Forever Valpo: The Campaign for Our Future

Forever Valpo: The Campaign for Our Future

The class of 2067 will change the world.

We look 50 years into the future and see students of promise solving complex problems that don’t yet exist. How can we help ensure that Valparaiso University attracts the brightest minds for the next five decades and beyond?

Forever Valpo: The Campaign for Our Future is a $250 million endowment campaign that will secure permanent support for student scholarships, faculty development, and programs that prepare students to lead and serve. Students who previously had not been able to afford Valpo will thrive in our classrooms. Good programs will become great. We will take crucial steps to build the faculty who will shape the Valpo experience for the next half-century. All of this will be possible only through the generosity of those for whom this University matters. The Campaign builds on a legacy, it embraces possibility, and with your support, it will shape the future — forever.

Each year on the first day of class, Valpo’s newest students gather in the Chapel of the Resurrection for Opening Convocation. Measured in time, it is a fraction of their
overall Valpo experience. Measured by its influence — it is a defining moment.

The students step to the front of the Chapel to sign the Honor Code, joining seven decades of Valpo students who committed to the highest principles of academic honesty and integrity. As they depart the Chapel, they are bordered by the windows along the sidewalls — proceeding toward their Valpo educa­tion, toward the world that waits for them — they move toward light.

A Valpo education is equal parts head and heart. Reflecting our Lutheran character, it is guided by God’s light, igniting possibilities that spark an inner flame. It prepares good people to do great things in a world that needs them.

This has been our legacy. To ensure it continues, we have launched Forever Valpo: The Campaign for Our Future, a $250 million endowment campaign. With your support, Forever Valpo will provide the resources for student scholar­ships, faculty development, and programs that prepare all students for lives of leadership and service.

We have been entrusted to steward this extraordinary institution, and we must continue to do so with innovative solutions, with the most talented students and dedicated faculty, with premier programs, with prayerful discernment, with great care and love, so that this University under the Cross — a place where faith and learning thrive — will remain a gift to future generations and to the world.

Mark  A. Heckler, Ph.D.,President, Valparaiso University

At the Campaign kickoff Celebration, you said the world needs more Valpo leaders. Why do you believe this is true?
Valpo is uniquely able to develop leaders who are good people doing great things in a world that needs them. Our graduates are teachers, lawyers, chemists, journalists, and pastors doing vital, life-changing work throughout the world. They are engineers who are building wells in remote villages in Central America. They are nurses who are providing health care to those in need in Thailand. They are entrepreneurs working to stimulate local economies and provide more jobs right here in the Midwest. In these challenging times, the world needs more leaders who are passionate about making a positive difference and who are well equipped to pursue Truth and engage people with different backgrounds, cultures, and religions with respect and love.

Why is this the right time for an endowment-focused campaign?
It’s a pivotal time for many colleges and universities across the country, including here at Valparaiso University. In a changing higher-education landscape, Valpo must focus on positioning itself to flourish in the decades ahead. A strong endowment is critical to Valpo’s future. Universities with the strongest endowments are best positioned to support their students, faculty, and programs because of the long-term financial stability that is achieved from funding that is permanent and self-sustaining. An endowed fund that is established today will provide a perpetual source of support for its designated purpose, and it will continue to grow over time as the funds are invested. Instead of focusing on building, as we have successfully done in the past, Valparaiso University is now well positioned to focus on the people who make Valpo so special. Forever Valpo: The Campaign for Our Future will secure permanent support for student scholarships, faculty development, and programs that prepare students to lead and serve.

What does Forever Valpo mean to you?
Forever Valpo is much more than a campaign slogan, it is about the future. It is about securing the University’s leadership position among faith-based colleges and universities and ensuring the Valpo flame continues to burn brightly for generations to come. It means we are building on the legacy of those who came before us and that the future of this great University — a place where faith and learning thrive — is secure and remains Forever Valpo.

Jay Christopher ’67

Please share briefly what Forever Valpo means to you.
Forever Valpo means securing the future for students who attend Valparaiso University. It allows the University to provide meaningful scholarships for students to attend without graduating with significant student loans. The campaign also provides a means of attracting the best-of-the-best students to attend Valpo and enhance its reputation in the world.

