Valparaiso University has received a commitment to establish endowed funds to support the Lutheran Church — Missouri Synod Pastoral Ministry and Chapel Programs.

Thanks to the generosity of Shirley and Karl Kreft, Valpo will establish the Karl and Shirley Kreft Endowed Fund for the LCMS Pastoral Ministry and Chapel Programs. The Krefts are longtime supporters of Valparaiso University. In 2007, they established the Kreft Endowed Chair for the Advancement of Nursing Science, currently held by Theresa A. Kessler, Ph.D., RN. From 2000 through 2010, Karl also served as an active member of the University’s Board of Directors.

“This commitment aligns with the deep respect Shirley and I have for Valpo’s tradition of excellence at the intersection of faith and learning,” Karl said. “It is our intent to contribute to a Christian presence, an enduring witness consistent with the mission of the University.”

University Pastor James Wetzstein, who has been working with Valpo students in their spiritual lives and growth since his arrival at the University in March 2003, will manage the programming supported by Kreft Endowed Fund. Pastor Wetzstein is actively involved with student groups and programs, such as LCMS-U and the Social Action Leadership Team. This endowed fund will provide the resources to strengthen the impact of the ministry for the benefit of Valpo students and the broader community.

“The philanthropic commitment we received from Karl and Shirley is deeply valued,” said Mark A. Heckler, Ph.D., president of Valparaiso University. “By establishing this endowed fund, they have strengthened our campus ministry and its programs in perpetuity. We are truly thankful for their support and belief in Valpo.”

Endowed support for scholarships, faculty development, and programs is a priority of advancement activities and the focus of Forever Valpo: The Campaign for Our Future.