Reception to honor Dr. John Nunes and wife Monique

The Valparaiso University community will have the chance to say goodbye to two valued members at the Nunes Farewell Reception.

According to a release, the Office of the Provost, the Office of Campus Ministries and the Office of Multicultural Programs will be hosting a special event for John Nunes and Monique Nunes on Monday at 4 p.m in Union Ballroom A.

The couple has served Valparaiso University for three years.

“(It’s) been too short, but has been filled with incredible growth and opportunities for experience,” John Nunes said.

John Nunes is the Emil and Elfriede Jochum Chair, and Monique Nunes is the Associate Director for the Office of Multicultural Programs and the Campus Ministry associate.

According to the release, the purpose of this farewell is to celebrate their “many contributions to Valpo,” and wish them good luck in their future careers.

John Nunes will become president of Concordia College in New York, and Monique Nunes will be the director of International Programs at Martin Luther School in New York, and First Lady to Concordia College.

John Nunes said Valparaiso President Mark Heckler originally wanted him to come to campus only if he felt there was a calling, which he says he did.

“President Heckler has been an incredible role model for me,” John Nunes said. “And watching him as president, watching him lead this institution has been like an example for me of what it means to lead with excellence and with integrity.”

It is this calling that is leading John Nunes to Concordia College.

John Nunes describes the mission of Concordia to be “irresistible.”

“They are in a very pluralistic, complex multi-ethnic world,” John Nunes said. “I’m really interested in intersections, of how faith-based, Lutheran, liberal-arts schools can engage and make an impact in the world. So it’s the same theme, the theme from my life is remaining the same; it’s just a different opportunity or a new opportunity to express that theme in a new context.”

John Nunes said while he, “regrets leaving,” he leaves “with great gratitude” and with excitement.

“Farewells are bittersweet, aren’t they?” John Nunes said. “On the one hand, they’re sad, because you’re saying goodbye. But on the other hand, they are affirming, because you hear all of these positive things they’re saying about you. And you see how much people actually care.”

“I am very excited about the move,” Monique Nunes said. “I’m very excited for both positions, for my husband’s position, and also my position.”

Mrs. Nunes said her passion is fitness and women, and that is what encouraged her to create Women of Worth and got into exercise programs such as aqua zumba and cardio dance. She plans to bring these passions to Concordia.

“I’m going to combine woman's worth with fitness,” she said. “I will gear up a program on Concordia’s campus with Women of Worth and talking about trends and topics and hot items in the women’s world, and also combining that with fitness.”

“What I will miss most about Valpo are the students,” Monique Nunes said. “I’ve gotten to know students with different walks of life. I’ve gotten to know students on a personal level.”

Mrs. Nunes also said she will especially miss learning from students.

“I like to say that I’m a sponge,” she said. “I like to soak up as much knowledge as I can, and for me, that’s been the students, teaching me, walking not for them but with them, and I will miss that.”

“There are days I walk across the campus, and whenever I’m in the classroom, I say to myself, ‘Why am I leaving?’” John Nunes said. “But then, you know, I do believe it’s a matter of faith, personally. I believe that God calls us to new ventures that which we cannot see the end of, like paths that are yet unexplored, through perils that we have no idea what we’ll be facing. But we know who’s leading, so we go forward with confidence and with faith.”

Contact Daniel Loftus at torchnews@valpo.edu.

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