Support and Shape the Faculty of the Future


When it comes to faculty, we have reached a watershed moment. During the next decade, half of the University’s faculty members will reach retirement age. These women and men are faculty stalwarts: thinkers, researchers, artists, gifted teachers, experienced practitioners, people of faith and ideas and action whose work advances their disciplines as it elevates the lives of the students they teach. And many of them are about to leave, which presents us with both a significant challenge and a great opportunity. Forever Valpo will raise the endowed funds to support and shape the faculty of the future.

Goal: $45,000,000

Donor support to endowed funds makes these possible …


Valparaiso University Appoints Inaugural Richard C. and Francelia A. Gozon University Chair

Valparaiso University announces that Michael C. Chikeleze, Ph.D., has joined its faculty as the Richard C. and Francelia A. Gozon University Chair in Values-Based Leadership.

Chikeleze, a leadership scholar, professional and educator, has a distinguished background in teaching, developing partnerships and collaborating with broad audiences about the role of leadership education within higher education.

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Business Professorship and Scholarship Endowment

Valparaiso University alumnus Michael “Mike” Gruszyk ’85 has generously committed $1.3 million to fund an endowed professorship and a scholarship in the College of Business. 

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Mike Gruszyk

Valpo Alumni Establish Endowed Chair in French

Valparaiso University alumni Phyllis Buehner ’54 Duesenberg ’04H and Richard Duesenberg ’51, ’53 J.D., ’01H have generously committed to establish the Phyllis and Richard Duesenberg Endowed Chair in French Language and Culture. The endowment will provide permanent resources to ensure the teaching and learning of French language and culture at Valpo continues in perpetuity.

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Kempf Estate to Support Engineering Faculty

Valparaiso University has received more than $1.1 million from the estate of Dale F. Kempf ’62, a longtime faculty member in engineering and physics, for endowed faculty development funds in the College of Engineering.

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Allison Schuette

Kapfer Faculty Award

Valparaiso University Professor Allison Schuette ’93, MFA, associate professor of English, has received the Philip and Miriam Kapfer Endowed Faculty Research Award to continue her work on an initiative of the Welcome Project, which collects oral histories about the complexity of living together amidst increasing diversity and difference.

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Engineering and Valpo Fund Support

Jan and John Draheim ’64, M.S., have committed funds to support the College of Engineering and the Valpo Fund.

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Gellerson Building

Zimmermans Support Multiple Areas

Valparaiso University alumni Sue Heitmuller ’70 Zimmerman and Larry Zimmerman ’70 have committed $625,000 to fund multiple areas of interest at Valparaiso University.

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“I fell in love with Valpo when I visited for my interview,” says MARK BUDNIK, Ph.D., the Paul H. Brandt Professor in Engineering and chair of the electrical and computer engineering department. “Everything I was looking for as a teacher, professor, mentor, and colleague was here for me.”

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THERESA KESSLER, Ph.D., RN, ACNS-B.C., CNE, professor of nursing, was inducted as the Kreft Endowed Chair for the Advancement of Nursing Science in December 2015. While the appointment is an important accomplishment in her teaching career, the real impact will be on her students. As she has since joining the faculty of the College of Nursing and Health Professions in 1994, Professor Kessler directs her efforts toward enhanced learning experiences for nursing students.

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ROBERT CLARK, Ph.D., assistant professor of chemistry, often sits down for a meal with students who are interested in pursuing a career in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (stem). “Our get-togethers are for community building among the students,” Professor Clark explains. “They look forward to it, and it’s also energizing for me. We are like a family.”

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Intrinsic to the successful student-faculty connection is a shared commitment to excel at an institution where faith and learning thrive. To help new tenure-track faculty members better understand what it means to teach, live, and mentor within the Valpo academic community, the University developed the Cambridge Seminar for New Faculty.

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Christmas Cambridge
Thanks to generosity of JOYCE HAGEN ’79 AND DONALD FITES ’56, Valparaiso University has received a $2 million commitment for endowed faculty fellowships in the College of Nursing and Health Professions and the College of Engineering.

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