Alumni Class Notes & Club Highlights


Great grandchild to Ruth Ziegler ’51 Scheyder and grandchild to Ken Scheyder ’79: David Jacob Kovalchek, born July 18, 2015.

Donald Fites ’56 of Phi Kappa Psi received the North-American Interfraternity Conference (NIC) 2015 Alumni Award of Distinction. Donald was recognized at the NIC Annual Meeting of the House of Delegates on April 19, 2015, in Kansas City, Mo.


Lowell Baier ’61, J.D. recently gave $20 million to renovate and expand the Indiana University in Bloomington Law School, which he attended.


Patricia Andersen ’62 Johnson is a substitute teacher in Indianapolis. She has three granddaughters: Lily Besel, 17, daughter of Ashley and Karl Besel ’90, Gabrielle Besel, 10, and Natalie Besel, 8.


Stan Turney ’69 retired from Terracon Consultants in 2013 after 40 years of consulting within the engineering practice. He spends time golfing, traveling, and visiting his granddaughters in California and Colorado.


Elizabeth (Libby) Drabkowski ’72 Buuck has been called to serve in the ordained ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. She was ordained on July 25, 2015, and baptized her six-month-old granddaughter, Grace Elizabeth Johnston, the next day. Libby serves as associate pastor at Resurrection Evangelical Lutheran Church in Hilliard, Ohio.


In June 2015, John Holmquist hiked the Inca Trail to the ruins of Machu Picchu


James E. Corbly ’73 followed up on his latest paper (which appeared in the September 2014 issue of Information Technology and Libraries), presenting in April 2015 at the annual Academic and Research Library Division Conference of the Minnesota Library Association in Chaska, Minn. The topic of his presentation was “Freeware and Open Source Software: Why Bother?” James then attended Campus ­Technology’s Executive Summit 2015, an invitation-only leadership event that brought together high-level IT leaders from academic institutions across the United States in July. Recently, his 2014 report on freeware and open source software was selected by the American Library Association for inclusion in its reference list entitled “Automating Libraries: A Selected Annotated Bibliography” ( James and his wife live in Austin, Minn.

Marie A. Failinger ’73, ’76 J.D. served as interim dean of Hamline University School of Law during 2015 as it planned a merger with William Mitchell College of Law. She is a 2015 recipient of the Elizabeth Hurlock Beckman award, presented to a teacher who has inspired a student to create an organization which has “demonstrably conferred a benefit on the community at large” or “established on a lasting basis a concept, procedure, or movement of comparable benefit to the community at large.” Her student Asma Saroya, who co-founded the Council on American Islamic Relations-Minnesota chapter, nominated her for this award.

Tom Kautz ’73, ’76 J.D., was named to the 2016 Best Lawyers in America Copyright Law and Litigation – Intellectual Property list. He has been named to Best Lawyers since 2013 and resides in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Christine Raftshol ’73 and Bill Vogelsang ’73 recently retired from public ministry. Bill was the pastor at Community Lutheran Church in Escondido, Calif., for 26 years, and Christine was the director of music during that time. This is their third congregation since Bill’s graduation from Fort Wayne Seminary in 1978.


Duane M. Jorgenson ’74, J.D. is a judge-elect for the Lafayette County Circuit Court in Wisconsin. He first won election to the court in April 2015, effective Aug. 1, 2015.

John Niems ’74 recently released his 10th CD, “Now and Then — Number Ten,” which can be downloaded on iTunes. During his career John has tuned 20,000 pianos and is currently tuning for many concerts on the Las Vegas strip.


The Honorable Stephen Wolaver ’75 J.D. was re-elected to third term as Common Pleas Judge of Greene County, Ohio, in November 2014. He is a member of the editorial board of the Ohio Jury Instruction Committee and chair of the Criminal Rules Committee Ohio Rules Commission.


Todd Sinclair ’78 has retired after more than 25 years as a portfolio manager for the Michigan state pension fund. Todd looks forward to new adventures and spending time with grand niece Lylarae, born Aug. 26, 2015. He can be reached at


Sarah Schulte Anderson ’79 was recognized by the Daily Herald as one of 2015’s most influential women in business. She manages all aspects of marketing, brand development, public relations, advertising, and social media as vice president of Marketing for VHT Studios, Inc.

