The Brauer Museum of Art at Valparaiso University will premiere its spring exhibitions, which run from April 13 through May 8 and feature artwork in a variety of media. New exhibitions include works by Valpo art students and faculty, “Paintings and Drawings by Kartik Trivedi,” and “Sacred Spaces and Objects.”

The annual student art exhibition in the museum’s Wehling and McGill Galleries and Education Room features student pieces in a variety of traditional and digital media, selected by Valpo’s studio instructors during the course of the academic year. Additionally, this year marks the debut of the art department’s Senior Seminar that features art by four students using digital media. The April 13 opening reception will include an award ceremony to honor the students’ work.

WHO/WHAT: Since 1995, Valparaiso University has held a biannual Huegli Lecture to honor the legacy of Albert G. Huegli, who served as president of Valparaiso University from 1968 to 1978. A scholar of issues of church and state, Huegli came to Valparaiso as vice president for academic affairs in 1961 before becoming president. During his tenure, 18 buildings were constructed or renovated, the University endowment grew nearly tenfold, and academic programs and faculty were substantially enhanced in variety and quality.

This year, Valparaiso University hosts Father Peter Ely of Seattle University, who will present Valparaiso’s 2016 Huegli Lecture on church-related higher education. His lecture is entitled “Jesuit Higher Education in the Age of Pope Francis.”

Valparaiso University President Mark A. Heckler, Ph.D., and Director of Athletics Mark LaBarbera announced today that Matt Lottich has been hired as the 22nd head coach in the history of the Valpo men’s basketball program. Lottich, who has been a member of the Crusader coaching staff for the last three years, is just the program’s fifth head coach in the last 36 years.

“We’re delighted Matt Lottich will serve as coach for our men’s basketball team,” Heckler said. “He has proven to be an outstanding coach who demonstrates a deep love for and commitment to the University’s core beliefs, values and ideals, and I am confident he will foster these values in our exceptional student-athletes.”

Lottich arrived at Valparaiso University in summer 2013 and has spent the last three seasons as an assistant coach on the Valpo men’s basketball coaching staff, helping guide the Crusaders to 78 victories during that span. Valpo has won two Horizon League regular season championships and one league tournament title in Lottich’s tenure.

The long history of the men’s basketball program at Valparaiso University will begin a new chapter in 2016–2017, as head coach Bryce Drew ’98 departs to become the head coach at Vanderbilt University.

“We wish Bryce Drew and his family the best as they prepare for this next step in their journey,” said Mark LaBarbera, director of athletics. “It’s been a blessing to work with a man who embodies such character and faith. Bryce is an exceptional young coach who has been an integral part of the men’s basketball team’s success. We are confident we will continue to build on his success and look forward to the future.”

In his five years as head coach, Drew lifted the team’s national reputation and posted a 124-49 record, leading the team to four Horizon League regular season championships and two league tournament titles. A three-time Horizon League Coach of the Year, Drew led Valpo to the three winningest seasons in program history during his time at the helm. Prior to becoming head coach in May 2011, Drew spent six seasons as an assistant and associate head coach and starred for Valpo on the court from 1994 to 1998.

Valpo’s Committee to Enhance Learning and Teaching has selected Zuhdi Aljobeh, Sandra Bleza, and George Pati as the 2016–2017 Valparaiso University Excellence in Teaching Award recipients.

The award recognizes a number of outstanding undergraduate faculty and/or units each year for general teaching excellence, with particular attention to excellence in any of three areas: course development, pedagogy, and mentoring/advising. Each award carries a monetary stipend of $3,000 to honor each faculty members’ excellence in teaching on the Valparaiso University campus.

This Saturday, April 2, Valparaiso University’s Institute for Leadership and Service will hold its second annual Bridge/Work Conference. Titled “Send Money, Prayers, & People,” the daylong event will explore the interplay between belief and action in global humanitarian work. The program includes a keynote address from Allison Schnable, Ph.D., assistant professor in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University, as well as research presentations from five exceptional Valpo undergraduates and a practitioner panel moderated by Linda Hartke, president and CEO of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service.

Valparaiso University hosted the 63rd annual Northwestern Indiana Science and Engineering Regional Fair on March 19 in the Harre Union Ballroom. Now, 18 student finalists are moving on to compete at IUPUI in Indianapolis on April 2.

There were 85 students showing 62 projects in grades 6 – 12 from schools in Porter, LaPorte, Starke, Jasper, Pulaski and Newton counties who participated and competed for many prestigious awards and cash prizes, including scholarships to the University.

The College of Arts and Sciences at Valparaiso University has developed data science and statistics degree programs in response to an increased demand for professionals in these fields.

According to CNN Money, the data science field will grow 18.7 percent in the next 10 years, and McKinsey Global Institute predicts 140,000–190,000 job openings by 2018. Organizations are already struggling to find professionals qualified to work in data science. Graduating with a degree in either data science or statistics will allow a professional to tap into the significant growth this field is currently experiencing.

WHO/WHAT: Valparaiso University’s art department will auction off original artwork at their sixth annual Soup Bowls for the Hungry silent auction. Pieces available for bid include bowls, mugs, plates, and vases along with various other artwork.

Admission is free and open to the public. Free soup and cornbread will be served, and guests are welcome to try their hands at throwing a pot while they wait. All proceeds from the auction benefit the nonprofit organizations Sojourner Truth House and Dayspring Women’s Center.

Valparaiso University alumni Judy McNabney ’71 Dutton and John Dutton ’70 have generously committed $1 million to support the University’s unrestricted endowment fund.

“John and I are blessed to be in a position to make this commitment to Valpo,” said Judy Dutton. “We have witnessed the rapid rate of advancements made at Valpo in recent decades. Our exposure to many other universities provides a strong basis of comparison. We want this progress to continue and are confident that University leadership will utilize these funds in the best possible manner.”

Valpo’s endowment provides a permanent, self-sustaining revenue stream to the University. While frequently referred to as a single fund, the endowment is actually the aggregate of many different funds, most of which are designated to support specific programs. Unrestricted endowed funds, which make up a smaller portion of the total endowment, combine the financial stability of an ongoing funding source with the flexibility to use the funds to meet pressing needs. University leaders can respond to unforeseen challenges, fund a program or scholarship that may not otherwise receive support, or seize an opportunity that requires immediate funding not available in the operating budget.

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