Values, Ideas and the Arts (VIA) 

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.

Events last approximately one hour unless noted otherwise.

For more information about VIA credits, see Aug. 29 email from VIA Committee Chair Jared Friesen.

Spring 2022

The Values, Ideas and the Arts Committee invites you to take part in presentations this spring. A few VIAs might be added after we begin the semester, so please check back for updates.

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Remembrance & Rededication Ceremony
Tuesday, Feb. 1
7 p.m.
Cordier Auditorium (masks required)
Watch the video.

Why America Might Go to Hell: Martin Luther King Jr. and Social Justice
Lake_Tim_2021Timothy Lake of Wabash College explores King’s idea of America’s triple-evils: militarism, racism, and poverty -- elements involved in King’s planning of his most ambitious mass protest movement - the Poor People’s Campaign. "Why America Might Go to Hell" was the title of would have been King's next sermon, but he was assassinated before it was completed. King spoke at Manchester on Feb. 1, 1968, his last speech on a college campus before his death. We gather at this time each year to reflect on his life and the ways we can honor his legacy in our own lives.
Primary organizer: Virginia Rendler

Monday, Feb. 7
11 a.m.
Cordier Auditorium (masks required). Watch the video.
Mindfulness and Impacts on Mental Well-Being
Jon Walker VIA
Retired physician Jon Walker of Modestly Mindful is our speaker. Mindfulness works. It may not be right for you now, but the practice of mindfulness has the potential to change how you live your life. He will offer hands-on breathing and meditation activities.
Primary organizer: Nancy Schroeder


Monday, Feb. 14
11 a.m.
Cordier Auditorium (masks required) and Zoom.

How Did the Taliban get the Holy Grail?
Traxler, Janina VIAProfessor Emerita of French Janina Traxler will examine the legend of the Holy Grail as it is treated in popular culture, where it has become an element of conspiracy theories, whodunits, and uplifting stories. A 1973 Manchester graduate, she retired in 2018 after 39 years on the faculty.
Organizer: Virginia Rendler

Monday, Feb. 21
11 a.m.
Cordier Auditorium (masks required).
Watch the video.
"I Never Give Up": Reflections on Volunteering at a Juvenile Prison
Erickson-Pesetski, Stacy viaManchester faculty member Stacy Erickson-Pesetski will share reflections on her four summers leading a Shakespeare class at Logansport Juvenile Correctional Facility, including direct quotes and drawings from the youth themselves. A professor of English and associate dean of academic affairs, she joined Manchester in 2007.
Primary organizer: Stacy Erickson-Pesetski 

Spring Convocation
Monday, Feb. 28
11 a.m.
Cordium Auditorium (masks required)
Watch the video.
Meant For So Much More
Dave McFadden 2018Each of our journeys to and through college take different paths. President Dave McFadden was joined by students Alexa Uribe, Ian Parslow, Adrian Allen, Shelbi Corlett and Chris Welton. Dr. Alicia Dailey, assistant professor of social work; Katie Edwards, instructor of nursing; and Ryon Kaopuiki, vice president of enrollment and marketing also spoke. 
Primary organizer: Julie Knuth

Monday, March 7
11 a.m.
Cordier Auditorium (masks required). Watch the video. 
Looking at Yesterday, Working Toward Tomorrow: Race at MU 
Race at MU posterManchester alumni and current students share about their lives. Panelists: Myron Chenault, Chris François, Farida Adam, Laura Mejia, Ani King and Estefania Mesta. Co-sponsored by Manchester University Archives, Office of Multicultural Affairs, and the President's Diversity and Inclusion Council. 
Primary organizer: Jeanine Wine
There will be a related community forum at 7 p.m. March 7 in the upper level of the Jo Young Switzer Center. It is not a VIA and will not be livestreamed.


Monday, March 14
11 a.m.
Cordier Auditorium (masks required) Watch the video.

PeaceTech: Engineering to Change the World
Zia HaqueZia Haque will present on how we can think about peace and train young peacebuilders/peace engineers in a digital age. He will discuss ways in which “PeaceTech” can leverage our collective intelligence and unleash the potential of peacebuilding. He is director of The Baker Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies and Assistant Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies at Juniata College.
Primary organizer: Virginia Rendler

 Monday, March 28
7 p.m.
COVID 19: Personal Stories from Working on the Front Lines
COVID 19 VIA 2022What has this pandemic been like for those closest to it?  Hear from pharmacists in a variety of settings who have directly treated and cared for those with COVID-19. 
Primary organizer: Thomas Smith


Monday, April 4
11 a.m. 
Watch the recording.

Manchester and the United Nations: The Legacy of Andrew Cordier
United Nations poster (2)Manchester seniors Christopher CarrollOmar Gadzhiev and Bradley Miley will discuss the United Nations and Manchester’s historical relationship with the institution. The presentation will conclude with a discussion of Model UN Club activities on and off campus.
Primary organizer: Gabriela Tafoya

Monday, April 11
11 a.m.
Cordier Auditorium and Zoom

CommuniKate: Artalive
Kate BillingslyKate Billingsley offers a portrait of a young American moving to Spain. Through improvisation and cultural anecdotes, it captures the universal and idiosyncratic elements in art and travel, and the creative process of coming into one's own.
Primary organizer: Virginia Rendler

Monday, April 18
11 a.m.
Cordier Auditorium 
Alicia Smith viaEnvironmental Justice & Community Democracy -- BIPOC & Beyond 

Join Alicia Smith, community liaison with Junction Coalition in Toledo, Ohio, in an exploration of project-based learning to examine community participatory action and education for justice and fairness for people in the face of climate injustice.
Primary organizer: Virginia Rendler

Monday, April 25
11 a.m.
Cordier Auditorium
Mary Miller VIADream Big 

Mary Miller, CEO and owner of JANCOA Janitorial Services, will talk about how treating people well at work has transformed her life. She has lived through the process of building sustainable systems for inspiring individuals to overcome obstacles and pursue their dreams.
Primary organizer: Beth Driscoll

Monday, May 2
11 a.m.
Cordier Auditorium and livestream on Facebook
Trailblazers: Honoring Manchester's First Black Students

Lincoln Society 1903 Joe Cunningham front centerJoin us as we celebrate story of siblings Maddie and Joseph Cunningham, two young trailblazers who overcame many challenges to become Manchester's first Black students. We are naming the Academic Center in their honor immediately after this presentation.
Primary organizers: Jeanine Wine and Megan Sarber.

Senior Series
Monday, May 9
11 a.m.
Cordier Auditorium 

Senior Honors Theses
senior series posterStudents and topics:

  • Kendall Brown -- Immigration in Wabash County: A Case Study
  • Madison Brown -- Toward the Synthesis of Potential Antiviral Carbocyclic Nucleosides
  • Mallory Sands -- Investigating the Local and Systemic Wounding Response in Soybeans
  • Samuel Springer -- Social Media and Me: An Analysis of the Relationship between Social Media Usage, Self-Esteem, and Identity among Sexual and Ethnic Minority Members

    Primary organizer: Beate Gilliar

Sunday, May 15
3 p.m.
Cordier Auditorium

Derek-Reeves viaSpaces by Debra Lynn
Violist Derek Reeves performs the world premiere of "Spaces," composed by Professor Debra Lynn, director of choral organizations and vocal studies at Manchester. A guest artist of the Manchester Symphony Orchestra, Reeves is in demand nationwide as a viola soloist and string clinician. Conductor of the orchestra, Lynn composed this world premier specifically for MSO musicians and this particular soloist.
Primary organizer: Debra Lynn