Skip to content
President's Letter

A Growing and Changing Valpo

By José Padilla
Fall 2023

Dear Valpo,

As 2023 nears its end, I want to thank the Valpo community — students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents and friends — for their continued commitment to our great University. Each year brings renewed excitement, and the start of the 2023-2024 academic year has been no exception. I am continually impressed and humbled by the important work being done around the world by our community and am thrilled to be able to share some of those stories with you in this issue of Valpo Magazine. 

We continue to look forward as an institution — finding new and better ways to deliver a top-notch education and experience to our students. We, as a university and as individuals, are building upon relationships in our communities to be force multipliers because as Beacons, it is our responsibility to illuminate the dark and spread our hope and knowledge with others. We are continuously striving to improve, never stopping or slowing down in the face of doubt. And it is because of this drive and determination that our programs and students are recognized year after year for their success and academic excellence. 

Starting with this issue, Valpo Magazine will be offered in a digital format. This change is in line with our sustainability efforts and offers a number of new features including search functions, regularly updated alumni notes and announcements, and the opportunity for users to interact by contributing to questions. 

So, without further ado, please enjoy this issue of Valpo Magazine and join me in celebrating the great things happening at this small yet mighty University. 

Thank you for everything you do for Valparaiso University. 

Go Valpo!


José Padilla, J.D.

Hello from Valpo! It’s an honor to serve as president of Valparaiso University and to get to know so many of you, the people who make this community so great.

Throughout my career, the idea of service and finding a way to make a positive contribution has been a driving force. It’s that sense of being part of something bigger that makes me so excited to be at Valpo. The faculty and staff have dedicated their careers to this University and to our students and alumni — who, I don’t have to tell you, are accomplishing some pretty phenomenal things. I knew Valparaiso University had a history of academic excellence and a lot of talent on campus that will help prepare us for the needs of future students. But what has really impressed me is how this family genuinely cares about each other, not just in what we do but in who we are. This is the legacy our alumni helped build. And this is the essence of who we are as a University, something that I have no doubt will last for generations to come.

In August 2021, Valparaiso University announced our new nickname. We are Beacons!

Beacons directly connects to Valpo’s motto, “In Thy Light We See Light,” and the many ways it represents and connects our University family. We are beacons of light and hope in our communities. We are beacons of change on campus, in our region, and in our country. We are beacons of knowledge for our students’ academic, social, and spiritual growth. Above all, we are beacons of God’s light around the world. We light the way for our students, so that once they graduate, they shine their light for others. We are all Beacons at Valparaiso University.

It was important to choose a nickname that embodied the Valpo spirit, the University’s character, and our commitment to make Valpo a place that is welcoming to and representative of everyone. “Beacon” has a strong historical tie to Valpo. It has been the title of the University’s yearbook for the last 80 years, and it is also the name of its newest residence hall. Beacons is a nickname that honors our past, present, and future.

The extended Valpo family played a significant role in and supported this process throughout, from name suggestions, survey responses, and providing feedback in focus groups. Thank you to all who contributed ideas and suggestions. Our new nickname was informed by the very people who make this University special — You.

I hope to see you on campus soon and to hear what you love about this University. Together, I can already tell that we are building toward something really special, and I can’t wait to see what comes next.

Go Valpo!

José Padilla, J.D.
Valparaiso University

More from the Fall 2023 Issue