Linda Bangel ’79 worked at Bronson Hospital in Kalamazoo, Mich. for 31 years and as part of the Vascular Access Team for 20 years. She is certified in Vascular Access CRNI.

Nathan Fink ’79 has been with The Hagerman Group for 36 years and is currently president of Hagerman Construction Corp. He is located in the Fort Wayne, Ind., office and is responsible for daily operations of Hagerman’s self-performance work.

photo-ourValpo-johnHolmquistPeter Haas ’79 had the second edition of his co-authored text, “Projecting Politics: Political Messages in American Film” published by Rutledge. He also transferred from the San Jose State University’s Department of Political Science to its School of Global Innovation and Leadership in the Lucas College of Business and continues to serve as education director of the Mineta Transportation Institute at SJSU.


Eileen Latza ’80 Boetel is currently a certified registered nurse anesthetist for stat anesthesia specialists doing office-based and surgery center anesthesia.


Jim LeMunyon ’81 was elected to a fourth term in the Virginia House of Delegates in November 2015, representing portions of Fairfax and Loudoun Counties in Northern Virginia.


In June 2015, John W. Holmquist ’82 hiked the 25 mile Inca Trail to the ruins of Machu Picchu in the Andean mountains of Peru, along with his wife, Sue, and daughter, Caroline (who took the photo of the Valpo alumnus standing at the “Sun Gate,” which overlooks the historic, formerly hidden city).

Porter Superior Court Judge Julia Witt ’82 Jent, J.D., was presented the key to the city by Portage Mayor James Snyder during his Mayor’s Charity Ball in March.


Joseph P. Kreoll ’86, ’89 J.D., successfully petitioned before the New Jersey Supreme Court and obtained the reversal of the Appellate Division’s decision on a major redevelopment case in which the Supreme Court agreed with the Planning Board’s designation of property as being an “area in need of redevelopment” because of its blighted condition.


James McManus ’87 received the Western Michigan University Department of Geography Alumni of the Year award for 2015. James obtained his master of arts from Western Michigan University in 1992.


Caryn Reister ’88 Paulus was honored as a Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) Great 100 Nurse in April 2015. The event honors 100 RNs who were nominated by their peers and selected for being role models, leaders, community servants, compassionate caregivers, and significant contributors to the nursing profession.


Robert Kirtland ’91 was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, United States Army Reserve, and was selected to serve as Deputy Commander, 91st Legal Operations Detachment, located in Forest Park, Ill. In addition, on March 30 he was sworn in with a group from the Indiana State Bar Association to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court.


Jason Freitag ’94, ’04 J.D., married Jodi Frailey Dec. 19, 2015. Leah Hoppes ’94, owner of Vision Force Marketing, was named the St. Charles Chamber Member of the Year by St. Charles, Ill. She has also been appointed
to the chamber board of directors for 2016. Leah’s company develops strategic marketing action plans for companies of all sizes. Leah is a paid blogger and contributor to an audience of more than 400,000 readers and provides marketing and sales training for business owners. She, along with her husband and business partner, Sean Matthew Whitfield, are frequent guest speakers to both college and high school classrooms on the topics of marketing, sales, and entrepreneurship. They are members of Christ Community Church in St. Charles, Ill.

Scott Yakimow ’94 received his Ph.D. in religious studies from the University of Virginia on Dec. 30, 2014. He has been an associate professor of theology at Concordia University–Portland since 2012.


Larry Mowry won his 10th Lone Star Emmy for Best Weathercaster in Texas


Chad Fry ’95 has been working at The Hagerman Group for two decades and is currently a construction superintendent working out of the Fort Wayne, Ind. office. He has been assigned to some of Hagerman’s largest and most fast-paced projects, including a state and federal prison housing facility and multiple projects at the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo.


Doug Samuels ’96 was promoted by Lake City Bank to direct its corporate and institutional services department. Doug, who is vice president, manages sales, and coaches sales staff for Treasury Management Services, Merchant/Cardholder Services, and Retirement Services. He is also the commercial depository product manager and a treasury management sales officer. He has been with the bank since 2006, and he has worked in the financial services industry for 23 years.


