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Valparaiso University has received a $15 million gift, calling it the single largest gift for student scholarships in the school’s 161-year history. The university says the deferred gift commitment, from an anonymous couple, will be used to establish an endowed fund.

President Mark Heckler says the impact of the gift will create an “immeasurable” impact on future generations of students.

“Unselfishly, they will provide countless students, students whom they will never meet, with a chance to achieve their dreams through an extraordinary Valpo experience,” said Heckler.

Heckler says the donors wish to remain anonymous, but he does call them “longtime friends of Valpo” who are dedicated to the mission of the school.

A dedicated advisor from the Valpo staff will provide guidance to the students selected for this scholarship as they advance through their education.

The university, located in the city of Valparaiso, says the deferred gift supports Forever Valpo: The Campaign for Our Future, a $250 million endowment campaign that is securing permanent resources for student scholarships, faculty development and programs.

“These donors embody the true spirit of philanthropy in that they are motivated solely by their desire to give back and providing opportunities that will change students’ lives.

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Javon Freeman-Liberty had 17 points and seven rebounds and Markus Golder posted 18 points as Valparaiso rolled past Indiana State 77-55 in the Missouri Valley Conference Tourney first round on Thursday night.

Bakari Evelyn had 13 points for Valparaiso (15-17).

Indiana State scored 26 second-half points, a season low for the team.

Tyreke Key had 20 points for the Sycamores (15-16). Jordan Barnes added 10 points. Christian Williams had eight rebounds.

VALPARAISO, Ind. (AP) — Valparaiso University officials say the northwestern Indiana college will shutter its financially struggling law school after nearly 140 years.

School officials say students, faculty and staff were informed Monday of Friday’s decision by the school’s board of directors to teach out the law school’s remaining students and cease operations.

School President Mark Heckler tells The (Northwest Indiana) Times that closing the law school “was the only viable option.” He says school officials will meet with each of the remaining law students to review their options.

The announcement of the planned closure comes weeks after Tennessee regulators rejected a plan to move the law school to Middle Tennessee State University’s Murfreesboro campus.

The law school was founded in 1879 on Valparaiso University’s campus in Valparaiso, about 15 miles southeast of Gary.

VALPARAISO, Ind. (AP) – Bakari Evelyn scored 20 points and Valparaiso snapped a five-game slide, beating Indiana State 69-63 on Wednesday night.

The Crusaders (12-12, 3-8 Missouri Valley Conference) trailed 54-52 late in the second half when Markus Golder hit a 3-pointer and Max Joseph a dunk to give them the lead for good, 57-54, with 3:56 to go. Indiana State cut it to 65-63 with 30 seconds remaining, but a Tevonn Walker dunk with six seconds left helped seal the win.

Walker added 14 points, three rebounds and four steals for the Crusaders, who had a total of 13 steals contributing to 22 Indiana State turnovers. Golder finished with nine points and five boards.

Valparaiso led by nine with 1:48 to go in the first half and held on for a 34-30 edge at the break.

Jordan Barnes scored 23 points for the Sycamores (10-13, 5-6), who have lost the last three.

VALPARAISO, Ind. (AP) – A private university’s law school in northeast Indiana is suspending admissions because of financial challenges it’s been facing for several years.

Valparaiso University President Mark Heckler said he’s working to quickly resolve the situation. He said maintaining the law school’s American Bar Association accreditation is critical and that he hopes the faculty will remain at the school.

“There’s been no decision to close the law school,” Heckler said.

Heckler said the university plans to work with the bar association to ensure the law school keeps its accreditation. He said the university intends to keep its promise to law students that they would graduate from an accredited school and have full access to placement services afterward.

University officials said they’re suspending admissions due to a lack of student enrollment also affecting other law schools nationwide, and financial challenges as a result of lessening demand for graduates in the job market.

Frederick Kraegel, board chairman, said while the law program is struggling financially, the university itself continues to be financially stable.

“We are focused on ensuring fair and reasonable treatment of those impacted by this decision through an orderly and carefully considered process,” Kraegel said. “These financial circumstances do not diminish the law school’s proud legacy of more than 130 years and the thousands of successful law graduates who lead and serve around the world.”

