Values, Ideas, and the Arts (VIA)

Values, Ideas, and the Arts enhances the Manchester Core program in the liberal arts through cultural exposure and intellectual enrichment. Academic credit is earned through attendance.

Values, Ideas, and Arts brings to the campus speakers, musical and dramatic performers, and gifted persons from within the University community.

Students are required to arrive on time and remain for the entire program to receive VIA credit. Please plan to arrive at least five minutes before the event begins.  Programs are scheduled to last approximately 1 hour unless indicated otherwise.

Fall 2014
Be sure to check this schedule often for new VIA events that will be added during the semester.

Tuesday, August 26
3 p.m.
Cordier Auditorium
Opening Convocation
This annual event kicks off the new academic year.  New MU President Dave McFadden spoke about "Becoming Our Best Selves."
Saturday, September 13
9 a.m.
Cordier Auditorium
Steve Alford: Lessons I Have Learned from My Basketball Career
The former MU men’s basketball coach in 1995 took the Black and Gold to a national championship game and is current UCLA head coach. For more information, click here.
Thursday, September 18
3:30 p.m.
Cordier Auditorium
Stephen K. Medvic: Politicians, Elections, and the Constitution
The author researches campaigns and elections, political parties, the media and politics, public opinion, ideology, and American political thought. He is a professor of government at Franklin & Marshall College.
Monday, September 22
7 p.m.
Cordier Auditorium

Ross Szabo: Mixed Drinks, Mixed Emotions: Alcohol Abuse and Mental Health

The average student today may be facing stress, heavy workloads, transition, pressure, and mental health problems. They might suffer in silence, binge-drinking, abusing substances, and hiding their fears until they become too large to deal with. Szabo received the 2010 Didi Hirsch Removing the Stigma Leadership Award, 2012 Changing Minds Award. He is a blogger for The Huffington Post.

Thursday, October 2
7 p.m.
Cordier Auditorium

Mercedes Schneider: When Education Reform Becomes “Erroneous Ideology Well Funded”

Mercedes Schneider is a Louisiana public school teacher and education activist who holds a Ph.D. in applied statistics and research methods. Schneider blogs regularly on local and national education issues on her education blog,

Thursday, October 9

7 p.m. Cordier Auditorium

Terry Pettit: Language, Leadership and The River Merchant's Wife:  A Letter

The Manchester alumnus is a nationally recognized volleyball coach and has written several books. 

Monday, October 13
7 p.m.
Cordier Auditorium
Jon Vroman: Career Expo speaker
Jon Vroman delivers fun, easy to implement, and inspirational presentations designed to increase student engagement by “Living College Life In The Front Row™” More information is at

Thursday, Oct. 16

7 p.m.
Cordier Auditorium

Literary Film Series: “The Lives of Others”

German drama film depicts the inside corruption of the Stasi, which was the secret police agency of the former German Democratic Republic, and how its surveillance affected those they watched. (137 minutes, plus Q&A)

Wednesday, Oct. 22
7:30 p.m.
Cordier Auditorium

“Where Should the Birds Fly” is a film by Fida Qishta, a Gazan, that explores the hardships of day-to-day life under occupation and war. Qishta examines the conflict through the lives of fishers, farmers, foreign aid and humanitarian workers, and a 10-year-old girl whose family lost 21 members in a single day. More information is at (90 minutes, includes Q&A with Qishta

Thursday, Oct. 23
7 p.m.
Jo Young Switzer Center

Carol Hart Metzker, The Faces of Human Trafficking
Metzker is author of Facing the Monster: How One Person Can Fight Child Slavery, about children rescued from slavery and the plight of hidden victims worldwide, including right here in Indiana. She will talk about human trafficking, and especially child slavery, and will guide MU students in becoming agents of change. Metzger received Rotary International’s highest honor and works with organizations that are fighting human trafficking.

Sunday, October 26
3:00 - 4:30 p.m.
Cordier Auditorium

Vive la France!, the Manchester Symphony Orchestra

This first concert of the 76th MSO season features an all-French composer lineup.  Among other pieces, the first half of the concert will feature guest artist Kelly Hornbarger, flute, performing Fantasie Brillante from Carmen. The second half features the Camille Saint-Saens Symphony No. 3 (the organ symphony). This is the first time this major work has been performed on the MU campus.  Dr. John Planer will host a pre-concert conversation beginning at 2:20 p.m. in Cordier.  

VIA credit will be awarded for attendance at the entire performance, 3 p.m. to about 4:30 p.m.  Attendance at the pre-concert conversation is not required for VIA credit.  As we are guests of the Manchester Symphony Orchestra, please attend only if you are interested in experiencing a live symphony performance. Please arrive at least 10 minutes before the scheduled time. Use of cell phones and other electronic devices is not permitted.  Please review reminders from the VIA Committee for appropriate decorum at classical performances.  

Thursday, October 30
7 p.m.
Cordier Auditorium
Cathleen Falsani: The Dude Abides: A Look at Film and Religion
Cathleen Falsani is an award-winning religion journalist and author of five non-fiction books including the critically acclaimed memoir, Sin Boldly: A Field Guide for Grace, The God Factor: Inside the Spiritual Lives of Public People, The Dude Abides: The Gospel According to the Coen Brothers, and the forthcoming Disquiet Time: Rants and Reflections on the Good Book by the Skeptical, the Faithful, and a Few Rascals (Hachette, 10/28/14)
Friday, November 7
1:30 – 2:45 p.m.
Cordier Auditorium
Presidential Inauguration
As the campus community celebrates its 125th year, we inaugurate Dave McFadden as the 15th president of Manchester University. To learn more about the inauguration, click here.

Tuesday, November 11

3:30 p.m.

Cordier Auditorium

David Haskell, Working in the Hard Places: a social entrepreneurship theory of change

CEO of Dreams InDeed, Haskell mentors indigenous social entrepreneurs. Formerly a Habitat for Humanity regional director, he has more than 20 years of entrepreneurship experience, launching six Mideast start-ups and directing four African turn-arounds.

Thursday, Dec. 4

7 p.m. Cordier Auditorium

Literary Film Series:  “Frida”

This biopic depicts the professional and private life of the surrealist Mexican painter Frida Kahlo, who pushed artistic and spiritual boundaries, albeit kept at bay by a corseted body and failing health. A terrible accident in her youth pushes her to free her imagination on canvas and use her art as a political commentary. (123 minutes, plus  Q&A)

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