Valparaiso University’s Christ College — The Honors College presents its annual symposium, featuring distinguished speakers and vibrant discussions on this year’s theme: “What is Justice?”

The speaker series presents lectures by scholars, artists and public figures. Fall speakers include:

  • Rebecca Pallmeyer ’76: “What is Justice? Musings of a Federal Trial Judge,” Sept. 9, 6:30 p.m., Duesenberg Recital Hall, Center for the Arts. A Valpo alumna, Rebecca Pallmeyer is a judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
  • Fredrick Barton ’70, ’90H and Rene Steinke: “Environmental and Educational Justice,” Sept. 23, 6:30 p.m., Duesenberg Recital Hall, Center for the Arts. A Valpo alumnus, Fredrick Barton authored eight books and received the Award of Excellence from the Associated Church Press for his essay “Breaches of Faith” about recovery efforts in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Rene Steinke authored three novels, including National Book Award finalist “Holy Skirts.”
  • Scott Cairns, “Slow Pilgrim: Finding One’s Way with Words,” Nov. 5, 6:30 p.m., Chapel of the Resurrection. Librettist, memoirist, translator and author of eight poetry collections, Scott Cairns is professor of English at the University of Missouri and founding director of Writing Workshops in Greece, a program now in its seventh year of bringing writers to Thessaloniki and Thasos for engagement with literary life in modern Greece.

All events are free and open to the public.

Thanks to generous alumni, Valparaiso University has received a $2 million commitment for endowed faculty fellowships in the College of Nursing and Health Professions and the College of Engineering. Four fellowships will be established in each college with the support of Joyce Hagen ’79 and Donald Fites ’56.

“We deeply appreciate Joyce and Don’s philanthropic support of Valpo,” said Mark A. Heckler, Ph.D., president of Valparaiso University. “These endowed fellowships will provide resources in perpetuity for faculty to pursue scholarly and pedagogical projects, grow professionally, and stay at the forefront of their fields. Their professional advancement will lead to better teaching, research and service for our students and contribute to the growing national and international reputations of Valparaiso University in Engineering, Nursing, and the Health Professions.”

Hagen and Fites have designated the Valpo colleges from which they graduated for the faculty fellowships. Hagen earned a bachelor of science in nursing, and the Joyce Hagen Endowed Faculty Fellowship will fund faculty opportunities at the College of Nursing and Health Professions. Fites earned a bachelor of science in civil engineering, and the Don Fites Endowed Faculty Fellowships will fund faculty opportunities within the College of Engineering.

Valparaiso University is the No. 1 master’s university, 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.

“This tremendous honor is a testament to what we already know — not only do Valpo students and alumni receive an exceptional, affordable education, they combine knowledge learned in the classroom with virtues of integrity and character to make a positive difference in communities across the country and around the world,” said Mark A. Heckler, Ph.D., University president.

Criteria include cutting-edge research and scholarship, recruiting and graduating low-income students and civic engagement. The rankings include community service hours relative to school size, and at Valpo students annually perform more than 220,000 hours of community outreach and service learning.

Opening Reception is Aug. 28

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 2015–2016 season, which kicks off with an opening reception Aug. 28.

The fall exhibitions run Aug. 18 through Dec. 13 and feature exquisite artwork in a variety of media, including exhibitions by alumni artists. “The Sun Shines for Us All: The Friendship Dolls from Japan” in the Wehling and McGill Galleries, curated by Terry Kita, Ph.D., presents the incredible story of the Friendship Dolls from Japan of the early 1920s. Featuring original scholarship and a full-color publication, the exhibition includes the Brauer Museum’s doll, Miss Chosen, along with four additional dolls.

Glenn ’75, ’77 J.D. and Dawn ’79 Vician have collected fine etchings by Rembrandt that depict the life of Jesus. These works, which effectively demonstrate Rembrandt’s masterful technique and insights, will be on display in the Education Room.

In the Ferguson Galleries, “A Journey in Contemporary Sculpture, with the Work of Jim Keller” presents abstract creations that highlight the virtuoso technique and inventive sense of form of sculptor Jim Keller ’66.

The final fall exhibition, “Fondo ga Moru: The Art of Gretchen Beck,” highlights the work of Gretchen Beck ’92 in Gallery 1212. The contemporary artist draws upon her experience in West Africa as an educator and creator of abstract works in a variety of media. Her pieces reflect inspiration from the landscape and other indigenous creations and traditions.

