“You owe it to all of us to get on with what you’re good at.”
— W. H. Auden, Poet
As another academic year comes to a close, I am reminded of the many blessings that surround us every day. I am grateful for your thoughtfulness, curiosity, hopefulness, enthusiasm, and contributions that enrich Valparaiso University as a remarkable community of learning and faith.
You have helped make this place extraordinary.
You celebrated the largest and most diverse incoming class since 1983, and you blessed a new addition to our landscape — the Arts and Sciences building. You won awards of academic achievement, and you danced in the NCAA Tournament. You wowed audiences with your musical and theatrical performances in addition to your athletic abilities. And these are just a few of the countless moments this year that have shaped our community.
You have been generous as leaders in service to one another and humanity.
You have volunteered day-in and day-out through organized programs like SALT and grassroots community service that fed your passions. You dedicated your time off at spring break to help others close to home and around the world. And, as a part of the fraternity and sorority community, you helped raise more than $30,000 for local and national charities and completed more than 10,000 hours of hands-on community service. Through the Law School’s Lawyering Skills Center, you have handled nearly 700 cases for community members who could not afford legal counsel and have raised more than $15,000 through your law school student organizations. You have shown the world that in order to lead, you must also serve.
Your stories of success are also our stories.
For those of you who are taking your last exams at Valpo and will be graduating this weekend and the following weekend, I wish you Godspeed as you go out into the world and get on with what you’re good at — your vocation. You are being called to continue your journey to lead and serve humanity, to act with confidence and thoughtfulness, and to reach beyond the known in your continual search for truth. These are the very values we hold dear at Valparaiso University, and I am confident that you will make an incredible impact on this world. I cannot wait to share in your success!
And to the students who will return in the fall, may this summer provide you with an opportunity for invigorating internships and travel experiences, for time spent with family and loved ones, and for relaxation and rejuvenation. I look forward to welcoming you back to campus in August and hearing about your summer adventures.
Mark A. Heckler, Ph.D.