Valparaiso University’s Institute for Leadership and service announces its Spring 2015 Pathways to Purpose speaker series featuring speakers and topics focusing on professional development.

The speaker series primarily features field experts and service-based leaders. Each event will take place at 5:30 p.m. in the Helge Center unless otherwise noted.

Valparaiso University acquired a $200,000 grant from the Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Commission of the Indiana State Department of Health.

With this funding, Valparaiso University’s College of Nursing and Health Professions will continue their prominent role in implementing the objective of the Tobacco Education and Prevention Coalition for Porter County (TEPCPC) — building and maintaining strong community partnerships, promoting smoke free air, assisting smokers in quitting, and preventing youth and young adult initiation.

“This grant is a true reflection of the focus Valparaiso University students have on working to improve the health of the community,” said Mark L. Biermann, Ph.D., provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. “With this funding, students are empowered to advance their pursuit of a healthy, tobacco free community.”

Schedule of events begins Saturday, Jan. 9, 2016

Valparaiso University continues its tradition of honoring the life and work of Martin Luther King Jr. with its 26th annual celebration. This year’s celebration will span two weeks, Jan. 9–22.

The 2016 event’s theme is “Facing the Challenge of Change.” Through lectures, interactive discussions and presentations, displays and activities, focus will be on answering the question “Where do we go from here?” with emphasis on poverty, race and violence.

Valparaiso University welcomes back Actors From The London Stage for a weeklong residency Jan. 11-16 as part of the third annual Shakespeare Week.

The accomplished group of classically trained actors will stop on its 2016 Spring Tour for a series of classroom visits, workshops, and Shakespeare-oriented events at Valpo. The week culminates with three performances of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” All events, sponsored by Christ College in collaboration with the English and theatre departments, are in the Valparaiso University Center for the Arts.

Rankings recognize strong academic record and great economic value

Valparaiso University has been honored as one of Kiplinger Personal Finance’s 100 best values in private colleges for 2016. The listing acknowledges colleges that combine outstanding academics with affordable cost.

Valpo is consistently recognized as a best value. Earlier this year, Valpo was honored by U.S. News & World Report as the No. 1 Best Value in the Midwest.

Kiplinger uses measurable standards of academic quality and affordability to assess value. Quality measures include the admission rate, the percentage of students who return for sophomore year, the student-faculty ratio and the four-year graduation rate. Cost criteria include sticker price, financial aid and average debt at graduation. Valpo regularly appears on Kiplinger’s listing, demonstrating its commitment to deliver good value.

The complete rankings are now available online at The rankings will also appear in the Feb. 2016 issue of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, on newsstands now.

Thanks to the generosity of alumna Marian Schaper ’72 Moon and the Rev. Anthony (Tony) Moon, Ph.D., Valparaiso University has received a $1 million commitment to support its unrestricted endowment fund and $250,000 to establish the Marian J. and Anthony B. Moon Endowed Scholarship Fund.

“Tony and I are blessed to be in a position to give back to the University,” Marian said. “I would not have been able to attend Valpo without the scholarship support I received, and this fund will ensure that future students have that same opportunity. We also wanted to establish a source of funding for the University leadership to use to meet the most immediate needs, and the unrestricted endowment fund will offer that support in perpetuity.”

Unrestricted giving is among the most important support the University can receive, as it provides the ultimate level of flexibility to meet the most 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 that is not available in the operating budget.

“Marian and Tony’s philanthropic support of Valparaiso University is deeply valued,” said Mark A. Heckler, Ph.D., president of Valparaiso University. “By designating their commitment to our unrestricted endowment fund and establishing a scholarship that offers the maximum flexibility for us to help students, they demonstrate great faith and trust in Valpo’s future. We are all truly thankful for their confidence and support of the University.”