Katherine Dueringer ’97 Goodman completed her Ph.D. in technology, media, and society, an interdisciplinary degree from the College of Engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder, in December 2015. She joined the new rapid prototyping lab, Inworks (, at the University of Colorado Denver as an assistant professor beginning in January 2016.

Michael J. Jasaitis ’97, ’00 J.D. was elected to the board of governors of the Indiana State Bar Association (ISBA). He is a partner at the firm Austgen Kuiper Jasaitis in Crown Point, Ind.

Katie Kretzmann Melin ’97 received the Elementary Math Teacher of the Year Award for Wake County public schools in North Carolina. Wake County is one of the largest counties in North Carolina. Katie has been teaching there since 2002 and received Teacher of the Year for Rolesville Elementary in 2005. She was recognized at the state level at the North Carolina National Council of Teachers of Mathematics conference in November. Katie credits her education at Valpo toward her recognition for this award.

Michael E. Tolbert ’97, ’00 J.D. was inducted as chair-elect of the House of Delegates of the ISBA. He is a partner at the firm Tolbert & Tolbert in Gary, Ind.


Kurt Mattix ’99 joins Valparaiso University’s football team as an assistant coach.


Former Valpo roommates and Valpo Track and Field athletes Nicholas Skytland ’02 and Nathanael Noon ’04 reconnected Sept. 13, 2015, to compete in Ironman Wisconsin. This was Nicholas’ fourth Ironman and Nathanael’s fifth Ironman — their second Ironman together.

Tanya Smutka ’99 earned tenure in the biology department at Inver Hills Community College in Minnesota in 2014 and spent the 2014–2015 academic year on sabbatical. She was also awarded the Minnesota Campus Compact’s 2014 Presidents’ Civic Engagement Steward Award for her work in designing opportunities for her students to engage in service learning with environmental agencies and K–12 schools and for work hosting “Expanding Your Horizons,” a conference engaging middle school girls in STEM careers.

To Mark Williams ’99 and Colleen Thesen Williams: Elliot Carter Williams, born May 2, 2015.


Amy Govert ’00, ’06 M.S. has been named The Times 2015 Coach of the Year after guiding the Merrillville girls’ basketball team to the Class 4A North Semistate.

Larry Mowry ’00 won his 10th Lone Star Emmy for Best Weathercaster in Texas in November. This is his fourth win in this category during his seven years broadcasting in Texas.

To Colleen Mair ’00 and Bryan Jones: Addison Rose Jones, born July 15, 2015.


Adrienne Harding ’01 Vicari was named a direct shareholder of Herbert, Rowland & Grubic Inc. (HRG) in recognition of her loyalty and contributions to the company’s success. Adrienne is the manager of financial services in HRG’s Harrisburg office. She is responsible for developing financing strategies and capital project plans for municipal and private entities, including long-range financial planning as well as the receipt of government grants and loans.

Kristin Nissen ’01 Flora received the Clifford and Paula Dietz Award for Faculty Excellence at the Franklin College commencement ceremonies in May 2015. The award recognizes a faculty member who exhibits competence in her or his chosen discipline or profession; the ability to communicate information about and an understanding of her or his discipline or profession effectively to students; and the ability to stimulate students and faculty colleagues to do their best work.

Chris Retson ’01 married Allyson Taylor on June 22, 2013. He works for Prism Healthcare Partners as a consultant and is running for Crown Point, Ind. City Council.

Robert Saler ’01 has been named research professor of Lutheran studies at the Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis.


1 To Scott ’01 and Cara Wood: Cooper Scott, born Dec. 28, 2014.

To Jonatas and Suzanne Lanzafame ’01 Fante: Alessandro Lanzafame Fante, born March 5, 2015.
To Scott ’01 and Cara Wood: Cooper Scott, born Dec. 28, 2014. 1


Brent Anderson ’02 received the District Toastmaster of the Year award for exceptional leadership and devoted service to District 30 at their fall conference in November. District 30 is part of Toastmasters International and serves approximately 240 Toastmasters clubs and their 5,000 members in northeast Illinois.


