Values, Ideas and the Arts (VIA) 2015

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.

Click here for the Senior Series Proposal Form.

Spring 2015
Be sure to check this schedule often for new VIA events that will be added during the semester.

Tuesday, February 3
3:30 p.m.
Cordier Auditorium

Heather's Voice: Domestic Violence Awareness
Debbie Norris spoke about signs and possible outcomes of abusive relationships. Her daughter, Heather, was killed in 2007 by her estranged boyfriend. Debbie Norris worked with state officials to pass a law encouraging schools to educate students about domestic violence and dating violence. Presentation sponsored by the MU women's basketball and football teams. Proposed by student-athlete Abigail Lang.

2015 MLK Lecture

Wednesday, February 4
7:30 p.m.
Cordier Auditorium

Brenda J. Allen, Ph.D., Difference Matters

The annual Martin Luther King Jr. Remembrance & Rededication Ceremony highlights Manchester’s tie to the great civil rights leader. Brenda J. Allen, chief diversity officer at the University of Colorado Denver and a professor of Communication at the university, shared insights from her groundbreaking book, Difference Matters: Communicating Social Identity. She also offered strategies for how to communicate humanely to achieve MLK's dream. Underwritten by the Mary E. and Opal Stech Fund.

Tuesday, February 10
3:30 p.m.
Cordier Auditorium

Giving and Receiving: Let Your Life Speak

President Dave McFadden expanded on the theme of being your best self during the traditional opening convocation for spring session.

Rescheduled for Wednesday, February 18
7:30 p.m.
Jo Young Switzer Center, upper level

Ten Building Blocks for Making a Difference in the World and in Your Neighborhood

John Prendergast is founding director of the Enough Project, an initiative to end genocide and other crimes against humanity. His address included easily applied and effective means of promoting human rights nationally and internationally. With underwriting from the Ira W. and Mable Winger Moomaw Lectureship/Seminar Fund.

Thursday, February 19
3:30 p.m.
Cordier Auditorium

History Matters, Children's Art Education Inside the Japanese American Internment Camps of World War II

Dr. Gina L. Mumma Wenger, a 1990 Manchester graduate, is a professor of Art and Art Education at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Her current research focuses on the 120,000 Japanese Americans incarcerated during WWII. She spoke on the history of the camps and children's artwork created in War Relocation Authority schools.

Discussion Day Wednesday, Feb. 25, 10 a.m. Cordier Auditorium

Living and Dying on Planet Earth: Global Health/Public Health

The keynote speaker was Paul Halverson, founding dean of the IU Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health in Indianapolis.  For more information about Discussion Day, click here.

Discussion Day Wednesday, Feb. 25, 7 p.m.
Locations: Click here

Discussion of  approximately 20 minutes will follow each film.

Global Health/Public Health Film Festival
“The Waiting Room” follows several people who pass through a California emergency room. “The Anonymous People” focuses on 23.5 million Americans living in long-term recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs. “Soul Food Junkies” takes a close look at the culinary tradition, its relevance to black cultural identity and the health consequences. “Pink Ribbons, Inc.” shows how some companies use pink ribbon-related marketing to increase sales while contributing only a small fraction of proceeds to the cause, or use "pinkwashing" to improve their public image while manufacturing products that may be carcinogenic. “Wartorn” follows the chronic effects of battle agony and post-traumatic anxiety on military personnel and people close to them throughout American history.
Thursday, March 5
3:30 p.m.
Cordier Auditorium

Poet Laureate of Indiana
George Kalamaras presented his mission as poet, writer and environmental scientist, with particular emphasis on his Wabash Watershed Venture and the power of poetic thinking.

Sunday, March 8

3 p.m. Cordier Auditorium

Unwritten, Unfinished, and Undergrads, Oh My!
This Manchester Symphony Orchestra concert had special features. First, Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony had not been performed on campus for about two decades. Second, the concert showcased the artistic talents of current MU students. The student performers were selected by outside adjudicators during the MSO concerto competition. Third, MU alumnus Kelly Iler, soprano, performed a major work by Hector Berlioz .
Tuesday, March 10
3:30 p.m.
Cordier Auditorium
The Artistry and History of Ballroom Dance
Professional instructors and competitive dancers Christopher Spalding, Kelly Bartlett, Tony Didier and Danel Nickels-Didier (MU '98) performed show dances in styles such as waltz, foxtrot, tango, rumba, cha cha, bolero and swing. Accompanying each dance the performers discussed the historical development and cultural and social significance of the particular dance style. This program is the initiative of a new MU student organization, the Ballroom and Latin Dance Club, and coordinated by Jim Brumbaugh-Smith, its faculty advisor.

Literary Film Series

Thursday, March 12
7 p.m.
Cordier Auditorium

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

Bruno, 8 years old, experiences World War II as son of the commandant at a concentration camp. His forbidden friendship with a Jewish boy on the other side of the camp fence has startling and unexpected consequences. This film, based on a book by John Boyne, offers an authentic depiction of what a family of a Nazi leader could have experienced. The point of view moves as it leads the audience through the brutal naiveté infiltrating a system hidden in the name of "duty's" executioners.

Tuesday, March 24
3:30 p.m.
Cordier Auditorium

Teaching Evolutionary Theory in the Public Schools

A seasoned teacher who has taught science and evolution in public schools, Dr. Paul K. Strode will discuss his experiences, the writing of his book with Matt Young, Why Evolution Works (and Creationism Fails), and the passionate-dispassionate dichotomy of science and what science can and cannot do for humanity. A product of Manchester Community Schools and in 1991 from what was then Manchester College, Strode will share why it’s not OK to tiptoe through the subject and ignore the phenomena of pseudoscience and science denial.

