MLK Award

Martin Luther King, Jr. Award

Each year, as part of Valparaiso University’s annual celebration of the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., an award is made to the person(s) or organization(s) making significant and lasting contributions to continue to create an environment where diversity is honored and respected on campus and within the broader community.

The Valparaiso University Martin Luther King, Jr. Award provides special recognition to individuals and groups on our campus who have lived King’s vision through their words and deeds. This award is one more way to ensure that the legacy of King remains in the minds and hearts of our students, faculty, and staff throughout the academic year and not just on the MLK, Jr. Day celebration on the third Monday in January.

Each fall, nominations are sought for the award and a panel of five individuals, appointed by the MLK Day Steering Committee co-chairs, will evaluate the nominees considering their contributions (or potential contributions) on campus and in the broader community for leading long-term, positive impacts on the racial climate; serving as role models who value racial diversity; and enlisting others in creative ways to improve the racial climate and enhance diversity.

Any current Valpo student, faculty, staff, administrator, or Student Senate-recognized campus organization is eligible for nomination. So keep the MLK Award in mind throughout the academic year as you go about campus living and learning, and nominate those who you feel deserve to win this award based on their demonstrated contributions and commitment.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Award Winners

  • 2017: Dr. Heath Carter, Associate Professor of History and Chair of the Valparaiso Human Relations Council; and Faisal Kutty, Associate Professor of Law and Director, International LL.M. Program
  • 2016: Dr. Chuck Schaefer, Professor of International Studies and History
  • 2015: Larry Baas; Zahra Nwabara; Valpo Men’s Soccer Team, coach Mike Avery
  • 2014: Stacy Hoult-Saros
  • 2013: Allison Schuette ’93, Professor Liz Wuerffel ’00, and Mr. Holly Singh, ’98, ’05 MALS
  • 2012: Ivan Bodensteiner, NaTasha Henry ’04, ’06 MALS, and the Black Law Students Association
  • 2011: Zhimin Lin
  • 2010: Dr. Alan Bloom, and the Peace and Social Justice Symposium: Jane Bello-Brunson and Dr. Delphina (Del) Hopkins-Gillispie, co-founders
  • 2009: The Office of the Provost, Provost Dr. Roy A. Austensen and Assoc. Provost Dr. Renu Juneja
  • 2008: Rev. Dr. Gregory A. Jones and Ryan L. Freeman-Jones
  • 2007: Rev. Dr. Alan F. Harre
  • 2006: Dr. James Kingsland ’82 J.D.
  • 2005: Black Student Organization, Kwau A. Kuntu, President; Latinos in Valparaiso for Excellence, Jessica L. Botello, President; Asian American Association, Nisha H. Shah, President
  • 2004: Jane Bello-Brunson
  • 2003: Bill Marion Jr.
  • 2002: Rev. David Kehret
  • 2001: Dr. Hugh McGuigan
  • 2000: Judith Erwin-Neville and Valpo Gospel Choir
  • 1999: Jane Claiborne ’01, ’04 MALS
  • No Award was given in 1998
  • 1997: VU Faculty Jazz Trio: Jeff Brown, Bruce Evans, and Billy Foster
  • 1996: Professors Emeriti Walter Reiner and Karl Lutze
  • 1995: Lou Jeanne Walton ’60