News - 4/16/13

28th Annual Jazz Fest Begins April 15

Valparaiso University’s 2013 Jazz Fest will held April 15-20, with the University’s faculty and student ensembles, as well as high school jazz ensembles, kicking off the festivities with performances at 6 p.m. on Monday, April 15, and Tuesday, April 16, in the Harre Union Ballroom.

“One of the highlights of the festival is seeing both university and high school students interact with each other as well as visiting artists,” said Jeff Brown, jazz studies coordinator at Valparaiso University. “On Monday and Tuesday more than 250 high school students will perform in a non-competitive setting. Thursday evening the University jazz ensemble will perform the challenging music of Don Braden. This is a once-in-a-life time experience for many of the students.” 

As Valpo’s featured guest artist, the world-renowned David Sanborn Trio featuring Joey DeFrancesco and Byron Landham promises a thrilling performance as the highlight of Jazz Fest on Saturday evening. 

Feature Jazz Fest performances include: 

  • Valparaiso University Jazz Ensemble featuring guest tenor saxophonist Don Braden – Thursday, April 18, 7:30 p.m., Harre Union Ballroom
  • Valparaiso University Faculty Jazz Trio featuring guest tenor saxophonist Don Braden – Friday, April 19, 7:30 p.m., Harre Union Ballroom

“We are extremely excited to have David Sanborn, Joey DeFrancesco and Don Braden appearing at this year’s festival,” Brown said. “All are excellent jazz artists and educators who bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to share with both our students and community.”

Tickets are still available at the Union welcome desk, online, or by calling ext. 5415. See the full press release to learn more about this year’s artists.

Crusader Men's Soccer to Hold Third Annual Fundraiser for St. Baldrick's Foundation

Members of the Valpo men's soccer team, as well as Valparaiso University president Mark Heckler and his wife Veronica, among others, will be getting their heads shaved at the Athletics-Recreation Center on Sunday, April 21 at noon. The men's soccer team will host the event for the third consecutive year to raise money for the St. Baldrick's Fountation, a volunteer-driven charity committed to funding the most promising research to find cures for childhood cancers and give survivors long and healthy lives.

The Crusaders first raised money for St. Baldrick's in an event in 2011, where they were able to raise more than $5,000 for the foundation. Last year, the team set a goal of raising $10,000 and flew past that mark, eventually raising more than $23,000. This year, the Crusaders set a goal of $15,000 and are already approaching the five-figure mark almost two weeks before the event. 

Heckler will be getting his head shaved as part of the event for the second straight year, while his wife, Veronica, will be having her head shaved for the first time. In addition, the Valpo men's soccer program will be welcoming Miss Indiana Teen USA Darrian Arch, a native of Chesterton, as an event volunteer.

Fans are invited to come out on April 21 to support the team, donate to the cause, or even join the team and get their head shaved. Fans can also donate by visiting online or by calling assistant coach Jeff Oleck at 464.5059 to donate by check.

The St. Baldrick's Foundation currently funds more in childhood cancer research grants than any organization except the U.S. government. The Foundation coordinates its signature head-shaving events worldwide, where volunteers get bald to stand in solidarity with kids fighting cancer and raise money to support life-saving childhood cancer research. St. Baldrick's events are the largest volunteer-driven fundraising opportunity benefiting pediatric cancer research.

Watch the St. Baldrick's 2013 video here:

Celebration of Undergraduate Scholarship Honors Student Research

The hard work and creativity of 150 student researchers will be on display in less than two weeks at the annual Celebration of Undergraduate Scholarship, a daylong event on Wednesday, April 24, in the Harre Union Ballrooms. The Celebration is an annual conference that provides an opportunity for undergraduate students to present their research projects, scholarly work, or creative activities in a poster format or as oral presentations.

The student posters will be on display beginning at 8 a.m. Open viewing for the campus community will begin after the judging has concluded at 10 a.m. and will last until 5 p.m. Oral presentation judging is from 8 a.m. to 12:40 p.m. An awards presentation will take place from 2:30 to 3 p.m.

Highlighting the conference will be the Deans' Choice Presentations, which will take place from 3 to 5:15 p.m. in Ballroom C. These presentations will open with a welcome from Provost Mark Schwehn and an introduction by Cynthia Rutz, director of the Celebration of Undergraduate Scholarship.

The Celebration of Undergraduate Scholarship began in 1998 as an idea from an interdisciplinary group of faculty who had attended national meetings on the role of undergraduate research in the college experience. Students from all disciplines are strongly encouraged to become involved in research and creative endeavors and present their work at the annual Celebration. More information is available at