Values, Ideas, and the Arts (VIA)

Values, Ideas, and the Arts enhances the Manchester Core program in the liberal arts through cultural exposure and intellectual enrichment. Academic credit is earned through attendance.

Values, Ideas, and Arts brings to the campus speakers, musical and dramatic performers, and gifted persons from within the University community.

Students are required to arrive on time and remain for the entire program to receive VIA credit. Please plan to arrive at least five minutes before the event begins.  Programs are scheduled to last approximately 1 hour unless indicated otherwise.

Fall 2014
Be sure to check this schedule often for new VIA events that will be added during the semester.

Tuesday, August 26
3 p.m.
Cordier Auditorium
Opening Convocation
This annual event kicks off the new academic year.  New MU President Dave McFadden will speak about "Becoming Our Best Selves."
Saturday, September 13
9 a.m.
Cordier Auditorium
Steve Alford: Lessons I Have Learned from My Basketball Career
The former MU men’s basketball coach -- who in 1995 took the Black and Gold to a national championship game -- and current UCLA head coach will speak about his career and answer student questions in a Q&A format. For more information, click here.
Thursday, September 18
3:30 p.m.
Cordier Auditorium
Stephen K. Medvic: Politicians, Elections, and the Constitution
The author researches campaigns and elections, political parties, the media and politics, public opinion, ideology, and American political thought. He is a professor of government at Franklin & Marshall College.
Monday, September 22
7 p.m.
Cordier Auditorium

Ross Szabo: Mixed Drinks, Mixed Emotions: Alcohol Abuse and Mental Health

The average student today may be facing stress, heavy workloads, transition, pressure, and mental health problems. They might suffer in silence, binge-drinking, abusing substances, and hiding their fears until they become too large to deal with. Szabo received the 2010 Didi Hirsch Removing the Stigma Leadership Award, 2012 Changing Minds Award. He is co-author of Behind Happy Faces; Taking Charge of Your Mental Health and a blogger for The Huffington Post.

Thursday, October 2
7 p.m.
Cordier Auditorium

Mercedes Schneider: When Education Reform Becomes “Erroneous Ideology Well Funded”

Mercedes Schneider is a Louisiana public school teacher and education activist who holds a Ph.D. in applied statistics and research methods. Schneider blogs regularly on both local and national education issues on her own education blog,

Thursday, October 9

7 p.m. Cordier Auditorium

Terry Pettit: Language, Leadership and The River Merchant's Wife:  A Letter

The Manchester alumnus is a nationally recognized volleyball coach and has written several books.  He will draw from his experiences at Manchester and how they impacted his coaching, relationships, writing, and other areas of his life. With Q&A.

Monday, October 13
7 p.m.
Cordier Auditorium
Jon Vroman: Career Expo speaker
We all choose to either be a spectator of life "in the back", or an active participant "in the front row." Jon Vroman delivers fun, easy to implement, and inspirational presentations designed to increase student engagement by “Living College Life In The Front Row™” More information is at

Thursday, Oct. 16

7 p.m. Cordier Auditorium

Literary Film Series: “The Lives of Others”

German drama film depicts the inside corruption of the Stasi, which was the secret police agency of the former German Democratic Republic, and how its surveillance affected those they watched. (137 minutes, plus Q&A)

Thursday, October 30
7 p.m.
Cordier Auditorium
Cathleen Falsani: The Dude Abides: A Look at Film and Religion
Cathleen Falsani is an award-winning religion journalist and author of five non-fiction books including the critically acclaimed memoir, Sin Boldly: A Field Guide for Grace, The God Factor: Inside the Spiritual Lives of Public People, The Dude Abides: The Gospel According to the Coen Brothers, and the forthcoming Disquiet Time: Rants and Reflections on the Good Book by the Skeptical, the Faithful, and a Few Rascals (Hachette, 10/28/14)
Friday, November 7
1:30 – 2:15 p.m.
Cordier Auditorium
Presidential Inauguration
As the campus community celebrates its 125th year, we inaugurate Dave McFadden as the 15th president of Manchester University. To learn more about the inauguration, click here.

Thursday, Dec. 4

7 p.m. Cordier Auditorium

Literary Film Series:  “Frida”

This biopic depicts the professional and private life of the surrealist Mexican painter Frida Kahlo, who pushed artistic and spiritual boundaries, albeit kept at bay by a corseted body and failing health. A terrible accident in her youth pushes her to free her imagination on canvas and use her art as a political commentary. (123 minutes, plus  Q&A)

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