For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. Luke 2:11–12

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff:

From the humblest of beginnings, the world received its greatest gift — salvation. During the Christmas season, we try to imagine that first Holy Night in Bethlehem. We also pause to reflect upon the abundant gifts bestowed upon us as members of the Valpo community.

Each of us, in our own unique way, has been presented to the world as a precious gift, as the magi presented those precious gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh to the baby Jesus. So, in this season of light, as we contemplate those gifts we might give to one another and the world, may we be reminded that there is wisdom in the proverb that the most precious gift is the one given away freely.

May you have time to reflect on what it means to receive a precious gift, given freely by God. And if you are a unique and precious gift to the world, what might you be called to do in response.

We are grateful for the gifts you bring to Valparaiso University — your character, your spirit, your integrity, your wisdom, your generosity, your hope. Remember this Christmas that the hope that shone as bright as that star lighting the way for the shepherds continues to light the way for all of us today.

May this season serve as a joyful reminder of God’s great gift to you and of your greatest gifts to the world. God’s blessings to you and yours this Christmas.


Mark A. Heckler, Ph.D.
Valparaiso University