The campus buzzes with great energy and enthusiasm as students, faculty, and staff begin another spring semester at Valpo.
As days lengthen and light shines more each day, we both enjoy the company of friends gathered around fireplaces and welcome the promise of the season ahead. Soon the trees will bloom with that extraordinary shade of spring green punctuated with pink and white blossoms. The daffodils will dot the campus with bursts of yellow, lining the beds surrounding the Harre Union and the Christopher Center. And the weeks ahead bring the hum of students exploring what it means to marry passion and purpose — participating in traditions like Songfest, Spring Break service trips, Chorale and band tours, storm chasing, frisbee on the lawn, and athletics contests.
It’s certainly a time when the Valpo torch spreads light throughout the world as our students, faculty, and alumni pursue truth, serve generously, and cultivate hope. Yet, we know from experience that this light — this Valpo spirit — shines across the decades and in every season.
In this issue of VALPO, you’ll see evidence of the Valpo flame burning brightly in places near and far. In the pages that follow, read how that flame continues to kindle in Europe as the University celebrates a 50-year relationship with Germany through study, music, and church relations. I was humbled to join students and alumni on Valpo’s Reformation trip to Germany and will never forget the Chorale’s special performance at Castle Church in Wittenberg on the 500th anniversary commemoration.
As we reflect upon our accomplishments as a University, we count among them the extraordinary success of our alumni — good people doing great things for the sake of the world. Valpo alumni lead and serve around the world, pushing boundaries, making a difference, and carrying the Valpo spirit with them wherever their path may lead. Share in the Valpo love story of an alumni couple whose high regard for Valpo has inspired them to invest in the future of their alma mater. Learn about an alumna and high school English teacher of nearly 40 years who has established an endowed scholarship for undergraduate students pursuing a teaching career in secondary education. Read about an alumna called to serve God and bring light to those in darkness.
Our vision for Valparaiso University is to be known worldwide for the knowledge, character, integrity, and wisdom of our graduates. The success of our graduates, measured by these counter-cultural benchmarks, inspires us each day on campus today and, we pray, for the generations who will follow us. Our efforts at this unique and challenging time in American history must ensure that the Valpo experience endures not just for today, but for those thousands of students yet to be born who will carry the Valpo flame in their hearts and spread it around the world.
As you explore this issue of VALPO, I hope it takes you on a journey back to those spring times in the “vale of paradise” — when your days were filled with Spring Weekends, trips to the Dunes, study sessions under Merlin, and Easter celebrations in the Chapel. And may you take time to reflect on how you also extend the Valpo flame today, as you volunteer in your community, hold a leadership position at your place of worship, and live out your vocation in that place where passion meets purpose. While Valparaiso University continues to embark on innovative pursuits, our commitment to preparing students who embody the Valpo ethos will always remain, just as it did when you walked this campus.
Enjoy this issue of VALPO Magazine, and I invite you to look for more regular content and updates online at valpo.edu/valpomag. Thank you for being part of this great University, and may God give you a renewed sense of calling this spring.
Mark A. Heckler, Ph.D.