End of Year — Students

“I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”
— Henry David Thoreau

Dear Students:

It’s nearly here. The culmination of another academic year, marked by final exams, preparing to set off for summer adventures, and, for some, closing one chapter as a Valpo student and anticipating something new.

It has truly been another remarkable and productive year for Valpo’s students. I am grateful for your dedication, your enthusiasm, your creativity, and your contributions that enrich this special community, one that is called to seek truth, serve generously, and cultivate hope.

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 experiential learning opportunities to further your education. 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. Your myriad accomplishments continue to shape this community of learning.

You have dedicated countless hours toward being your most excellent selves, in preparation for what I am confident will be bright and successful futures.

Yet, at Valpo, we know that success cannot always be measured by grades, awards, accolades, or other accomplishments. And so, we encourage you to take Henry David Thoreau’s words to heart. Dare to dream and to advance confidently in the direction of your dreams.

For those of you who will graduate next weekend, I wish you God’s blessings as you pursue your dreams, act with integrity, 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. I encourage you to stay in touch, with me and with your faculty mentors, and share your stories with your alma mater.

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.