2 Jennifer Engelhardt ’02 married Chip Schoenfeldt on March 14, 2015. Many Valpo alumni were in attendance.

Jennifer Engelhardt ’02 married Chip Schoenfeldt on March 14, 2015. Many
Valpo alumni were in attendance. 2

Lisa Kendall ’02 was recently named principal at Concord South Side Elementary School of Elkhart, Ind., after serving as the assistant principal of Concord High School for three years. Previously, Lisa was an English/language arts teacher at Elkhart Memorial High School. She currently lives in South Bend, Ind.

photo-ourValpo-flagAnita Patel ’02, vice president of racial justice and public policy programs at the YWCA of Minneapolis, joins the Bush Foundation as its leadership programs director. Anita leads the Foundation’s effort to inspire, equip, and connect leaders in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and 23 indigenous nations that share the same geography. She will oversee both the Bush Fellowship and Leadership Network Grant programs.


Jason Holly has accepted a new position as a high school counselor at Hong Kong International School.


Shayne Bell ’03 married Matt Magee on July 18, 2015. She recently moved to Portland, Ore. and began working for Mercy Corps, a nonprofit organization that works to alleviate poverty, suffering, and oppression worldwide.

CLC Network, a national nonprofit based in Grand Rapids, has announced Elizabeth Lucas Dombrowski ’03 as its new executive director. CLC Network is a $1.25 million consulting organization that partners with individuals, families, and organizations to more fully understand people with disabilities and to build support systems that enable their inclusion in church and school communities. Elizabeth began her service on Sept. 1, 2015.

Jason Holly ’03 accepted a new position as a high school counselor at Hong Kong International School. He started in August 2015.

David Martens ’03 married Christina Stockamore on June 14, 2014, in Key Largo, Fla. They were honored to have many
Valpo alumni present, two of whom were in the wedding party — Martin ’03 and Anna Nuechterlein ’02 Rathmann.
David and Christina currently live in Washington, D.C.

Kathleen Williams ’03 married Jared West in June 2015 at the West Baden Springs Resort in Indiana. Kathleen and Jared reside in Carmel, Ind., and Kathleen works as a consulting engineer in the electrical power systems industry.


3 To Kara Painton ’03, MSN ’04: twins Bryce and Blake, born in March 2015.

To Kara Painton ’03, MSN ’04: twins Bryce and Blake, born in March 2015. 3

To Chad and Sarah Wickert ’03 Schindler: Claire Elizabeth, born September 2014. Claire Elizabeth joins brothers Jack, 7, Sam, 6, and Ben, 3. Chad and Sarah currently reside in Jacksonville, Fla., where Chad is an R.N. at Baptist Health Medical Center. In March, Sarah traveled to visit Hilary Wesebaum ’03 Rabeler in Dallas, and she also met with Kim Vater ’03 Schaefer at her home in Florida.



4 To Brent Clark ’04 and Jill Dierberg ’06 Clark: Noah Keith and Eleanor Susan Clark, born Oct. 7, 2015.

To Brent Clark ’04 and Jill Dierberg ’06 Clark, Noah Keith and Eleanor Susan Clark, born October 7, 2015. 4


5 To Beth Krauss ’04 Conway and Matt Conway: Emily Elizabeth Conway, born July 17, 2015. Joins sister Kate.

To Beth Krauss ’04 Conway and Matt Conway: Emily Elizabeth Conway, born July 17, 2015. Joins sister Kate. 5


Benjamin D. Fryman ’05 J.D. has been installed as chair of the Young Lawyers Section of the Illinois State Bar Association. As YLS chair, he will serve on the board of governors. He is a founding partner and the current CEO of the firm Schwerd Fryman & Torrenga.

Amber Hunter-Crawford ’05 married Ian Crawford in September 2015. Amber also completed her licensure to be a licensed clinical social worker and currently works as a counselor at Safe Place in Austin, Texas. In addition, she provides psychotherapy in her private practice.

Eleni Kametas ’05 has transformed her love for radio and music into her dream job as manager of Loyola University of Chicago’s radio station, WLUW. She attributes her success to her involvement as a student in Valpo’s newspaper and the radio station as music director for three years.