Marian earned a bachelor of arts in psychology from Valpo. She has been a member of the Valparaiso University Board of Directors since 2010 and served on the College of Business National Council from 2006–2010. Marian held leadership positions with Devon Energy Corporation, Oklahoma City, Okla., joining the company in 1984 as one of the first 50 people hired and retiring as senior vice president of administration in 2008. Tony earned a doctor of philosophy in education from the University of Oklahoma in 1995. He was ordained an Episcopal deacon in 1997 and currently serves as deacon at St. Augustine of Canterbury Episcopal Church in Oklahoma City. A life-long learner, Tony is currently in the process of becoming an Episcopal priest.

Four individuals will be inducted into the Valparaiso University Athletics Hall of Fame on Saturday, Feb. 13.  Steve Bartholomew, Bert Bleke, Liz Mikos, and Scott Petcu comprise the 19th class in Hall of Fame history.

Steve Bartholomew was a standout for the Crusader men’s track and field team from 2005–2008. Steve twice earned conference Athlete of the Year honors, picking up the highest accolade at the league level from the Mid-Continent Conference following the 2006 outdoor campaign and the Horizon League following the 2008 indoor campaign. Also named the Horizon League’s Outstanding Field Performer for both the indoor and outdoor championship meets in 2008, Steve competed in three NCAA Regional meets during his career. A five-time conference champion and a nine-time All-Conference performer, he holds three school records and also owns the Horizon League Championship record indoors in the weight throw.

Bert Bleke was a standout wide receiver for the Valpo football program from 1964–1966. Despite playing just three seasons, Bert still ranks seventh in program history with 1,636 receiving yards. A threat to go the distance every time he caught the football, Bert averaged 18.6 yards per catch during his three seasons and ended his Valpo career with 14 touchdown receptions. He earned First Team All-Indiana Collegiate Conference accolades in each of his final two seasons as a Crusader, and was an integral part of the 1964 Crusader squad, which shared the ICC championship crown. Bert also played one season of varsity basketball for the Brown and Gold as well.

Liz Mikos was perhaps the most dominating defensive player in program history for the Crusader volleyball team from 2002–2005. Liz concluded her four-year career with 585 total blocks, 142 more than any other player in Crusader history and second-most in Mid-Continent Conference (now Summit League) history. Liz Mikos was a three-time All-Conference selection, including a First Team All-Mid-Con honoree in 2003, and was the conference’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2005. She was an integral part of three conference regular season championship squads and helped the Crusaders to conference tournament titles and NCAA Tournament appearances in each of her final three seasons, earning All-Tournament Team accolades all three years and conference tournament MVP honors as a senior. Liz owns the top-three single-season block totals in program history and also ranks eighth in Crusader history in career hitting percentage.

Scott Petcu was a force on the defensive side of the ball for the Valparaiso football program from 1990–1993. Scott concluded his four-year Crusader career with 503 career tackles to establish a program record. A Sports Network Honorable Mention All-American as a senior in 1993, Scott was selected as a First Team All-PFL choice at linebacker in the league’s inaugural season. Three of his four seasons ranked among Valpo’s all-time top-five single-season tackle totals, highlighted by his 167 total tackles as a sophomore in 1991, which established the program record. Scott, who posted 333 solo tackles over his four years, also holds the team record with a 100-yard interception return for two points off a failed two-point conversion.

The Valparaiso University Athletics Hall of Fame Induction Banquet will be held on Saturday, Feb. 13, in the Harre Union on campus. The banquet is slated to begin at 4 p.m. The cost of the banquet is $30 per person, and reservations can be made by contacting Lori Babcock at 219.464.6942 or via email at The deadline for making reservations is Friday, Feb. 5. The inductees will also be recognized at halftime of the men’s basketball game that evening.

Opening Reception is Jan. 8

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 exciting winter exhibitions, which kick off with an opening reception Jan. 8, 2016.

The winter exhibitions run Jan. 8 through April 3 and feature artwork in a variety of media. “Celebrating Life: Betty LaDuke Retrospective Exhibition,” curated by Gloria Ruff, in the Wehling and McGill Galleries and Education Room, presents the artist’s thoughts about the world around us and the worlds within us. Visitors can enjoy the exhibition’s narrative while exploring the use of color, shape and gesture.

