Title: Valparaiso University Names Mark Heckler, ELCA Member, Its Next President ELCA NEWS SERVICE
January 8, 2008
Valparaiso University Names Mark Heckler, ELCA Member, Its Next President 08-002-FI
CHICAGO (ELCA) -- Mark A. Heckler will become the 18th president of Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, Ind., on July 1. He will succeed Alan F. Harre, who will retire June 30 after 20 years as Valparaiso's president.
Heckler, 52, is provost and vice chancellor for academic and student affairs at University of Colorado (UC) Denver. He is a member of St. Philip Lutheran Church, a congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) in Littleton, Colo. Valparaiso is an independent Lutheran university.
"Valparaiso University has made a wonderful choice. Mark is a creative, hard-working, dedicated person of faith," said the Rev. Nathan P. Doerr, St. Philip Lutheran Church.
"In the church, Mark's main involvement has been in the area of worship," Doerr said. "Mark has for many years helped in the planning of midweek Advent and Lenten services. He has brought fresh ideas, yet a deep love and respect for the traditions of the church to this process. He is a great team player. He listens well to the ideas of others. He is respectful of others, while bringing his own gifts to the table," he said.
Mark and Veronica Heckler have been married for almost 30 years. "The Hecklers are very family oriented. They have raised four wonderful children. Mark and Veronica's love of learning is clearly reflected in their children," Doerr said.
"Mark and Veronica will be deeply missed by our community of faith, yet we realize that we are sending them out to use their gifts in service through the wider church," Doerr said. "Mark and Veronica will make Christ known in powerful ways as they share their faith, their love of people and their love of learning with the Valparaiso community."
"I can now see that my whole life -- personally, educationally and professionally -- has led me toward this opportunity with Valparaiso," Heckler said in a Valparaiso news release. "It is vitally important that future generations continue to have the opportunity for an outstanding education in a faith-based environment that fosters discovery and creativity," he said.
"I believe Valparaiso University has a greater leadership role to play, nationally and internationally, in ensuring access to excellent, faith-based undergraduate, graduate and professional education," Heckler said.
Heckler earned a bachelor's degree in communication arts, Elizabethtown College, Elizabethtown, Pa., and a master of fine arts degree in drama with an emphasis on directing, Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. He is completing work to receive a doctorate in educational leadership and innovation from UC Denver.
From 1979 to 1995 Heckler served as professor of theater, director of theater and chair of the Department of Fine Arts, Siena College, Albany, N.Y.
Heckler joined the faculty at UC Denver in 1995 as professor of theater, film and television and as director of the School of the Arts. In 1998 he was appointed founding dean of the university's College of Arts and Media. After serving as acting chancellor of UC Denver, he became provost and vice chancellor for academic and student affairs in 2003.
Heckler served two years as the U.S. administrator of an undergraduate liberal arts degree-granting program in Beijing operated jointly by China Agricultural University and UC Denver. His other initiatives in international education have included programs in Germany, Italy, Mongolia, Nepal, Russia, Scotland and Taiwan. -- -- --
The home page of Valparaiso University is at http://www.valpo.edu/ on the Web.
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