Valparaiso University graduates urged to get involved
By Amy Lavalley Post-Tribune correspondent December 9, 2012 7:58PM
Soon-to-be graduates of Valparaiso University file into the Chapel of the Resurrection on Sunday, December 9, 2012, for commencement exercises. | Michael Gard~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 10, 2012 9:48AM
VALPARAISO — Friends, family and supporters filled the Chapel of the Resurrection Sunday for Valparaiso University’s midyear commencement, which included more than 170 graduates.
University President Mark Heckler congratulated the graduates and lauded their achievements.
“We are proud of you and what you’ve accomplished at Valpo,” he said, adding students excelled in academics, athletics, theater and Greek life.
He also applauded commencement speaker Andrew Nunemaker for what he’s achieved.
Nunemaker earned his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from VU in 1991; he went on to receive a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and his master’s in business administration from Harvard University.
Nunemaker is now chief executive officer for Dynamis Software Corporation, and is active in both the Milwaukee community and with VU, where he was elected to the board of directors in 2011.
“Throughout his career, Mr. Nunemaker has risen quickly to leadership positions,” Heckler said.
Nunemaker said the graduates now possess two advantages — a college degree, which puts them ahead of the majority of their peers, and one from VU in particular, which puts them at a competitive advantage in the business world in terms of company loyalty, volunteerism, and strong morals.
There are two things Nunemaker said he’s learned since he graduated, that leaders are made, not born, and that life is about balance.
He learned about leadership from student government, his fraternity and other student organizations.
“I can’t think of a safer learning environment,” he said, adding that if a student leads a fundraiser that doesn’t work out, the student can learn from the mistakes, do a successful one the next time, and put that one on a resume.
He urged the graduates to get involved in their communities, through their churches, United Way or other nonprofits groups.
“Take the skills you learned here and use them in all aspects of your life,” he said.
He also told the graduates to start thinking about their life balance, between work, community and family, and reassess it periodically.
Nunemaker said that when he spent too much time at work, that negatively affected other areas of his life.
“Go out and use your talents and make it better for all of us,” he said.