In the West Gallery, “Carlos Lopez: A Forgotten Michigan Painter,” curated by George Vargas, Ph.D., features works by the Cuban-born artist who was a talented modern painter and draftsman. Lopez serves as important link connecting American modern art in Michigan with a new Latino history of the state. Paintings and drawings from all phases of his career will be on display, including paintings borrowed from the U.S. Navy Art Collection.

Gallery 1212 will house “So Small Between the Stars, So Large Against the Sky — Five Studies for a Monument: New Works by Neil Goodman.” The title is based on a line by famed singer-songwriter-poet Leonard Cohen, which addresses the ambiguity of scale and how we can simultaneously be both large and small, significant and insignificant. These beautiful sculptures were created with Valparaiso University in mind; the artist spent much time on campus in order to create works that relate to the landscape here. Goodman and the Brauer Museum are working toward one of these smaller scale works being realized in bronze on a large scale for permanent installation on the University’s grounds.

Finally, “Michael Miller: An Appreciation” in the Ferguson Gallery presents a retrospective view of the late artist’s career, who retired from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2014. Miller was worked with traditional printmaking methods and expanded on them to create mixed media works of remarkable complexity. The exhibition includes early etchings, prints and drawings reflecting a variety of approaches, as well as the last portfolio of prints that he created.

Valparaiso University will celebrate Winter Commencement on Sunday, Dec. 13, at 2:30 p.m., conferring degrees upon 245 undergraduate, graduate, and law students.

The keynote speaker is Lloyd McClendon ’81, ‘05H, who earned the nickname “Legendary Lloyd” after hitting five home runs in the 1971 Little League World Series. During his collegiate years, he played for Valpo, where he earned all-conference honors twice and is part of the 1998 Athletics Hall of Fame class.

“We are pleased to welcome Lloyd to Valparaiso University to deliver our commencement address,” said Mark A. Heckler, Ph.D., president. “His determination and dedication to the pursuit of excellence provides an exemplary model for our students of the virtues of character and commitment we seek to cultivate in our graduates.”

The former professional baseball player played for the New York Mets, Cincinnati Reds, Chicago Cubs, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Cleveland Indians and remains active in the world of professional baseball. McClendon is the former manager of the Seattle Mariners, and also previously managed the Pittsburgh Pirates and served as hitting coach for the Pittsburgh Pirates and Detroit Tigers.

Both of McClendon’s children followed in his college footsteps and attended Valparaiso University. His son, Bo, also played college baseball at Valparaiso University and was selected by the Tigers in the 2010 Amateur draft and played two seasons. Bo will graduate from Valpo Sunday with a bachelor’s degree in marketing. McClendon’s daughter, Schenell, received her bachelor’s in Spanish with a minor in political science from Valpo in 2005 and her J.D. from Valpo’s Law School in 2009.

Rachel Lenig ’18, a nursing major at Valparaiso University, is a “Realizing the Dream” award recipient for 2015–2016.

Funded by the Lilly Endowment since 1989, this annual award honors sophomore, first-generation college students for outstanding academic achievement in the freshman year. The scholarship provides $2,500 toward the tuition and expenses of one student at each of the 31 member institutions of the Independent Colleges of Indiana (ICI), a nonprofit association that works for excellence and choice in higher education for all students.

Lenig, from Knox, Ind., is a member of Valpo’s Student Nurses Association, S.M.A.R.T. Connections Peer Mentor Program, and Latinos in Valparaiso for Excellence, and she also volunteers with American Red Cross Blood Drives and Compass Educational Program.

According to ICI, the “Realizing the Dream” program was conceived and developed by three individuals who were also first-generation college students — William C. Bonifield, former vice president for education, Lilly Endowment; William DuBois Jr., former president of the Independent Colleges and Universities of Indiana; and Louis C. Gatto, retired president of Marian University and former executive director of the Indiana Educational Facilities Authority.

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