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Valparaiso Mayor Jon Costas to address students in VU winter commencement

Valparaiso Mayor Jon Costas gives his last State of the City speech in January at the 2019 Greater Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce annual meeting in the Harre Student Union on the campus of Valparaiso University.

VALPARAISO — More than 160 students are expected to be awarded degrees this month in Valparaiso University's Dec. 15 winter commencement ceremony.

Valparaiso Mayor Jon Costas, who earned his Juris Doctor degree from the university in 1989, will give the winter commencement address at 2:30 p.m. in VU's Chapel of the Resurrection.

Costas, who is retiring at the end of his current term, has served as Valparaiso's mayor since 2003, during which time he has been recognized for his efforts to grow parks and public space in the city and diversify hiring in the city.

Valparaiso City Councilman Matt Murphy will succeed the outgoing mayor.

Costas is also a small business owner of more than 40 years and is an attorney with Northwest Indiana law firm Burke, Costanza and Carberry, according to a VU news release.

"We are incredibly grateful for Mayor Costas' commitment to collaborate with the university through his years of service," Valparaiso University President Mark Heckler said in the release. "The relationship between town and gown has flourished throughout Mayor Costas' four terms as our mayor, as together we have worked to build a diverse, prosperous and sustainable community."

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In addition to his studies at Valparaiso University, Costas earned his undergraduate business degree from St. Joseph's College and has a master's degree in theology, according to the release.

The mayor served 10 years on the Indiana Commission for Higher Education and is an ex-officio member of Valparaiso's Town and Gown Committee, working to advance the shared interests of the city and Valparaiso University.

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The university is planning to confer degrees among 163 undergraduate, graduate and law programs.

Doors open at 1:30 p.m. for the Dec. 15 commencement at the Chapel of the Resurrection with the conferral of degrees to begin at 2:30 p.m. A post-commencement reception will follow at VU's Harre Union. 

No tickets are required for the December commencement program. A shuttle will offer rides to the chapel from three campus parking lots including Lot 1, south of Kretzmann Hall; Lot 15, west of Harre Union; and Lot 20, south of the Christopher Center.

More information about winter commencement is available at valpo.edu/commencement-dec.

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Education Reporter

Carley Lanich covers education in Lake County and throughout the Region. She comes to Northwest Indiana from Indianapolis and is an IU-Bloomington grad.