The university’s law school was founded 1879.

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (AP) – The Horizon League has filed a $500,000 lawsuit against Valparaiso and the Missouri Valley Conference claiming that the school breached a one-year notification agreement before leaving the league for the MVC.

Valparaiso, a member of the Horizon League since 2006, announced it was leaving for the MVC in May.

In the lawsuit, the Horizon League notes it was Valparaiso President Mark A. Heckler that proposed that schools leaving the league without giving a year’s notice be forced to pay $500,000. The provision was approved in August 2013, according to the lawsuit.

Valparaiso announced its intention to withdraw from the Horizon League in May 2017. The exit was effective July 1, 2017, and the lawsuit notes the school has not paid the $500,000 fee.

VALPARAISO, Ind. (AP) – The Missouri Valley Conference has invited Valparaiso to join the league and replace departing Wichita State.

The league said Tuesday that its nine members had voted unanimously to invite the Crusaders, who currently play in the Horizon League, effective on July 1. The Valley said it would have no further comment pending negotiation of terms. Valparaiso spokeswoman Nicole Niemi said the school would not comment.

The Valley, once among the nation’s top mid-major programs, has been stung in recent years by the loss of two top men’s basketball programs. Creighton bolted for the Big East and the Shockers, who’ve been upset about the NCAA Tournament seeds of late, are leaving for the American Athletic in time for next season.

The Crusaders’ football program is not expected to join the Missouri Valley Football Conference, which has sent at least one team to the FCS championship game in each of the past six years. Instead, it will continue to play in the non-scholarship Pioneer Football League.

The Crusaders spent their first four seasons in Division I as an independent before joining the Mid-Continent Conference in 1982. They stayed in the renamed Summit League through 2006-07, then jumped to the Horizon.

The men’s basketball program is well known for Bryce Drew’s buzzer-beating shot to upset Mississippi, putting the team in the Sweet 16 of the 1998 NCAA Tournament.

It was the third straight NCAA appearance for a school that received seven tourney bids during a nine-year stretch. The Crusaders returned to the tournament in 2013 and 2015 as the Horizon tourney champs – with Drew as coach – but have not won an NCAA Tourney game since 1998.

From the moment Homer Drew, Bryce’s father, was named the head coach before the 1988-89 season, one of the Drews was in charge of the program every years through 2015-16. After the eldest Drew announced his first retirement following the 2001-02 season, his oldest son succeeded him. Scott Drew stuck around for one season before taking over at Baylor.

Homer Drew then returned to the sideline in 2003-04 and coached until he was succeeded by his other son in 2011-12. Bryce Drew led the Crusaders to NCAA appearances in 2013 and 2015 before taking the Vanderbilt job in 2016. His replacement, Matt Lottich, was promoted from assistant coach.

While basketball is the highest profile program in the athletic department, it’s certainly not the only successful team.

The men’s tennis team won the 2016 Horizon League title and the baseball team reached the NCAA’s baseball tourney in 2012 and 2013. Valparaiso also has appeared in NCAA tournaments in women’s basketball, men’s and women’s soccer, women’s volleyball and over the past 21 years.

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NEW YORK (AP) – George Washington won its first National Invitation Tournament championship, getting 18 points from Kevin Larsen and pulling away in the second half to beat Valparaiso 76-60 on Thursday night at Madison Square Garden.

Patricio Garino had 14 points and the fourth-seeded Colonials (28-10) set a school record for wins in a season with a dominant performance over the final 20 minutes. They won their fourth straight game against a higher-seeded team and sent three senior starters out with a tournament trophy, softening the sting of being rebuffed by the NCAA selection committee.

“It makes it feel a whole lot better,” Larsen said. “Like we said, we’d rather win the NIT than get bounced one-and-done in the NCAA Tournament. That’s been the mindset.”

Tyler Cavanaugh, the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player, scored 12. He averaged 19.4 points and nine rebounds for the tourney.

Joe McDonald added 13 points, eight rebounds and four assists for George Washington, which extended a one-point halftime lead to 19 late in the game. The Colonials went 22 for 26 at the foul line, compared to 6 of 6 for Valpo.

