“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” -Margaret Mead
Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff:
Spring break is just days away. The demands of the semester are set aside so students and faculty can refocus and refresh, can reconnect with family and friends, and can embark on new journeys, making memories that will last a lifetime.
At Valpo, we understand the importance of discovery and knowledge gained inside the classroom and beyond. We cherish opportunities to build and nurture relationships with others and our work together to pursue truth and create positive change.
Many of you will spend Spring Break volunteering your time in efforts to improve the lives of your neighbors and make the world a better, more peaceful place, exemplars of this University’s longstanding dedication to service.
This year, Valpo students, faculty, and staff will embark on nearly 20 different trips, across the country and around the world, covering a variety of disciplines and areas of emphasis – from an MSEED and education-focused trip to Costa Rica to faith-based trips to New Orleans, Martin, Ky., and Milwaukee. Students from the College of Nursing and Health Professions will travel to Thailand and China, while sociology students join them in Ireland and Christ College students collaborate with them on a medical mission trip to Central America. The Chorale will tour the Midwest with the Leipzig Baroque Orchestra to perform “St. John’s Passion,” and Engineers Without Borders will return to Haiti to continue efforts to bring renewable energy to an orphanage. Sorority women and fraternity men will participate in service projects in Washington, D.C.; theology and Christ College students will visit Bethlehem, Nazareth, and Jerusalem; and law students will travel to Israel and Palestine to bring their studies to life. What a privilege it is to be part of a community with so many people committed to lives of leadership and service!
I invite you all to attend Friday’s Morning Prayer Service at 10 a.m. in the Chapel, as there will be a special blessing and send-off service for those traveling on these many service trips.
Not everyone can spend their break on a service trip, however. Regardless of how you plan to spend these two weeks, I urge you to keep Margaret Mead’s words in mind. No matter where you are, whether it be at home, on campus, or around the world, as a member of the Valparaiso University community, you have the ability to change the world and to impact the lives of those around you.
I pray for safe travels for each and every one of you, and that you return refreshed and eager to continue your quest for knowledge and wisdom for the remainder of the semester.
Mark A. Heckler, Ph.D.