Valparaiso University achieves recognition by Forbes 2015 rankings as one of the top 50 colleges in the Midwest and regularly appears in Forbes Magazine’s “America’s Top Colleges” list.

Forbes partners with the Center for College Affordability & Productivity to rank America’s Top College, analyzing factors such as 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.

Schools that demonstrate excellent return on investment rank high on Forbes’ list. At Valparaiso University, graduate placement has exceeded 90 percent for 22 consecutive years, and Valpo’s student loan default rate of 4.4 is well below the national average of 13.7.

Classes explore central questions of human experience 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. The program, which successfully launched in fall 2014 with participants from across Valparaiso and Northwest Indiana, is now beginning its second year and will offer two courses for the fall semester.

The Institute for Leadership and Service at Valparaiso University has named 20 Valpo students and recent graduates CAPS Fellows for summer 2015.

Recipients are selected from a competitive pool of applicants and will complete internships with organizations dedicated to service and leadership for eight to 10 weeks during the summer. The CAPS Fellows Program helps Valpo students develop their sense of Calling And Purpose in Society through intensive experiential-learning opportunities accompanied by significant reflection.

Teagle-funded project examines holistic departments; updated faculty evaluation process

Faculty from Valparaiso University contributed to “Redefining the Paradigm: Faculty Models to Support Student Learning” — a monograph that encourages colleges and universities to more effectively structure departments to address changes in higher education and better support student learning.

During the past two years, Joseph A. Bognar, chair and associate professor of music, Elizabeth A. Burow-Flak, chair and associate professor of English, Richard A. Gillman, associate provost for faculty affairs and professor of mathematics and statistics, Peter E. Johnson, chair and associate professor of mechanical engineering, and Aaron M. Preston, chair and associate professor of philosophy, worked with colleagues throughout the New American Colleges and Universities (NAC&U) consortium on this Teagle Foundation-funded project to study and make recommendations on holistic departments and faculty evaluation methods.

“Colleges and universities haven’t really changed the way departments are structured and the way faculty are evaluated despite major shifts in pedagogy and faculty responsibilities over the past few decades,” said the monograph’s co-editor David Salomon, professor of English and director of undergraduate research at The Sage Colleges. “We need to move away from viewing professors as the ‘sage on the stage’ and instead focus on the various activities — inside and outside of the classroom — that they do to foster student learning and advance the institutional mission.”

Valparaiso University has named Stacey A. Miller, Ed.D., as assistant provost for inclusion. In this role, Miller will work closely with students, faculty, staff and community members to advance diversity and equity as core values of the University and as central to its educational mission.

“I am so pleased that Stacey Miller will be joining us as the inaugural assistant provost for inclusion,” said Mark L. Biermann, Ph.D., provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. “Stacey will play a key role in helping us to develop and implement a model for diversity and inclusion that is robust and firmly rooted in our Lutheran, Christian ethos and identity. I look forward to working with Stacey as we seek to ensure that Valpo is a community that genuinely welcomes and includes people of all backgrounds.”

As Valpo seeks to grow its total enrollment as part of its Strategic Plan, University leadership continues to identify opportunities to promote dialogue across cultures in a richly diverse community. Miller will provide crucial oversight as the University further promotes efforts to deeply embed diversity and inclusion across campus and to strengthen ties to the Northwest Indiana community that enrich the educational experience.

“Words cannot express how happy and excited I am to become the new assistant provost for inclusion at Valparaiso University,” Miller said. “I look forward to upholding the values and ethos of the Lutheran faith tradition, which supports the tenets of social justice and inclusive communities.”

Opening Reception is June 19

Valparaiso University’s Brauer Museum of Art welcomes “Homeless Jesus,” an installation by renowned Canadian sculptor Timothy P. Schmalz. An opening reception will be held June 19 at 11:15 a.m. on Chapel Drive, west of the Harre Union.

After installations in Toronto; London; Perth, Australia; and various cities throughout the United States, “Homeless Jesus” comes to Valparaiso University to spark conversation among campus and community viewers and inspire society to be more compassionate and charitable.

“The ‘Homeless Jesus’ sculpture is a wonderful addition to Valpo,” said Gregg Hertzlieb, MFA, director and curator of the Brauer Museum of Art. “It is a complex work that reminds the campus community of spirituality and moving themes that lie at the heart of the University’s mission.”

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