Entrance Torch

Prominent community builder to speak at commencement Dec. 12

A prominent advocate and scholar of community building efforts throughout the world will present the commencement address at Valparaiso University’s Dec. 12 ceremonies honoring graduates and will be honored for his efforts.

John P. “Jody” Kretzmann, a former Valpo faculty member and currently co-director of The Asset-Based Community Development Institute and a research professor in the School of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University, will receive an honorary Doctor of Public Service degree before speaking to the December graduates. Ceremonies for more than 225 students expected to complete requirements for undergraduate, graduate and law degrees begin at 2:30 p.m. in the Chapel of the Resurrection.

Commencement ceremonies will be broadcast live online.

The Valparaiso University Police Department will be providing a shuttle service from three outlying parking areas (south of the Christopher Center, south of Kretzmann Hall and west of Huegli Hall) to the chapel for the Conferring of Degrees. The shuttle will run on a regular schedule beginning at 1:30 p.m. and continuing as long as necessary following the ceremonies.

During a career spanning more than 30 years, Kretzmann has distinguished himself as one of the world’s most highly sought leaders in community building. His extensive research has improved the understanding of how to successfully mobilize the talents and passion of citizens to solve problems.

Kretzmann is the author or editor of numerous books and workbooks, including “Building Communities from the Inside Out: A Path Toward Finding and Mobilizing a Community’s Assets” and “Building the Bridge from Client to Citizen: A Community Toolbox for Welfare Reform.” He also co-produced the six-part video training series “Mobilizing Community Assets.”

A highly sought consultant, trainer, and speaker, he has worked with the Corporation for National and Community Service, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, United Way of America, the United Nations and numerous other groups. Kretzmann is a recipient of the Entrepreneurial American Leadership Award from Partners for Livable Communities, among other honors, and he serves on a wide range of civic, community, church and foundation boards, including the Conference on Inner City Ministries and Lutheran Human Relations Association.

Kretzmann, whose father O.P. Kretzmann served as president of Valparaiso University from 1940 to 1968, is a former instructor in media and public affairs at Valpo’s Honors College, Christ College, and regularly has returned to campus to present lectures.

More information on Valpo’s December commencement can be found at www.valpo.edu/commencement.