Tuesday, March 31


3:30 - 4:40 p.m. Cordier Auditorium

Girl Rising
Due to unforeseen circumstances, Shabana Basij-Rasikh will be unable to give the originally scheduled presentation The Hope of a Girl: School of Leadership, Afghanistan.”  In its place (still for VIA credit) excerpts will be shown from the 2013 documentary Girl Rising.  From the film’s website (, Girl Rising "journeys around the globe to witness the strength of the human spirit and the power of education to change the world. Viewers get to know nine unforgettable girls living in the developing world: ordinary girls who confront tremendous challenges and overcome nearly impossible odds to pursue their dreams.” Several local speakers will also discuss issues faced by girls in developing countries who wish to pursue education.

Tuesday, April 7
7 p.m.
Jo Young Switzer Center, upper level

Utopia and Critique: A Marxian Perspective

David Ruccio, professor of economics at the University of Notre Dame and a renowned Marxist scholar, will discuss Marxist theory, utopian theory, and debates about the causes and consequences of the financial crisis and recession of 2007-2009.

Literary Film SeriesThursday, April 9
7 p.m. (107 minutes, plus Q&A)
Jo Young Switzer Center, upper level

Die Welle

A German high school teacher's experiment to demonstrate to his students what life is like under a dictatorship spins out of control, with tragic consequences. Based on a novel by Todd Strasser that is a fictionalized account of an actual classroom experiment in California. 107 minutes, plus Q&A Trailer

Monday, April 13
7 p.m.
Jo Young Switzer Center, upper level

Mars, Venus, or Planet Earth? Women & Men on Campus in a New Millennium

We're often told that men and women are so different we might as well come from different planets. In this engaging lecture, Dr. Michael Kimmel strips away those myths and suggests that women and men aren't so different after all. Surveying the landscape of current controversies about gender, he shows how men and women are transforming our campus and our culture — and why gender equality is actually a good thing for men! A nationally acclaimed scholar and teacher, Kimmel is also distinguished professor of Sociology and Gender Studies at Stony Brook University, where he directs the Center for the Study of Men and Masculinities. Book sale-signing and reception to follow. Sponsored by Gender Studies, the Office of Multicultural Affairs, the Department of History and Political Science, and the Department of Sociology.

Tuesday, April 14

3:30 p.m. Jo Young Switzer Center, upper level

Appeals on Wheels

TV and the movies make trial courts seem familiar. Appellate courts are something different, and Appeals on Wheels gives us a great opportunity to witness this less well-known part of the judicial process. Traveling oral arguments before the Indiana Court of Appeals are just like oral arguments in the Court's Statehouse courtroom. A bailiff calls the court into session, the judges enter, and lawyers for the parties present their arguments to the judges and answer the judges' questions. The program lets the Manchester community see how attorneys and judges argue about the law in an actual case. Not only do we see the practice of oral argument, but thejudges will answer questions and help explain the judicial process. Underwritten by the The Harvey L. and Alice A. Long Memorial Lectureship and Scholarship Fund. Court decorum will be observed: No phones, cameras, talking, eating or drinking will be allowed. For more information:

Monday, April 20
7 p.m.
Jo Young Switzer Center, upper level

Dr. Arthur Benjamin is a nationally known “mathemagician” and “mental math” expert. He engages the audience through humor and showmanship and also by challenging audience members to race him to answers using calculators. After performing amazing arithmetical feats (e.g., squaring 5-digit numbers in his head) he explains the algebra and mnemonic tricks that enable him to do so. More than 7.1 million people have viewed his TED talk. Benjamin is professor of mathematics at Harvey Mudd College, Claremont, Calif., and author of "Secrets of Mental Math: The Mathemagician's Guide to Lightning Calculation and Amazing Math Tricks." A book signing will follow.

Peace Week: A Solid Foundation for Change

Thursday, April 23 

7 p.m.

Cordier Auditorium

Moving Toward Conflict: Connecting Struggles for Self-Determination Around the World

Sarah Thompson is executive director of Christian Peacemaker Teams, a multifaith international organization committed to building partnerships to transform violence and oppression. As a community organizer, Thompson crosses lines of difference to build positive social change. She has traveled across several continents doing activist work for anti-war and feminist movements. CPT coordinates violence-reduction projects around the world. MU program sponsored by the Peace Studies Institute.

Tuesday, April 28

7 p.m.

Jo Young Switzer Center, upper level

Small School, Big World

Students can use the stress they feel today to advance to a good career tomorrow. Speakers will be Manchester alumni Jan Bledsoe '83 Viehweg, Sam McFadden ’08 and David Moan '09. Bledsoe Viehweg will discuss how, at MU, she learned to deal with stress and overcome struggles. Moan will talk about how to transform challenges and turn difficult decisions into opportunities. McFadden will speak about how to capitalize on opportunities at MU to lay a foundation for success. The student-initiated program is tied together with the hashtag #StressToSuccess. Followed by networking reception. Sponsored by the advanced public relations class.

Manchester University Innovator of the Year

Tuesday, May 5

3:30 p.m. Cordier Auditorium

Shaka Senghor: Writing My Wrongs

Orange Is the New Black is fiction. Shaka Senghor is very real. He was incarcerated for 19 years, much of that in solitary confinement. Senghor is coming to Manchester to tell you how he found some good in himself while in prison and how he is helping give to others as he moves beyond bad decisions – which included taking a life.  His TED Talk was voted one of the 10 best of 2014, and he is a published novelist and writer.  Currently Senghor coordinates The Atonement Project at the University of Michigan and is a Fellow at the MIT Media Lab. He will accept the Manchester University Innovator of the Year Award during his speech. Come hear his amazing story of atonement and creativity.

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