$1 million donation gives Valpo alumna writing center naming rights

The Valparaiso University Writing Center on the first floor of the Christopher Center for Library and Information Resources will be named the Judith L. Beumer Writing Center after a $1 million donation.

Valparaiso University is renaming the University Writing Center after an alumna who donated $1 million to the school.

Valparaiso University alumni Judith Rockett Beumer and Richard “Dick” Beumer gave $1 million to the Judith L. Beumer Endowed Writing Program Fund and the Beumer College of Engineering Fund at the private Lutheran university. To honor them, Valpo will rename the writing center in the library the Judith L. Beumer Writing Center after the University Guild member who graduated with a degree in English and sociology.

“The ability to present their thoughts and ideas in writing is essential for Valpo students to succeed in the classroom and, after graduating, in the workplace,” Judy Beumer said. “Dick and I are blessed to be able to establish an endowed fund in support of the Writing Center. We hope that the permanent source of funds will allow the program to help even more students strengthen their writing skills.”

The writing center offers students help with assignments, workshops and other programs to sharpen their communication ability.

“Judy and Dick Beumer’s support of Valpo aligns with the passion they hold for these two programs, and we are extremely thankful for their generosity,” Valparaiso University President Mark Heckler said. “As an English major, Judy knows the importance of literacy, language and communication in all that we do. We are honored that the Writing Center will carry her name. Dick’s service to the university extends well past the 26 years he served on the Board. The endowed funds they have established will ensure they have a positive impact on the University in perpetuity.”

Half of the donation will go toward the College of Engineering, which U.S. News & World Report ranked 13th nationally. The college offers degrees in bioengineering and civil, computer, electrical, mechanical and engineering.

“Valparaiso University and the College of Engineering prepared me for a professional career that I could not have imagined was possible,” said Dick Beumer, an emeritus member of the University Board of Directors who got a degree in electrical engineering. “I hope that our support has the same impact on future students. If so, this is a wonderful investment.”

The donations were pledged as part of Forever Valpo: The Campaign for Our Future, which has raised more than $152 million since it launched in September. The university hopes to raise $250 million for an endowment that would support scholarships, faculty development and other programs.

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Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.