The Believe Me book tour rolled through my old stomping grounds on Tuesday night. I taught at Valparaiso University from 2000-2002 as a Lilly Fellow in the Humanities and the Arts. Here is the first house we lived in:
Then we had a sewer back-up in Spring 2001 and moved a few doors down to this house:
I am thankful to Joe Creech, Program Director of the Lilly Fellows Program, and Joe Goss, Assistant Program Director, for inviting me back to Valpo to speak about the book. I had dinner with five impressive Lilly Fellows and we had a spirited discussion about public scholarship, evangelicalism, Trump, and church-related colleges and universities. Thanks to Ashleigh Elser, Daniel Silliman, Jason Gehrke, Christine Hedlin, and Cassandra Painter for the conversation. If you have a job opening at your college or university you need to give these young scholars a serious look.
Rather than a traditional book talk, Daniel Silliman, a historian of American religion, interviewed me. Jared Burkholder, a historian at Grace College in Winona Lake, Indiana, was present and blogged about the event here.
And thanks to Ashleigh Elser for the kind introduction.
Earlier in the day, I spent an hour or so in the Linwood House, the former Valparaiso University president’s home and the building that houses the Lilly Fellows Program. A lot has changed in the house, but the living room, the place where the Lilly Fellows and their mentors gather together each week to talk about faith, higher education, and academic vocation, looks relatively the same as it did eighteen years ago:
I also found a bookshelf full of books written by former Lilly Fellows. If you look closely at the pics, you will see books by historians Mary Beth Connolly, Kathy Sprows Cummings, Lisa Deam, Darren Dochuk, Robert Elder, Andrew Finstuen, Matthew Hedstrom, Paul Harvey, Mary Henold, Thomas Albert (Tal) Howard, Louis Nelson, James Kennedy, Matthew Lundin, John McGreevy, Peter Mercer-Taylor, James Skillen, and Stephanie Yuhl.
It was great to see so many old friends and make some new friends in Valpo this week!