Valparaiso University is a 2017 Military Friendly® School, as announced by Victory Media, the leader in successfully connecting military and civilian worlds.

First published in 2009, the Military Friendly® Schools designation provides service members and their families with transparent, data-driven ratings about post-military education and career opportunities. The designation is awarded to top colleges, universities and trade schools in the country that employ best practices to embrace military students and dedicate resources to ensure their success in the classroom and after graduation.

Valparaiso University student Teshurah Lee ’18 was one of 150 students worldwide selected for the prestigious “Chinese Bridge” Chinese Proficiency Competition held recently in China.

The “Chinese Bridge” Proficiency Competition recognizes and showcases the Chinese language in several rounds of competition. Lee competed against 150 other students in Changsha, China, after winning the U.S. Midwest Chinese Speech Competition, held in Lee’s hometown, Chicago.

A Chinese and Japanese studies major, Lee is interested in pursuing a career with a global ambassador program. At Valpo, she is a Chinese tutor; sings in the women’s choir and gospel ensemble; and is a member of the Black Student Organization, the Commission for an Inclusive Valparaiso Community and the Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration Steering Committee.

Nicholas Schrombeck ’19 is a 2016 recipient of the “Realizing the Dream” scholarship from the Independent Colleges of Indiana (ICI).

The annual award recognizes a first-generation college sophomore who excelled during their freshman year. The scholarship, made possible by a grant from Lilly Endowment Inc., provides $2,500 toward tuition and expenses for one student at each of the 31 member institutions of ICI, a nonprofit association that works for excellence and choice in higher education for all students. One out of every three students on ICI campuses is first-generation.

Schrombeck is an electrical engineering major from Hebron, Ind. He is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Valpo Robotics, Engineers Without Borders and the Symphony Orchestra.

The Board of Directors for Valparaiso University has entered into a new five-year contract with President Mark A. Heckler, Ph.D., which will extend his term of office through June 30, 2021. This timing coincides with the University’s recently announced endowment campaign, Forever Valpo: The Campaign for Our Future. Heckler has served as the 18th president of Valparaiso University since 2008.

Frederick G. Kraegel, chairman of the board of directors, said the contract extension ensures the continued trajectory of growth and stability the University has experienced under Heckler’s leadership.

“President Heckler has led Valparaiso University’s enrollment growth, new program development, campus expansion, and the implementation of the most comprehensive and ambitious strategic plan in Valpo’s history,” Kraegel said. “We are extremely fortunate to have Mark at the helm as the University has launched an endowment campaign to secure its future.”

Race, Justice, Community, and Policing

WHO: Valparaiso University and the NWI Coalition for Civil Discourse, which includes the Urban League of Northwest Indiana, Lakeshore Public Media, the City of Valparaiso, and the City of Gary, present a town hall conversation to promote public dialogue among Northwest Indiana communities.

WHAT: The second in a three-part series, this town hall forum will foster civil conversations on race, justice, community, and policing in Porter County and the surrounding communities. Garrard McClendon, region native and host of “CounterPoint with Garrard McClendon” on Lakeshore Public Media, will moderate the discussion with a panel of community leaders, to be announced at a later date, and invite the audience to join the conversation.

The town hall series is designed to proactively engage citizens in discussing the issues facing the region and across the country, searching for better understanding of the challenges facing NW Indiana regarding police-community relations. The first meeting in the series was held Aug. 30 at the Genesis Convention Center in Gary with more than 250 people in attendance.

WHEN: Monday, Nov. 28, 6 p.m. The first hour will be broadcast on Lakeshore Public Television Tuesday, Nov. 29 at 7 p.m., and it will re-air Friday, Dec. 2 at 9 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 4 at 11 a.m.

WHERE: University Theatre, Center for the Arts, Valparaiso University

CONTACT: Visit to register.

WHAT: Valparaiso University will host several events on campus to commemorate Veterans Day.

The Valpo Military and Veterans Programs will partner with Porter Starke and Pines Village Retirement Community to present “Transforming Our Communities to Heal Our Veterans,” a free community event open to veterans, veteran families, students, staff, administrators, community leaders and politicians. Edward Tick, Ph.D., will speak on the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) on veterans, veteran families and the community. Tick co-founded and is the executive director of Soldier’s Heart, a program dedicated to helping veterans after they return from service. As a psychotherapist, he has worked with veterans since the 1970s to aid in their healing process and treat PTSD.

Event theme is “Conscious Humanity: What is Justice?”

Valparaiso University will continue its tradition of honoring the life and work of Martin Luther King Jr. on Jan. 16 with its 27th annual celebration, centering on the idea of “Conscious Humanity: What is Justice?”

Through lectures, presentations and interactive discussions, Valpo will engage students, faculty and staff as well as the broader Northwest Indiana community to collectively reflect on King’s legacy and how to continue his work.

Valparaiso University is on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction for the third consecutive year, along with a group of select universities and colleges across the country that are honored for their support of volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement.

In addition to being only one of four Indiana schools to receive distinction for general community service, Valpo was also named with distinction in two additional categories: education and economic opportunity.

“We are thrilled Valpo has once again achieved distinction, and on all three honor rolls for which we applied,” said Elizabeth Lynn, director of the Institute for Leadership and Service, which coordinated the 2015 application. “Our distinguished place on the three honor rolls reflects the fact that civic engagement is truly central to the life and work of Valparaiso University.

“With an articulated vision and philosophy of leadership and service, and a demonstrated culture where students find service an anticipated part of campus life, Valparaiso University is actively placing graduates on a lifelong path of service and civic engagement.”

Valparaiso University alumna Deborah “Deb” A. Tschetter ’71 Spannraft has generously committed nearly $1.4 million in support of the College of Business.

“I had a wonderful experience at Valpo, and it created a foundation on which I built my career,” Spannraft said.

Spannraft received her bachelor of science in business administration with a major in accounting from Valpo’s College of Business, which will benefit greatly from this endowed gift.

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