Valparaiso University Receives $1 Million Commitment for Unrestricted Endowment

rot10Valparaiso University alumni Judy McNabney ’71 Dutton and John Dutton ’70 have generously committed $1 million to support the University’s unrestricted endowment fund.

“John and I are blessed to be in a position to make this commitment to Valpo,” said Judy Dutton. “We have witnessed the rapid rate of advancements made at Valpo in recent decades. Our exposure to many other universities provides a strong basis of comparison. We want this progress to continue and are confident that University leadership will utilize these funds in the best possible manner.”

Valpo’s endowment provides a permanent, self-sustaining revenue stream to the University. While frequently referred to as a single fund, the endowment is actually the aggregate of many different funds, most of which are designated to support specific programs. Unrestricted endowed funds, which make up a smaller portion of the total endowment, combine the financial stability of an ongoing funding source with the flexibility to use the funds to meet pressing needs. University leaders can respond to unforeseen challenges, fund a program or scholarship that may not otherwise receive support, or seize an opportunity that requires immediate funding not available in the operating budget.

“A strong endowment is essential to the University building on its core strengths,” said John Dutton. “We view our commitment as an investment in Valpo’s future and hope that fellow alumni will also consider the importance of this funding to the University when they give.”

“We are truly thankful to Judy and John for their endowed support of Valparaiso University and for their great faith and trust in the University’s future,” said Mark A. Heckler, Ph.D., president of Valparaiso University. “Their commitment to the unrestricted endowment will forever deliver resources to Valpo with the flexibility to address our most immediate needs. The entire University community is grateful to Judy and John.”

Judy earned a bachelor of arts in English and Spanish (double major) and spent more than 20 years in the workplace, mostly in marketing. Afterward, she became active in community and church organizations, especially during the couple’s seven-year residence in Singapore.

John earned a bachelor of science in civil engineering and was recruited to Caterpillar Inc. by Valpo alumnus Don Fites ’56, a mid-level manager at the time. Fites retired from the company as chairman and CEO. During John’s 36-year career with Caterpillar, he often relocated, spending 17 years in Asia at five locations. Their last assignment was in Singapore, where he was the marketing manager for the Asia-Pacific region. He also hosted events for Valpo alumni employed by Caterpillar in the Peoria, Ill. area.

In addition to their commitment to the University’s unrestricted endowment, the Duttons are members of the Kretzmann Society, which recognizes Valpo donors who have established planned gifts, and the President’s Circle, annual giving of $1,000 or more. They have also underwritten the challenge gift in support of contributions to the University Guild during Valpo’s 2015 Day of Giving.