlantic. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, a fellow of the European Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a fellow of the British Academy.
  • Mary Szybist: “Readings from Incarnadine,” Nov. 6, 2014, 6:30 p.m., Chapel of the Resurrection. American poet Szybist’s collection, which explores the intersection of religion and identity using the provocative iconography and tropes of Christianity, won the 2013 National Book Award for Poetry.
  • Gary Taylor: “Beauty and Truth and Shakespeare,” Feb. 4, 2015, 6:30 p.m., University Theatre, Center for the Arts. A Shakespeare scholar, Taylor is author or editor of more than 20 books.
  • Father Maximos Constas: “Beauty and Spiritual Vision in Orthodox Iconography,” March 19, 2015, 6:30 p.m., Duesenberg Recital Hall, Center for the Arts. Constas is monk at Simonopetra Monastery in Greece and a Senior Research Scholar at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, Mass.

Christ College Symposium Speaker Series events are free and open to the public.

Valparaiso University will offer “Kinder lernen Deutsch”, a German language and culture program sponsored by the Kade-Duesenberg German House and Cultural Center, to elementary school students during the academic year.

Children will learn German through fun activities, songs, and games taught by Valpo undergraduate students and supervised by Professor Sarah DeMaris. Two classes will be available; one for beginners in first grade and one for children who participated in a previous year.

The class meets Mondays from 4-5 p.m. beginning Sept. 15, 2014, and continues through April 27, 2015. The program cost of $75 is due on the first day of class. Registration will remain open until classes are full.

Contact Sarah DeMaris at or 219.464.5344 to register.

Inaugural sessions explore “What is the Good Life?” through classic literature

The Masterworks Program at Christ College, sponsored by Valparaiso University’s interdisciplinary honors college as well as the Graduate School, offers exciting continuing education opportunities for members of the larger Valparaiso community.

An opportunity to discover and re-visit classic texts, The Masterworks Program offers an intellectual, discussion-based atmosphere rooted in the Christ College tradition of intimate, dynamic seminars.

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