September 22–24, 2023, over 1,000 alumni and friends joined the campus and local community at a party for the ages: Valpo Through the Decades. Along with traditional reunions for the Classes of 1973 and 2013, Homecoming guests enjoyed new events including trivia in the Bell & Beacon and a revamped tailgate experience at Brown Field. Alumni of the 2003 Pioneer League Football League championship team received special recognition, as did the 2003 Mid-Con champion Valpo Volleyball alumnae.
Valpo Night at the White Sox
In what has become an annual event, Valpo alumni in the Chicagoland area packed Guaranteed Rate Field on Valpo Night at the White Sox. At this year’s event — September 1, 2023 — alumnus and commissioner of the NCAA Division I Mid-American Conference, Jon Steinbrecher ’83, threw out the first pitch.
Alumni Experts and Virtual Events
As the weather turned cooler in Valparaiso, we invited alumni to join us online for Alumni Experts with Kevin Goebbert ’03 and a robust update on the University’s strategic plan, followed by a session with award-winning filmmaker Carmen Vincent ’20. During the Christmas season, Director of Athletics Charles Small Ed.D. made us all Valpo Athletics Insiders with his virtual forum, then the Gourmet Goddess taught us about Prepping and Planning our Holiday Feasts. In February, renowned sommelier T.J. Bozek ’03 put a cork in an exciting Experts season with a talk on selecting, tasting, and pairing wines.
In January 2023, local alumni and those attending the American Meteorological Association annual meeting in Denver and the Indiana Music Educators Association conference in Fort Wayne joined us for receptions and networking opportunities with current Valpo students and faculty. Throughout the year, we also took in the Chicago theater scene with the Impostors and Paramount Theatres; cheered on the Beacons in Chicago, St. Louis, and Moline, Illinois; and met for picnics and parties in the Washington D.C. area and Portland, Oregon.
In March and April, we invited alumni and members of the University community for admitted student mixers in Indianapolis, Washington D.C., downtown and suburban Chicago, and Northwest Indiana. Recently enrolled and prospective Valpo students spent time chatting with Valpo faculty, staff, and alumni about the unique opportunities and experiences that await them on campus, serving as a resource for families and welcoming them to Valpo.
In the spring and summer, we celebrated our favorite teams as we welcomed Coach Roger Powell ’16 M.S. back to Valpo with a press conference and celebration, followed by a summer Coaches Tour of Northwest Indiana with the head coaches. In May, Valpo Baseball alumni joined us for a picnic and reunion, while cross country and track alumni came to run at Sunset Hills on September 1. On September 17, alumni and friends in the D.C.-area celebrated Homecoming at Home with the return of their annual picnic, and on September 30, Brewers and Cubs fans from the Valpo community put the “friendly” in friendly rivalry as we took in a game at American Family Field in Milwaukee.
VUAA Board Activities
In April 2023, the Valparaiso University Alumni Association (VUAA) Board of Directors gathered on campus for their spring meeting, during which they selected the student, faculty, and alumni award recipients and conducted a service project with the Valparaiso University Guild board. Recipients of the 2023 Distinguished Student Awards were honored at a May 2023 luncheon. The Distinguished Teaching Award recipient, Elizabeth Gingerich, J.D., professor of business law, Morgal-Vaughan Chair in Christian Business Ethics received her award at the August 22 Opening Convocation. The Faculty Development Grant recipients and VUAA Alumni Award recipients received their awards at Homecoming 2023.
2023 VUAA Alumni Award Recipients
Biographies of the alumni award recipients are available at alumni.valpo.edu/alumniawards.
Distinguished Alumna Award
Norma Cook Everist ’60
Alumni Achievement Award
Natalie Krivas ’16 M.Ed
Lisa Scherzer ’90 Polito
Matthew Martin ’87
Outstanding Young Alumni Award
Alexander Uryga ’15
Michael Steffen ’07
Ashley Lindenmier ’08 Haynes
First Decade Achievement Award
Benjamin Macy ’13
Alumni Service Award
Frank Costanza ’73
Alumni Community Service Award
Laurie Horlock ’94 Dayon
Cheryl Lapain ’87 Plummer
Pete Land ’88
O.P. Kretzmann Award
Judith Miller ’70
Kim Genovese ’22 G.C.
Cynthia Felton ’75
Cheryl Slack ’78, ’15 DNP
2023 Distinguished Student Award Recipients
College of Arts and Sciences
Joy Antoinette Kassel
College of Business
College of Engineering
College of Nursing and Health Professions
Distinguished Teaching Award
Elizabeth Gingerich, J.D., professor of business law, Morgal-Vaughan Chair in Christian Business Ethics
Faculty Development Grants
Caroline Ban, program director and assistant professor of social work
Alison Downey, technical services librarian and assistant professor of library science
Shodhin Geiman, associate professor of philosophy
Lucas Kelley, assistant professor of history
In addition to traditional alumni and community events, the Career & Alumni Network also hosted specialized and general career and internship fairs, attracting employers from all over the country to hire talented Valpo students and alumni. Valpo alumni often served as their company’s ambassador to the fairs: 47 Valpo alumni came to recruit at the 2023 Engineering, Science, and Technology Career & Internship Fair on October 5.
Save the date for Homecoming 2024, October 4–6. We look forward to having you back on campus to enjoy special activities and create lifelong memories. Updates for the weekend and schedule will be posted at valpo.edu/homecoming. You can also register for upcoming events at alumni.valpo.edu/events, and watch replays of past virtual sessions at youtube.com/valpoalumni.
Join us in recognizing Valpo grads doing great things for their communities, and the world, by tuning into Torchbearers: The Valpo Alumni Podcast. Search any podcast platform, visit the Valpo Alumni YouTube channel, or listen at alumni.valpo.edu/podcast.