To Chad and Kristen Rabeler ’05 Chenowith: Harper Jayne Chenowith, born Sept. 23, 2015.



6 Rachel and Ben Lieske ’06 married in the Chapel of the Resurrection in 2008. Their son, Lucas, was baptized in the Chapel in 2014.

Rachel and Ben Lieske ’06 married in the Chapel of the Resurrection in 2008. Their son, Lucas, was baptized in the Chapel in 2014. 6


7 To Matt ’06 and Katie Bova ’06 Hoffmann: Charlotte Diane, born April 22, 2015.

To Katie Bova ’06 Hoffmann and Matt Hoffmann ’06: Charlotte Diane, born April 22, 2015. 7


Lauren Corey ’07 Kennedy married Taylor Kennedy on June 20, 2015.

Thomas Jurewicz ’07 was promoted to Operations Service Manager at Delta Air Lines Inc. of New York City operations. He also married Tarrence T. Bellamy Jr. in September 2014 in Brooklyn, N.Y.

To Kirsten Keljo ’07 Olson: Quinn Kathryn Olson, born March 25, 2015.


8 To Laura Springmire ’07 Venstrom and Luke Venstrom ’07, Ph.D.: Reid Charles Venstrom, born July 11, 2015 Joins brother Samuel.

To Laura Springmire ’07 Venstrom and Luke Venstrom ’07, Ph.D.: Reid Charles Venstrom, born July 11, 2015. Joins brother Samuel. 8


Hannah Cartwright ’08 finished her ­clerkship in the Department of Justice Honors Program at the Philadelphia Immigration Court and is a staff ­attorney at Nationalities Service Center in Philadelphia as of March 2015.

Karissa Fraaza ’08 Kienast was recently recognized by Midland Magazine in the under 30 age group for her community involvement in Midland, Texas. Karissa was one of six women selected.

William J. Horvath ’08, ’11 J.D. joins the Charleston-based firm Turner Padget Graham & Laney, P.A. as an associate in its insurance litigation practice. William relocated to Charleston from Indianapolis, where he maintained a thriving insurance litigation practice. He is an active member of the Defense Research Institute and contributor to his local community, supporting programs providing representation and legal advice to those in need.


Emily Boedecker ’08 married Eric Perino ’04 on Sept. 20, 2014, in St. Louis. Wedding party included Sara Boedecker-Johnston ’04, Dave Kuiper ’05, and Mark Brinkmann ’04.

Beth Stuckmeyer ’08 and Patrick Millian ’08 were married on Oct. 10, 2015, in Grand Lake, Colo. Both Beth’s and Patrick’s ­families have a tradition of attending Valpo. About one-fourth of the guests in attendance at the wedding were Valpo graduates!


Patrick Lay ’09 married Gretchen Roby ’09 on Oct. 4, 2014 in Ft. Wayne, Ind. Patrick was also accepted to the MFA in comics program at the California College of the Arts. He started in July 2015.


Siblings Scott Ganswindt ’88, Pam Ganswindt ’89, Patrick Ganswindt ’90, and Kathy Ganswindt ’94 sang the National Anthem before the Milwaukee Brewers game at Miller Park on Aug. 5, 2015.


9 To Cheryl Duesenberg ’09 Brinker and Jamie Brinker: Joshua James Brinker, born June 11, 2015.

To Cheryl Duesenberg ‘09 Brinker and Jamie Brinker: Joshua James Brinker, born June 11, 2015. 9


Rachel Evans ’11 earned her master’s in public administration from Drake University in August 2015.

Robin K. Lehninger ’11, who previously worked as a summer associate at the law firm of Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek S.C., joins the firm’s Milwaukee office as a member of the Corporate Transactions, Employee Benefits, and Health Care Law teams. She earned her bachelor of arts, summa cum laude, in political science and history from Valparaiso University.


10 William “Billy” Pochron ’13 graduated from the United States Air Force’s Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training (SUPT) program.

