The head of one of the nation's most well-known nonprofits will take part in commencement ceremonies later this month at Valparaiso University. Habitat For Humanity International Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Reckford will deliver the keynote address to nearly 650 undergraduates. May 6, 2015

News Release

VALPARAISO, Ind. – Valparaiso University will celebrate undergraduate May Commencement on Sunday, May 17, at 1:30 p.m., conferring degrees upon 642 undergraduate students from the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Business, the College of Engineering, the College of Nursing and Health Professions, and Christ College – The Honors College.

The keynote speaker is Jonathan T.M. Reckford, chief executive officer of Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI). Since 1976, HFHI has helped more than 5 million people construct, rehabilitate or preserve homes in more than 70 countries.

As Valparaiso University, a comprehensive Lutheran University, seeks to prepare women and men who will lead and serve throughout the world, Reckford serves as the ideal keynote speaker for the undergraduate commencement exercises.

“We are pleased to welcome Jonathan to Valparaiso University to deliver this year’s commencement address,” said Mark A. Heckler, Ph.D., president of Valparaiso University. “His commitment to leadership, service and vocation throughout his life and career provides an exemplary model to our students of the kind of character and commitment we aspire our graduates to have.”

Following his tenure as executive pastor at Christ Presbyterian Church near Minneapolis, Minn., Reckford was appointed CEO of HFHI in 2005. Since 2005, HFHI has grown from serving 25,000 families each year to serving more than 300,000 families annually in the U.S. and more than 70 countries.

Reckford holds an MBA from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business, after which he held numerous executive managerial positions at companies such as Goldman Sachs, Marriott, the Walt Disney Co. and Best Buy.

In addition to his role as CEO at HFHI, Reckford serves on the boards of InterAction, the Stanford Graduate School of Business, the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and the Duke Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship. He is the author of “Creating a Habitat for Humanity: No Hands but Yours.”

About Valparaiso University

Valparaiso University is a comprehensive independent Lutheran university with more than 4,500 students on its campus located in Northwest Indiana, an hour from Chicago. Valpo is a community of purpose-driven, service-minded and ethical individuals who embrace the pursuit of truth with freedom, humility and compassion. Valpo has been identified as one of the top master's-level institutions in the Midwest by U.S. News & World Report magazine for the past 26 years. Valparaiso University offers more than 110 undergraduate academic programs through the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business, Engineering and Nursing and Health Professions. Valpo also has a distinguished honors college, a Law School, and more than 40 degree and certificate programs in its Graduate School and Continuing Studies. Valpo has been recognized for its commitment to outstanding teaching, preparing thoughtful leaders with strong cross-cultural skills and global awareness and dedication to serving others.

Source: Valparaiso University

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