Values, Ideas and the Arts (VIA) 

Because of restrictions imposed by COVID-19, most VIA events for spring semester will be online.

Values, Ideas and the Arts presentations enhance the Manchester Core program in the liberal arts through cultural exposure, artistic experience and intellectual enrichment. VIA features speakers, musicians and dramatic performers from the University community, across the country and around the globe. Manchester students earn academic credit through attendance. Members of the University community and the public are also invited to attend all VIA events. All events are free of charge unless otherwise noted.

The goals of the VIA program are to:

  • broaden students' cultural experiences,
  • enrich students intellectually and aesthetically,
  • provide opportunities to experience the arts,
  • promote dialogue about ideas and values, and
  • embody in its programs the values expressed in the University Mission.

Students are required to take part in the program to receive VIA credit. Almost all VIAs in spring 2021 will be followed by a test for credit. Events last approximately one hour unless noted otherwise.

Spring 2021

Be sure to check this schedule often for new VIA events and fuller descriptions that will be added.

Martin Luther King Remembrance and Rededication
Thursday, Feb. 4
7 p.m.
Live on Zoom and Facebook.
Glynn HinesRightful Objectives: 50 Years of Black Student Organizing at Manchester
Fort Wayne Councilman Glynn Hines and 1973 Manchester graduate will speak to the Manchester community about his experiences as a Black student in the 1960s and '70s, and how those experiences were shaped by the establishment of AAFRO House on campus.
Primary organizer: Virginia Rendler,

Spring Convocation
Tuesday, Feb. 9
4:30 p.m.
Presented on Facebook.
President Dave McFadden
Fired up for success!
President Dave McFadden will invite Manchester University students and colleagues to share their stories about what they learned and how they found their way through the challenges of the fall and how it will help them this spring.
Primary organizer: Julie Knuth,

AAFRO House 50th Anniversary Commemoration
Thursday, Feb. 18
7 p.m.
Students to get film access beforehand. (Check emails for details.)
Malcolm X FilmPanel Discussion of Malcolm X Film

Panelists will discuss the film and contextualize it in terms of Manchester’s AAFRO House commemoration. Asynchronous and synchronous viewing of the film is in the works.
Primary organizer: Virginia Rendler
Image Source, Fair use,

Tuesday, March 9
7 p.m.
Livestream on Facebook and recording
David Luke VIAWords and Actions

David Luke has a Ph.D. in sociology and will share about how systemic racism and sociology inform his approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion work at HWCUs, including an explanation of the term HWCU. He is interim diversity officer and director at University of Michigan-Flint.
Primary organizer: Jared Friesen

AAFRO House 50th Anniversary Commemoration
Thursday, March 11
7 p.m.
Students to get film access beforehand. (Check emails for details.)
SelmaPanel Discussion of Selma Film

Panelists will discuss the film and contextualize it in terms of Manchester’s AAFRO House commemoration. Asynchronous and synchronous viewing of the film is in the works.
Primary organizer: Virginia Rendler

Tuesday, March 16
4:30 p.m.
Livestream on Facebook and recording. (Check emails for details.)
Politics and Conflict, Democracy and Reconciliation
Panelists will compare the U.S. democratic experience to others by highlighting examples from American democracy, Eastern Europe and Latin America, and the Haitian democratic experience. Leonard Williams, professor emeritus of political science will focus on the American democracy. Elton Skendaj, Muir associate professor of peace studies, will use comparisons from Eastern Europe and Latin America, and Chris Francois, MU Class of 2020, will focus on the Haitian democratic experience.
Primary organizer: Virginia Rendler


Thursday, March 25
7:30 p.m.
Livestream and recording in works. (Check emails for details.)
Feminism: Social justice, social change!
To care about social justice and strive toward social change, Natasha Bragg maintains that one must also be a feminist —beginning with an awareness of the multifaceted ways in which women tacitly experience oppression today. The MU social work lecturer is doctoral student, researcher and adjunct lecturer at Indiana University.
Primary organizer: Maegan Pollonais


Peace Week
Thursday, April 15
7:00 p.m.
Livestream and recording in works. (Check emails for details.)
Carol WiseQueering Identities
Carol Wise, executive director of Brethren Mennonite Council for LGBT Interests, will speak about the theme of Expanding Our Communities as a part of Peace Week programming .This program will allow students to better understand Manchester's Brethren heritage, and the intersections of religion and social justice.
Primary organizer: Bekah Houff


Friday & Saturday, April16 & 17
7:30 p.m.
Cordier Auditorium (Mask, social distancing required.)
No Exit
1944 existentialist French play by Jean-Paul Sartre, presented by Manchester University Theatre Society. What is life like after we die? Maybe it's torture. Maybe it's just other people. Live, masked performance. (Check emails for additional details.) As with other VIA events this semester, academic credit is achieved by passing the quiz. 
Primary organizer: Terri Roach 


Thursday, April 22

7 p.m.
Jared FriesenBetween a Rock and a Hard Place: A University and Rural Community Interacting in a Urban World
This research presentation by Assistant Professor of Sociology Jared Friesen focuses on how Manchester University and North Manchester interact in world where the prevailing culture is urbanormative.
Primary organizer: Jared Friesen


Thursday, April 29
Due to circumstances beyond our control, this presentation did not take place. It might be rescheduled for fall semester.
Health, Illness, and Social Issues: The Complexities of Health Care Delivery in America
Pete Martini, sociology and criminology faculty member, will moderate a discussion with professionals in or related to health care. These professionals will talk about the ways in which social issues complicate and/or drive the delivery of health care.
Primary organizer: Jared Friesen


Manchester Symphony Orchestra
Sunday, May 16
3 p.m.
Cordier Auditorium (Start time is 2:30 for the concert talk with Dr. Maegan Pollonais and 3 for the concert. It is also scheduled for livestreaming. Look for email with details.)
Maegan PollonaisAround the World in 80 Minutes
MSO will perform music from around the globe, including the world premiere of an arrangement by MU’s Debra Lynn of Songs of the Islands by Caribbean composer Dominique LeGendre and featuring MU's own Maegan Pollonais with Los Angeles Opera guests Jamie Chamberlin and Nathan Granner. Pollonais will do the pre-concert talk.
Primary organizer: Debra Lynn