Erich Maul ’11, William “Billy” Pochron ’13, and Jessica York ’15 gathered at Laughlin AFB, Texas, to celebrate Billy’s ­graduation from the United States Air Force’s Specialized Under­graduate Pilot Training (SUPT) program. After a long and arduous training schedule, Billy received his pilot’s wings. Billy heads to Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C., to fly the KC-135 Stratotanker air refueling tanker aircraft. 10

Leah McNeely ’11 J.D. is an attorney in the Health Law Practice Group Madison office of national law firm of Quarles & Brady LLP. She helps run programs that support survivors of domestic violence, which led to the firm receiving a pro bono award from the Dane County Bar Association.

To Anna Isaacson ’11 and Tom Lindell ’11: Nora June Lindell, born Nov. 15, 2015.


Former Valpo midfielder Zev Taublieb ’14 plays for Wilmington Hammerheads of the United Soccer League.


Zev Taublieb plays for Wilmington Hammerheads of the United Soccer League.
Kayla Nomina ’14 was invited to speak about her research on mass atrocities in April at the University of Minnesota.


Cody Johnson ’15 and Amanda Rathjen ’14 were married in Valparaiso, Ind. on June 27, 2015. Many Valpo alumni and friends were in attendance. The couple now lives in Indianapolis.

Class Notes wants your news!

Please send news of weddings, births, deaths; new jobs and promotions; academics and professional degrees; church and community service activities; awards and achievements; and changes of address to Class Notes Editor, Valparaiso University, 1509 Chapel Drive, Valparaiso, IN 46383; Email:; Fax: 219.464.5770. Include your email address to make it easy for your classmates to contact you.



Pacific Crest Trail

In April, James Nagel ’10 packed his bags and embarked on a journey that would challenge him both physically and mentally. Starting at the Mexican border in Campo, Calif., James hiked the entire Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) to the Canadian border to raise funds to support Holden Village in the Cascade Mountains, where he is a member of the retreat center’s board of directors.

With a mechanical engineering degree from Valpo, James volunteered at Holden following graduation before pursuing a full-time career as a solar engineer in San Diego. But his desire to cross the PCT off his bucket list eventually became too great.
“My involvement on the board at Holden really pushed me to think about using the PCT hike as a vehicle to support the village,” he says.

James says his involvement as a Valpo student in organizations like Engineers Without Borders and with the Chapel also pushed him toward such an arduous commitment.

“At Valpo, you learn that in your daily life, you have to pursue your passions,” he says. “And doing that for the glory of God really made me shift this from not just a cool trail to hike, but a cool trail for a cause — for Holden.”

Alumni In Focus


Jenn Lake ’04
Chicago, Illinois

Since graduation, Jenn Lake ’04 remains busy cultivating a successful career in public relations. A Chicago native, Jenn is currently vice president of Zapwater Communications and owner and contributor of her blog, Style Charade. Though her determination and passion contributed to her success, Valpo also played a large role in defining her career path and commitment to strong ethical values in the workplace.

How did you get started in public relations?
I found my first internship while shopping at a store in downtown Valparaiso with my mom. She started chatting with the shop owner and mentioned I was studying PR. It turned out, the shop owner had a friend who was starting a PR agency in Chicago, and she gave her friend my email address.

What was your first role after graduation?
I started at a fashion and lifestyle firm called Skirt PR. I didn’t have a job yet and cold-called the owner of the company and said, “I’m your girl.” The timing was perfect because she was looking for her first employee. The company later expanded, and we secured some excellent clients including Marc Jacobs and Louis Vuitton. The team grew exponentially, and by 26, I was named the VP in charge of agency development. I was at Skirt for six years until Zapwater recruited me.

How does your blog, Style Charade, coincide with your career and personal interests?
It is a creative outlet for me. My husband, Bob, takes all the photographs, and it’s a great way to express my personal style and capture the essence of Chicago and the places we go. Within the first three months, we were able to work with some amazing brands. We were accepted instantly into Rewards Style — a
feature that helps style publishers promote certain brands.

What is the most rewarding part of your career?
My company’s connection to nonprofit organizations. Success is measured by giving back to others. I am most proud of my agency because we volunteer and support many nonprofits and participate in pro bono work. We work with Lurie Children’s Hospital on some of their promotions and campaigns as well as IMD Guesthouse in the Illinois Medical District.
In addition, I’d say watching others’ careers form. I love to mentor younger talent and see them achieve successful careers or even new career paths.