Why should others, particularly our younger alumni, participate financially in the Campaign?
The financial support of alumni, both young and old, is a payback for the opportunity they were given for a great educational experience on campus. The lives of friends in the Valpo community are enriched by the public and private events available to them and their families. Valparaiso University provides a wide variety of church workers, pastors, teachers, and musicians for local congregations. Valpo alumni are strong church leaders throughout the country. Our financial support will continue this tradition.

What one expected legacy of Forever Valpo leaves you most proud to be part of the leadership of the Campaign?
I believe one of the legacies this Campaign will provide is to continue Valparaiso University’s position as one of the leading Lutheran institutions of higher learning in the country and in the world. It will allow Valpo to attract, educate, and send out the best community and church leaders into the world.

Joyce Hagen ’79

Please share briefly what Forever Valpo means to you.
Forever Valpo means working together. If we work together, we will attract, retain, and develop the next generation of educators. They will live in the hearts and minds of their students for the rest of their lives. And we will have done our part in upholding a tradition of teaching that is second to none.

What drew you to serve as co-chair for the Campaign? How does your Valpo experience relate to your status as a philanthropic leader?
One of my most demanding nursing professors told me that I would unquestionably need to go on and pursue my master’s degree after graduation because she recognized unique leadership qualities in me. I was barely passing her class! I didn’t feel like a leader at all. What she saw in me I definitely did not see in myself. That day gave me the courage to go places in my career that I never could have anticipated.

Why should others, particularly our younger alumni, participate financially in the Campaign?
We were all shepherded by brilliant faculty members who truly cared about us, who invested in us and showed us these doors of opportunity. They continue to whisper in our ears all through our lives that we can do this important thing, walk through a door that will change everything — that we can live grace-filled lives and achieve far beyond what we envisioned on our very first day.

Bob Hansen ’82

Please share briefly what Forever Valpo means to you.
Each one of us entered Valpo as a student of promise with strong academic potential, shared values, and seeking something that we felt this University uniquely provided. What was it about Valpo that clicked? I don’t believe it was just one thing. It is really all that Valparaiso University has to offer that makes it so special. The knowledge and spiritual growth that each of us gained from our experiences, both inside and outside the classroom, is what developed us into who we are today.

What excites you about the Campaign? Why have you chosen to financially support the Campaign?
For my wife Kathy and me, there is no better financial investment than to support a program that exposes Valpo students to the world outside of the U.S. borders, providing them with experiences that will prepare them to excel in a global society with experiences that will develop the kind of leader — the kind of person — who does great things in a world that needs them.

What drew you to serve as co-chair for this Campaign? How does your Valpo experience relate to your status as a philanthropic leader?
Valpo took a chance on a student of promise from Midland, Mich. and in this wonderful environment that encourages personal, intellectual, and spiritual growth, helped me develop into what I am today. It did the same for my wife, Kathy, and we are so fortunate to have attended Valpo. It truly prepared us for a journey that we could not have imagined when we graduated in 1982.

Andy Nunemaker ’91

Please share briefly what Forever Valpo means to you.
To me, the Campaign is about securing the future of Valparaiso University and its role in creating leaders for tomorrow. It is my true intent that no student who belongs at Valpo is ever turned away for financial reasons as a result of Forever Valpo.

What excites you about the Campaign? Why have you chosen to financially support the Campaign?
I’m personally extremely excited about the scholarship aspect of the campaign. I was the recipient of scholarship funds during my time here as a student, and frankly I could never have afforded to attend Valpo without those scholarships. It saddens me to hear stories about potential students who know they belong here but are forced to attend another institution for financial reasons. Alumni made my own scholarships possible, and now it’s my turn to pay it forward for the next generations of Valpo students.

Can you share a brief reflection on your perspective of the Campaign kickoff event that took place during Homecoming?
It was amazing to see Valpo students and alumni of all ages come together in support of Valparaiso University. The excitement in the ARC was contagious, and I was honored to be included in such a historic event on campus.

FAQ

What is Valpo’s Endowment?

Valpo’s endowment is an important source of revenue, which permanently supports the students, faculty, and programs of the University.

