The last day of our tour with the Independent Colleges of Indiana (ICI) group dawned sunny and hot. Still, nothing was warmer than the welcome we received when we set foot on the growing campus of Valparaiso University, a school that currently educates around 4,500 students (graduate and undergraduate combined) and hopes to grow to a total of around 6,000 in the coming years. (The total will include the graduate students, who comprise a group of around 700 and the law students, who number approximately 525 at present.)
Indeed, as we headed out on tour (departing the new welcome center at the front of campus), it was clear that growth is everywhere at Valparaiso (affectionately known to most simply as “Valpo”) – including the academic programs, which will add new majors in the next couple of years. Currently, there are 70 total majors, but additions such as a Bachelor of Science (and Masters of Science) in public health, a new major in business analytics, and a restructuring of their existing MBA program will keep everyone on their toes.
Christian life is a big part of Valpo’s missing and campus personality, though chapel isn’t required every day and just under 35 percent of the total student population affiliates themselves with the Lutheran church, which is the founding faith of the school. In fact, very soon, Valpo will boast the second largest chapel in the world – and the first largest in all of the United States. At the same time, they will increase the size of their athletic facilities (an emphasis on education of the mind, body, and spirit) by building a new eight lane track, expanding their existing grandstand seating at the football stadium and adding the sports of golf and women’s bowling to their roster.
Valpo isn’t a secret in the Midwest and their student population proves it – 35 percent of the student body hails from Indiana, 35 percent from Illinois, and with strong representations by students from Michigan and Missouri. It’s no wonder either – Valpo boasts a placement rate to the workforce or graduate school that is just over 90 percent and they seem to have a knack for producing Fulbright Scholars (with two emerging in the 2013-2014 school year).
Sorry, horsemen and women – there’s no equestrian activities currently on the roster, though Valpo’s location would lend itself easily to students wishing to bring their own horses to the area with them or find a home barn within the Valparaiso area. (There are a host of places to choose from.) And if you have an interest in meteorology – one of Valpo’s top programs – it might be worth foregoing a riding team and training on your own for the opportunity to learn in their state-of-the-art facilities.
Would you and Valpo be a good match? Contact me today and we’ll see!