Valparaiso University will celebrate Winter Commencement on Sunday, Dec. 13, at 2:30 p.m., conferring degrees upon 245 undergraduate, graduate, and law students.

The keynote speaker is Lloyd McClendon ’81, ‘05H, who earned the nickname “Legendary Lloyd” after hitting five home runs in the 1971 Little League World Series. During his collegiate years, he played for Valpo, where he earned all-conference honors twice and is part of the 1998 Athletics Hall of Fame class.

“We are pleased to welcome Lloyd to Valparaiso University to deliver our commencement address,” said Mark A. Heckler, Ph.D., president. “His determination and dedication to the pursuit of excellence provides an exemplary model for our students of the virtues of character and commitment we seek to cultivate in our graduates.”

The former professional baseball player played for the New York Mets, Cincinnati Reds, Chicago Cubs, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Cleveland Indians and remains active in the world of professional baseball. McClendon is the former manager of the Seattle Mariners, and also previously managed the Pittsburgh Pirates and served as hitting coach for the Pittsburgh Pirates and Detroit Tigers.

Both of McClendon’s children followed in his college footsteps and attended Valparaiso University. His son, Bo, also played college baseball at Valparaiso University and was selected by the Tigers in the 2010 Amateur draft and played two seasons. Bo will graduate from Valpo Sunday with a bachelor’s degree in marketing. McClendon’s daughter, Schenell, received her bachelor’s in Spanish with a minor in political science from Valpo in 2005 and her J.D. from Valpo’s Law School in 2009.

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