Speaking of mentors, who were some of your mentors at Valpo?
Lanie Steinwart in the communications department was an amazing mentor. When I was at Valpo, the University introduced the public relations major, and she pushed me toward PR since that is what I wanted to do. She was an amazing guide through the entire experience.
Jennifer Jones-Hall and Tim Jenkins were also extremely important to me when it came to extracurricular activities. My mom passed away while I was a student at Valpo, and Tim made sure that my transition back to school was a smooth one.

How else did Valpo cultivate you as a young professional?
Being an Orientation Assistant and a part of Greek Life shaped me tenfold. The classroom made me a great student of the industry, but the extracurricular activities made me a student for life. That blend of personal and professional taught me how to be a leader, how to listen, collaborate, and work with different personalities, which is what PR is all about —
working with different people on various levels.



Frank Jaksch
Class of 1991

With a bachelor of science in chemistry, Frank Jaksch ’91 utilized his Valpo education and entrepreneurial spirit to launch ChromaDex, CDXC (NASDAQ), a biotech company that commercializes natural, scientifically-proven ingredients — such as next-generation vitamins and compounds found in berries and other natural substances — to enhance or improve health benefits of food, beverage, dietary supplements, sports nutrition, and cosmetic consumer products.

Frank also provides leadership as a member of Valpo’s College of Arts and Sciences National Council and plays an integral role in advising the College that helped give him a solid academic foundation.

“Valpo chemistry students have hands-on experience with equipment and work with professors who give you personalized attention. As a CEO, I’d rather hire graduates who have that kind of experience.”

Frank says he is eager for Valpo’s new science building to open, as it will provide even more opportunities for students to gain cutting-edge knowledge and training.

Alumni Club Highlights

Valpo Club of Florida – January 29, 2016

Alumni enjoy the Clearwater Marine Aquarium

& Winter’s Dolphin Tale Adventure
Jan and John Draheim ’64 hosted 150 alumni at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium to meet the movie star dolphins, Winter and Hope. Alumni received an education on the mission of the CMA to rescue, rehab, and release sick and wounded marine life. A trolley ride left from the CMA to the WDTA, which houses many of the movie props. The alumni toured the museum at their leisure engaging with other alumni as they went through the exhibits, and sampled foods from the Florida Coast. It was a first-ever alumni event for some of our alumni who have vowed to attend and enjoy the next chance to gather with the Valpo community in their region. Our next alumni Florida gathering will be on Saturday, Oct. 15, when the Valpo Football team takes on Stetson in DeLand, Fla. Watch for details.

Valpo Club of Chicago – February 21, 2016

Jazz at the Polo Café

Alumni, parents, and friends gathered at the Polo Café in Chicago’s Bridgeport neighborhood for the 11th annual Jazz at the Polo Café. Chef Dave Samber ’72 provided a wonderful menu, while guests enjoyed the music of the Valparaiso University Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Jeff Brown ’81. Selections spanned many different eras of jazz. Chef Samber led the crowd in a rousing rendition of “Hail to the Brown and Gold” with his son by his side. We look forward to having you join us for the 12th annual event next year!

Valpo Club of NYC – March 29–31, 2016

March Basketball in NYC

The Crusaders’ historic post-season run was one that will long be remembered by both the players and the droves of fans who came out to support the team throughout the National Invitational Tournament. Anchored by record-setting home crowds during the tournament’s opening rounds, the Crusader faithful did not disappoint with their turnout in New York City for the final two games of the NIT. Congregating at Stout NYC, a mere block from Madison Square Garden, alumni and friends from across the country gathered with the pep band prior to each game. After singing along with the fight song and enjoying a wonderful meal, the more than 100 fans made their way down the street to watch the team come away with a thrilling victory against Brigham Young and fight valiantly in defeat against George Washington. It was an experience that our alumni will count among their most exciting Valpo memories for years to come.

Upcoming Events

For more information on upcoming regional and national alumni events, visit