While frequently described as if it was a single fund, Valpo’s endowment is actually the aggregate of many different funds. Most of the funds within our endowment have been established to support programs or areas that reflect the interests of the donor. These are restricted funds and must be used for the scholarships, programs, College, or other purpose designated by the donor.

Unrestricted endowed funds, comprising a smaller portion of Valpo’s total endowment, provide a source of income for University leadership to respond to immediate needs. The flexibility to allocate the resources generated from the unrestricted endowed fund can make a difference in whether a student attends Valpo or a faculty member continues with their research.

Forever Valpo is about the future. Endowments are about the future. Universities with the strongest endowments are best positioned to support their students, faculty, and programs.

New Endowment Funds Established

Student Scholarships

Carolyn Schlie ’71 Femovich and Robert M. Femovich have committed $600,000 to establish the Carolyn Schlie Femovich and Robert M. Femovich Endowed Scholarship Fund. The fund will generate an ongoing and permanent source of scholarships to members of varsity women’s athletic teams at Valpo.

Faculty

The Craig Selover Endowment for Engineering Faculty Salary Support has been established with a generous commitment of $250,000 from Craig Selover ’71. Craig earned his bachelor of science in mechanical engineering from Valpo and currently serves on the College of Engineering National Council.

Programs

The generosity of Judy Rockett ’60 Beumer and Dick Beumer ’59 has established endowed funds in support of two Valpo programs. The Beumers’ gift of $1 million will be equally allocated to the Judith L. Beumer Endowed Writing Program Fund and the Beumer College of Engineering Fund. In honor of their generosity, the writing center will be renamed the Judith L. Beumer Writing Center.

Unrestricted Endowment

Lesley “Les” K. Chapman ’77 has generously committed $1.1 million to support the University’s unrestricted endowment fund. Unrestricted gifts provide the University with the financial stability of an ongoing income source and the flexibility to meet pressing needs.

The reliable long-term support generated from endowed funds allows the University to engage in long-term planning with confidence that the resources will be available in the future.

Susan Scroggins, CPA, ’04 MBA, vice president for finance and administration

How is the endowment used?
The majority of the funds that make up Valpo’s endowment are restricted to specific programs, departments, or purposes as designated by donors. Spendable income from these funds only supports the fund’s designated purpose, such as scholarships or faculty development. Unrestricted endowment funds, which make up a smaller portion of the total endowment, combine the financial stability of an ongoing funding source with the flexibility to use the funds to meet pressing needs.

What does it take to establish an endowment?
$50,000 is the minimum funding level to establish an endowed fund. A gift agreement that complies with the donor’s intent and University policies is developed and signed by both parties. The agreement includes the name and purpose of the fund, amount of the gift, and Valpo’s procedures for managing endowment funds.

How long before the endowment gift provides funding for the specified program?
The funds must be invested in the pooled endowment for a minimum of 12 months before they generate spendable income. The rate of spending on endowed funds determines the amount of spendable income available to the designated area.

How is the rate of spending determined?
The rate of spending on endowed funds is approved annually by the University’s Board of Directors at the time the annual budget is adopted. The amount available is based on a weighted average of prior spending, adjusted for inflation, and current market value of the endowment.

Who manages the endowment?
The Capital Planning and Investment Committee of the Board of Directors, with the support of the Valpo’s senior financial management team and the University’s independent investment advisors, manage the endowment.

How big is Valpo’s endowment?
Valpo’s endowment is quite small when compared to those of our aspirants, peers, and competitors; it does not give us the financial foundation we need to advance our vision.

Forever Valpo’s goal for the endowment is aspirational and achievable. Upon completion of the Campaign, Valpo’s endowment will be well-positioned to permanently support students, faculty, and programs through a combination of new gifts and commitments, smart fiscal management, and growth. Your gift makes a difference. Thank you!

Growth of an Endowed Fund

2017 – $100,000
Endowment fund established

2032 – $156,400
Fund balance after 15 years
+$90,200
15 years of cumulative support to Valpo

2041 – $204,100
Fund balance after 25 years
+$178,600
25 years of cumulative support of Valpo

2067 – $397,300
Fund balance after 50 years
+$536,400
50 years of cumulative support of Valpo

Assuming a 5% annual spending rate and a 7.7% rate of return (based on average return of Valpo endowment 2002–2015.)