“We’re not there yet. I want to get to NCAAs and make a run, but this is a great stepping stone,” Colonials coach Mike Lonergan said, with one of the two nets his team cut down draped around his neck. “In the long run, this is worth a lot to us.”

George Washington, which starts players from Argentina, Denmark and Japan, used its 1-3-1 zone to hold Valparaiso star Alec Peters to two points in the second half. Peters finished with 15 and was the only double-figure scorer for the top-seeded Crusaders (30-7), who went 8 for 28 from 3-point range.

“We made them look bad, so I give our guys credit, but that’s a heck of a team,” Lonergan said.

It was the first title in a national postseason tournament for the Colonials, who enjoyed much of the fan support among the crowd of 7,016. The school is located four blocks from the White House in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood of Washington, D.C., and New York City is about a 225-mile trip up I-95. Some trains take less than three hours.

Both senior point guards played through injuries, hoping to grit it out and win a championship in their final college game.

McDonald was able to start after twisting his ankle during Tuesday night’s semifinal rout of San Diego State.

Crusaders sparkplug Keith Carter sprained his right foot with about 6 minutes to go in the first half, hitting the floor after jostling with Cavanaugh underneath. Carter initially stayed in the game, keying an 8-0 run with five points and an assist on Peters’ fast-break 3 that tied it at 24.

But at the 5:21 mark, Carter came out and missed the rest of the first half. He returned to start the second half.

Neither team had even reached the NIT semifinals before, and this was the first meeting between the schools.

Valparaiso advanced to the championship game by barely holding off BYU 72-70, thanks to a tiebreaking 3-pointer with 20 seconds left from reserve forward David Skara.

George Washington, which struggled on defense until the NIT, rolled to a 65-46 victory over SDSU in its first game at the Garden since 2001.

“It was the best two defensive games we had,” Larsen said. “Defense is what got us this championship.”

Cavanaugh scored eight points in the first half, and the Colonials went to the break with a 32-31 lead.


George Washington: Besides the Colonials, lower-seeded teams struggled in the NIT. They finished 6-25, including the four wins by GW. “We got better every game,” Lonergan said. … Cavanaugh, a Wake Forest transfer who reached double figures in every game this season, didn’t score until converting a three-point play with 7:34 left in the first half.

Valparaiso: The Crusaders missed seven of their first eight tries from 3-point range. … Valparaiso fell to 10-15 against teams from the Atlantic 10. … Before this week, Valpo had not played at Madison Square Garden since the 1940s. … Peters had at least 20 points in seven consecutive games before scoring 15 in the semifinals.

VALAPARAISO, Ind. (AP) – A northwestern Indiana police officer who overheard a dispatch of a man claiming to have taken hostages recognized the man’s voice as that of his cousin, helping to defuse the situation that prompted a lockdown of Valparaiso University.

Court records state Porter Officer Dan Dickey recognized the voice of 20-year-old Michael Clemens of Chesterton and called Clemens’ mother, who told police her son was at the university Tuesday night tutoring computer students.

The (Munster) Times reports police questioned Clemens shortly after 10 p.m. and he admitted his involvement in the hoax.

Clemens faces felony charges of intimidation and false reporting. Online court records don’t show an attorney for him, and he could not be reached for comment because he doesn’t have a published telephone number. He’s free on bond.

VALAPARAISO, Ind. (AP) – A Valparaiso University student faces charges for allegedly calling police and falsely claiming he was armed and had taken hostages in a campus library.

Valparaiso police say 20-year-old Michael Clemens of Chesterton was arrested Tuesday night on the campus about 15 miles southeast of Gary.

Police say Clemens acknowledged calling police about 7 p.m. Tuesday and saying he had a gun and had taken hostages at a campus library.

Police evacuated the library and students were ordered to “shelter in place” during an hours-long campus alert.

Police spokesman Sgt. Mike Grennes says Clemens faces preliminary felony charges of intimidation and false reporting causing an evacuation. He was released from jail after posting bond.

A county prosecutor’s office spokesman says the office doesn’t know if Clemens has an attorney.