End of Year — Students

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” 
— Anne Frank

Dear Students:

As Commencement Weekend quickly approaches and we celebrate the end of another academic year, it seems fitting we should reflect on the many achievements made by our community this year and to remind one another about our shared mission at Valparaiso University.

It has truly been another remarkable and productive year for Valpo’s students, and I am grateful for your dedication, your enthusiasm, your creativity, and your contributions that enrich this special community we call Valpo.

You received accolades for academic achievement and impressed audiences with musical, theatrical, and athletic talents and performances. You conducted undergraduate research and presented at regional and national conferences. You studied abroad and attended on-campus cultural events with your sisters and brothers from around the world. You participated in internships and gained valuable experiential learning opportunities to further your education. Your many accomplishments continue to shape this community of learning.

Yet at Valparaiso University we know an education consists of more than academic endeavors. And so, you have dedicated your time and energy toward improving the world. You served communities near and far — volunteering through the Day of Caring and Café Manna, devoting your spring break to service trips domestically and abroad, and raising funds through SALT’s World Relief Campaign and Dance Marathon, among many, many charitable endeavors. Because of you, Washington Monthly recognized Valpo as one of the best in the nation for contribution to public good, and the University was named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction for the third consecutive year.

Anne Frank’s words remind us of the important opportunity we each have to make a difference in the lives of others. These words, especially given the brevity and profound impact of Anne’s life, urge us to dedicate this day and every day to improve our world. I remain steadfast in the belief that this community can continue to be a beacon of light and a source of hope in this troubled world.

For those of you who will graduate next weekend, I wish you God’s blessings as you pursue your vocations and search for truth with confidence and thoughtfulness during this next chapter. I have no doubt you will continue your success as you go out into the world. Keep me posted on your successes.

And to those of you who will return in the fall, I hope this summer offers an opportunity to relax, rejuvenate, spend time with friends and loved ones, and gain valuable experiences and insights through internships, work, and travel. I look forward to welcoming you back in August and to hearing your stories.


Mark A. Heckler, Ph.D.