A new program will be launched at Valparaiso University following a $2 million gift. The support from Mark and Kathleen Helge will boost an initiative the university says will add the third dimension of "generosity" into its ethos that includes "leadership and service." The Helges both graduated from Valpo in 1971 and have previously contributed to projects on campus, including renovations to the Chapel of the Resurrection and its 11,000 square-foot Kathleen and Mark Helge Center addition.
President Mark Heckler says "Mark and Kathy Helge’s gift and support is truly reflective of the program that they are funding. Their generosity will serve as the catalyst for a student-focused philanthropy program that will integrate leadership, service and generosity into the academic, spiritual and social experiences of our students. We are grateful for their support which will impact generations of students."
Mark Helge has been a member of the Valpo board of directors since 2006. The Lutheran minister of more than 30 years currently serves as president of the Marion I. Breen Charitable Foundation. Kathy is a retired medical technologist.
The gift is part of the Forever Valpo: The Campaign for Our Future, which was launched in 2016 and looking to raise $250 million. The university says more than $175 million has been raised so far.