SOMMER CENTER DEDICATION TO HIGHLIGHT HOMECOMING
Bluffton University’s Homecoming weekend, Oct. 12-14, will feature the dedication of the newest campus building, the Sommer Center for Health and Fitness Education.
The 60,000-square-foot Sommer Center, which will offer enhanced facilities for all students when it opens later this fall, will be dedicated during a short ceremony beginning at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 13.
Among those attending will be Jim and Susan (Lehman) Sommer, 1968 Bluffton graduates and members of the central Illinois family that gave the lead gift for the building that bears their name. They, along with Jim’s parents, Ted ’41 and Jo (Conrad ’44) Sommer, and his brother, Steve ’73, have maintained a supportive relationship with the university as students, athletes, alumni and parents, and through service as trustees and significant financial support.
Of the more than $32.7 million raised by the just-ended "Extending Our Reach—The Campaign for Bluffton," $14.7 million fully funded the Sommer Center’s construction, which began in July 2011.
The center will provide needed space for the academic department of health, fitness and sport science; a fitness and weight training center for all students; Copeland Court, a new arena for intercollegiate basketball and volleyball; a sports medicine center; athletics offices; and practice, intramural and multipurpose facilities. It is also expected to be the first building on campus to be certified under the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) system.
Homecoming weekend will begin Friday, Oct. 12, when Bluffton alumni Emelia (Hostetler) Brown, Dr. Julia Heath and the late Jean (Hoover) Triplett, along with Christine Purves, a former faculty and staff member, will be honored at the alumni awards banquet. The evening will start with a 6:30 p.m. meal in The Commons in Marbeck Center. Tickets for the banquet are $15; reservations must be made by Wednesday, Oct. 3. An online registration form, for the banquet and other Homecoming-related events, is available at www.bluffton.edu/blufftonalumni/homecoming/registration.pdf, or contact Joyce Schumacher at 419-358-3456 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Saturday’s events get under way at 9 a.m. with a breakfast for alumnae, hosted by the Bluffton University Women’s Council, in Bob’s Place in Marbeck Center. After breakfast, alumnae will share information with current female students about career opportunities in various fields.
At 9:30 a.m., athletics alumni will also gather for breakfast, in The Commons, and a softball reunion, featuring a game between alumni and the current team, is planned at the Emery Sears Athletic Complex.
There is no cost to alumni for either breakfast or the softball reunion, but reservations are requested.
Also beginning at 9:30 a.m. is a reception, until 11 a.m., for artist Joanne Von Sossan in the Sauder Visual Arts Center. "Art and Soul: A Collaboration of Spirits," an exhibition of drawings by the 1989 Bluffton alumna, is on display from Oct. 1-26 in the center’s Grace Albrecht Gallery. Hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Homecoming Saturday.
From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., high school students and their families may tour campus as part of a Discovery Day admissions event. Go to www.bluffton.edu/admission/visit/discovery/ to register.
Leading up to the Homecoming football game, an alumni picnic will be held from 11:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in a tent at Salzman Stadium. Cost at the tent is $7 for adults and $4 for children ages 3-7. The Homecoming king and queen will be crowned at the stadium at 1 p.m., prior to the 1:30 p.m. kickoff between the football Beavers and Hanover.
The volleyball team will also host Hanover in a 2 p.m. match in Founders Hall.
Capping the afternoon at 4 p.m. will be a game of Ultimate Frisbee, for alumni, friends and current students, on the Musselman Library green.
The weekend will wrap up Sunday, Oct. 14, with a concert by the University Chorale, Concert Band and Camerata Singers at 2:30 p.m. in Yoder Recital Hall.
Bluffton public relations, 9/25/12