Jonathan Costas ‘89, J.D.
The Commencement Speaker
Honorary Degree Recipient
The outgoing mayor of the city of Valparaiso, Jon Costas holds a B.A. in business from St. Joseph’s College, a J.D. from the Valparaiso University School of Law, and a master’s in theology. He is currently pursuing a doctorate in transformational leadership.
Mayor Costas began his political career in 1995, winning an at-large seat on the Valparaiso City Council, and was elected mayor in 2003. He has established a reputation as a collaborative leader who advocates both careful planning and bold action. Valparaiso has flourished under his transformational leadership and gained national recognition for its vibrant downtown and award winning Central Park Plaza. He has also been instrumental in helping to diversify city government, appointing the first African American to a city board and overseeing the hiring of the city’s first African American police officer.
In addition to his political service, Mayor Costas has been a small business owner for 40 years and is an attorney with Burke, Costanza, and Carberry LLP. He has served on many boards and commissions, including 10 years on Indiana’s Higher Education Commission and as an ex-officio member of Valparaiso’s Town and Gown Committee.