Mark A. Heckler, Ph.D., president of Valparaiso University, is one of eight presidents and chancellors to sign the Indiana Campus Compact Presidential Commitment, pledging to educate students and graduates who give back to their communities and advance the public good.

“Valpo students and alumni lead with integrity and character and make a positive difference across the country and around the world,” said Heckler, who chairs the Indiana Campus Compact for 2015–2016. “This agreement formalizes our commitment to continue to graduate such outstanding global citizens and forges a partnership with other colleges and universities to serve our communities.”

In August, Valpo was named the No. 1 master’s university for contribution to public good by Washington Monthly, and students annually devote more than 220,000 hours to community outreach and service learning.

The commitment declaration reads:

As a partnership of presidents and chancellors from Indiana’s public and private colleges and universities, we agree to be an active collective that challenges all of higher education to continuously re-envision its role in and with the communities that we serve, for the public good.

We will work as agents of change to advance citizenship and service as critical components of the higher learning experience, so that our students graduate as well-informed, engaged and productive members of society, who are fully enabled to provide leadership and service that advances the public good in their communities.

It is through our compact that we agree to promote, support and advance the work of campus and community engagement in the dynamic environment of 21st-Century society.

“Indiana Campus Compact works as an agent of change on behalf of its member campuses to advance citizenship and service as critical components of the higher learning experience: connecting their intellectual growth, knowledge of their disciplines and vocations and their commitments to the greater good,” said Executive Director J.R. Jamison.

Thirty-four presidents and chancellors representing 42 partner campuses will sign the commitment this year. Formed in 1993, Indiana Campus Compact is the only organization in the state that works with public, independent and two-year institutions of higher education. The Compact is made up of colleges and universities dedicated to engaged teaching and learning, the kind of learning that stays with students as they transition into life after college.