If you end up living for 80 years, your four years at Valpo will make up only 5 percent of your total life. Now, that may not sound like a lot in isolation, but I submit that these four years — these 1460 days — will end up being the most consequential and impactful of your lives.
I want to thank the faculty and staff of Valparaiso University for the work the institution continues to do. I want to thank you for what you instill in the next generation of leaders.
Valparaiso University has been part of my life for the past 44 years. I was an army dependent living at our Third Infantry Division base in Wurzburg, Germany when I graduated high school. I took the SAT test as a high school student and checked the box for schools interested in my score to send me information. Valparaiso University responded. The faculty, staff, and RAs here knew that my parents were in a foreign country, and they simply embraced me like family.
‘In Thy Light We See Light’ is not just a phrase here at Valpo. It’s a value that’s deeply instilled in each one of us to go out into the world and be beacons of light. I’m excited to come alongside the students as they’re learning so that they can not only serve their local community in giving occupational therapy services, but also serve the profession through scholarship opportunities.
Valpo is a place where they want what’s best for you. By the end of your four years, you’re going to sit back and just be amazed at the type of person that you’ve become and the growth that you’ve had, not just in the classroom, but as a servant-leader, as a friend, and as a whole and complete person.
We’ve obviously had some tough years with the drawdown of the Theatre Department, and this seemed like an opportunity to do something fun in a show that has fantasy, sword fights, and monsters. Many of our students and I were also interested in doing a show that deals with sexuality in a straightforward way. This play tackles bullying, crushes, and being in the closet in high school, and I think a lot of students of a range of backgrounds will be able to relate to that experience of outsiderness.
The experience I had at the scientific visualization lab, doing that research work, really set me off into wanting to do grad school. I came to Valpo thinking I’d get my degree and go into the workforce, but that unique opportunity of doing research as an undergraduate really helped me get into computer architecture. A professor told me … ‘don’t be a tool. You’re not there just to solve the problem and present data. You need to apply meaning and value to it.’ That really stuck with me throughout my career.