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.

Fall 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.

Opening Convocation
Monday, Aug. 29
11 a.m.
Cordier Auditorium and livestream on Facebook

Dave McFadden 2018
Opening Convocation
Manchester has a long tradition of graduates who see what's messed up in the world and take action to fix it. President Dave McFadden '82 will welcome students and share real examples that illustrate how they can be part of "Unscrewing Up the World One Manchester Graduate At A Time."
Primary organizer: Julie Knuth

Monday, Sept. 5
11 a.m.
Cordier Auditorium
The Dirty Tricks Market Makers Use to take Your Money
Why do 97% of traders lose money in the stock market? This VIA will explore the tricks market makers use to take your money and the tactics successful traders employ to gain an edge. Irrespective of trading interest, attendees will learn how to construct and interpret a market profile that can be applied to any market (e.g., real estate, career demand). JJ Gorilla (aka @vwaptrader1) will share a series of entertaining stories that exemplify the ways market makers take advantage of our beliefs and hopes. He will also confess his many sins as a market maker and the psychology of supply and demand. 
Primary organizer: Justin Marc Lasser


Monday, Sept. 12
11 a.m.
Cordier Auditorium

From Classrooms to Competition
Nearly 40 percent of Manchester undergraduate students are student-athletes. What it is like to play college sports while being a full-time student? A panel of MU Spartans will shed light on this experience. 
Primary organizer: Jared Friesen

Monday, Sept. 19
11 a.m.
Cordier Auditorium
Kali Fajardo-Anstine VIALiving the Stories
Kali Fajardo-Anstine, author of story collection Sabrina & Corina places the lives of Latina women of indigenous descent living in the American West at the center of each story. Her bestselling novel, Woman of Light, a dazzling, “cinematic epic story” of betrayal, love, and fate spanning five generations of an indigenous Chicano family has named one of the most anticipated books of 2022 by The Millions, Electric Lit, Lit Hub, and Book Riot. She will share how she navigates identity formation in her works, her need to record and craft story in writing.  
Book reading and signing: 6:30-7:30 p.m. in the upper level of the Jo Young Switzer Center.
Primary organizer: Beate Gilliar

Sustainable Development Goal Series
Monday, Sept. 26
11 a.m.
Cordium Auditorium
Sakiko Fukuda-ParrUN Sustainable Development Goals and Human Rights
This is the kick-off event for the Sustainable Development Goal Series. Internationally recognized scholar Sakiko Fukuda-Parr will discuss the importance of and trends in the UN SDG program. This event will set the stage for subsequent events, which will be based on each of the 17 sustainable goals.
Primary organizer: Gabriela Ramalho Tafoya

Monday, Oct. 3
11 a.m.
Cordier Auditorium
Erika SandersHelping Incarcerated Fathers Build Relationships with their Children 
Founder and Executive Director Ericka Sanders will discuss the You Yes You! Project, a nonprofit organization designed to encourage incarcerated men to stay connected to their children while in prison.
Primary organizer: Gabriela Ramalho Tafoya

Monday, Oct. 10
11 a.m.
Cordier Auditorium
Class of 2023

What I Would Tell My First-Year Self?
Seniors reflect on their Manchester University experience and share advice to newer students based on what they did, what they wished they had done, and what they wished they had not done.
Primary organizer: Jared Friesen

Sustainable Development Goal Series
Monday, Oct. 24

11 a.m.
Cordier Auditorium
Eradicating Extreme Poverty in Latin America
"No Poverty" is the first goal of the UN Susutainable Development Agenda, and countries in Latin America have made significant strides towards its reduction in recent years. Program features Assistant Professor Gabriela Ramalho Tafoya and student researcher Janette Olvera, who worked on a research project in Summer 2022, collecting extensive data on conditional cash transfer programs across 18 countries in Latin America.
Primary organizer: Gabriela Ramalho Tafoya

Voter Education Speaker Series 2022
The Voter Registration and Education Committee – a nonpartisan group – is bringing three candidates to campus to help students learn where they stand on issues. These are not rallies, but educational sessions. All are at 7 p.m. in  the Speicher Room on the upper floor of the Jo Young Switzer Center.

  • Thursday, Oct. 27, Joe Swisher, candidate for Indiana State Senate
  • Wednesday, Nov. 2, Paul Steury, candidate for U.S. House of Representatives

 Monday, Oct. 31
11 a.m.
Cordier Auditorium
Bill-BrownAstrobiology, Theology and the Future of Faith
With images pouring in from the James Webb Space Telescope, science is experiencing a new convergence of biology and astronomy as more exoplanets are discovered, some exhibiting biosignatures that could indicate alien life. Biblical scholar William Brown explores how the discovery of life beyond our planet might impact religious belief for Jews and Christians.
Primary organizer: Beate Gilliar


Monday, Nov. 7
11 a.m.
Cordier Auditorium

McKenna-Buchanan, Tim - 2017We Feel, Therefore We Learn
Manchester faculty member Tim McKenna-Buchanan will share his journey becoming a foster and adoptive parent, and trauma-informed professor. He will discuss some of his sabbatical research which outlines how trauma influences how we learn.
Primary organizer:  Tim McKenna-Buchanan

Thursday, Nov. 10
7:30 p.m.
Cordier Auditorium 
Ted and CoWe Own This Now

This play by Ted & Co. looks at love of land, loss of land, what it means to “own” something and how the Doctrine of Discovery (the legal framework that justifies theft of land and oppression of Indigenous Peoples) is still being used and causing harm today.
Primary organizer: Bekah Houff

Sustainable Development Goal Series
Monday, Nov. 14
11 a.m.
Cordier Auditorium
Kelly_KimberlyAfter Roe v Wade: What Mississippi Means for America

Kimberly Kelly, associate professor of sociology and director of gender studies at Mississippi State University, studies the intersections of religion and reproductive politics, specifically abortion activism in the United States. She is working on a book project about abortion activism in Mississippi.
Primary organizer: Jennifer Cheek

Monday, Nov. 28
11 a.m.
Cordier Auditorium and livestream on Facebook

Why Manchester? The Church of the Brethren Tradition
Why Manchester? Manchester reflects core principles of its founding denomination, the Church of the Brethren, which emerged as a Christian response to war, political conflict and social injustice. Our speaker is Denise Kettering-Lane, associate professor of Brethren studies at Bethany Theological Seminary.  
Primary organizers: Katy Gray Brown and Bekah Houff

Sustainable Development Goal Series
Monday, Dec. 5
11 a.m.
Jo Young Switzer Center, upper level

Building a Campus Food Security and Biodiversity Action Plan
A forum led by Principles of Biology students will present a vision for improving food security and biodiversity on the North Manchester campus.
Primary organizers: Suzanne Beyeler and Kristen Short