End of Year — Faculty and Staff

“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when [contemplating] the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day.” — Albert Einstein

Dear Colleagues:

As another academic year comes to a close, I am reminded of the many achievements and discoveries that have occurred this year, and of the insatiable curiosity and search for knowledge and truth that drives this University. Truly, it has been another remarkable and productive year at Valpo, and I’m grateful for all you do to support our mission and vision as we prepare women and men to lead and serve around the world.

This year has been marked by major accomplishments and successes:

  • We witnessed our largest total enrollment in more than four decades, and new-student deposits for fall 2016 continue to be impressive.
  • We dedicated the Kathleen and Mark Helge Center and broke ground on the Center for the Sciences: Chemistry and Biochemistry Building.
  • Throughout the year, Valpo received numerous national accolades, including being named best in the nation for contribution to public good by Washington Monthly. U.S. News and World Report ranked Valparaiso University No. 1 Best Value in the Midwest, No. 2 for Best Undergraduate Teaching in the Midwest and No. 5 Overall Best Regional University in the Midwest.
  • Our men’s basketball team united Valpo fans by advancing to the National Invitation Tournament final at Madison Square Garden, and men’s tennis won its first Horizon League championship, earning an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
  • During spring break, students, faculty, and staff participated in service-learning trips throughout the country and around the world. And community outreach takes place every day through organized and grassroots efforts across campus and in our local community.
  • We secured grants from prominent organizations such as the National Science Foundation, the Indiana Health Department, and the U.S. Department of Energy to advance research efforts and provide valuable learning opportunities for our students.

And the graduates you have helped prepare continue to succeed, as our graduate placement rate exceeded 90 percent for the 23rd consecutive year.

For a dedicated community filled with curious people, it has been an excellent year. Students continue to strive for excellence, and the graduating class enters the larger society equipped with the skills and experiences needed to flourish. And our current students, faculty, and staff are preparing for productive summers marked by travel, research, and discovery. Here are just a few examples:

  • The Institute for Leadership and Service will select at least 25 CAPS Fellows who will intern in nonprofit and service-oriented organizations in Northwest Indiana, Washington, D.C., and other major metro areas nationally.
  • Meteorology students will participate in a storm-chasing trip to gain valuable hands-on experience.
  • Professor of Physics Shirvel Stanislaus will work with students to continue nuclear physics research funded by grants from the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation.
  • Biochemistry major Brian Weaver ’17 will complete an internship at Penn State, conducting research on photosynthesis with alumnus John Golbeck ’71.
  • The Chinese and Japanese studies program will offer a course and internship at the Valpo Study Center in Hangzhou, China, led by Professors John Ruff and Paul Trapp.
  • Faculty and staff members will participate in retreats at the Valpo Study Center in Cambridge, England.

We are indeed blessed by the curiosity at work in this place. I hope this summer offers an opportunity to spend time with family and loved ones and to relax, reflect, and rejuvenate as together we explore the beauty and the mystery of life.



Mark A. Heckler, Ph.D.