May Day 2019

Saturday, May 4, 2019

An important part of graduation weekend is the May Day ceremony, one of Bluffton’s oldest traditions, which began in 1910. It intertwines the past with alumni reunions, the present by honoring this year's graduates, and the future when honored first-year students perform the traditional Maypole dance. 

Activities include a May Day Run/Walk and the May Day Musical. You are invited to participate in any and all May Day events.

THE BOX OFFICE is open weekdays from 8a.m.-11 p.m. and is located at the Information Desk in Marbeck Center, or purchase tickets for meals, the musical and register for the May Day Run/Walk online at  http://tickets.bluffton.edu.

 

May Day Run/WalkKing and queenMinistry teams reunion Alumni Choir SingMay Day Musical

 2018 SCHEDULE

The schedule for 2019 has not yet been confirmed.

Visit the Bluffton University bookstore each day until 5 p.m.

FRIDAY, MAY 4
  9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Annual Juried Student Exhibition, Sauder Visual Arts Center
  4 p.m. Class of '68 reception and dinner, Marbeck Center
  4:30 p.m. Class of '78 reception and dinner, Sommer Center
  7:30 p.m. May Day Musical, "[title of show]," Yoder Recital Hall
 
SATURDAY, MAY 5
  7 a.m. Check-in and registration for May Day Run/Walk, Sommer Center
  8 a.m. - 9 a.m. May Day Run/Walk, Sommer Center (start and finish)
  9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Annual Juried Student Exhibition, Sauder Visual Arts Center
  9 a.m. Class of '68 coffee and conversation, Marbeck Center Gallery Lounge
  9:30 a.m. Alumni Choir Sing/Student Honors Recital, Yoder Hall
  9:30 - 11:30 a.m. Guided campus tours leave every 30 minutes from Marbeck Center's Kiva and Lincoln Hall mementos can be purchased in the Kiva
  10:30 - 11:15 a.m. Music Department reception, Mosiman Hall
  11 a.m. - 1 p.m. Class of `73 brunch, Houshower House
  11:30 a.m - 1 p.m. Lunch for graduates and alumni class years 2015, 2016, 2017, Burcky Gym
  11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. Lunch for alumni class years 1940-2014, Marbeck Center
  1:30 p.m. May Day Ceremony, Centennial Lawn
  2:30 p.m. Class of 2018 reception on Centennial Lawn. Introduce your family to faculty and enjoy May Day cupcakes.
  2:30 p.m. Class of '68 conversation in Musselman Library reading room
  2:30 - 3:30 p.m. Science and mathematics reception for alumni and graduates/families, Shoker 
  2:30 - 4:30 p.m. Guided campus tours leave every 30 minutes from Marbeck Center's Kiva and Lincoln Hall mementos can be purchased in the Kiva
  3 - 4:30 p.m. Retirement reception/open house for Dr. James M. Harder, president, Yoder Recital Hall lobby
  3 - 6 p.m. Ultimate Frisbee, library green
  5:30 p.m. Pi Delta Society Banquet, The Commons
  7:30 p.m. May Day Musical, "[title of show]," Yoder Recital Hall
 
SUNDAY, MAY 6
  10:30 a.m. Baccalaureate, Founders Hall
  1 - 5 p.m. Annual Juried Student Exhibition, Sauder Visual Arts Center
  2 p.m. Commencement, Sommer Center


HIGHLIGHTS OF MAY DAY 2018 INCLUDED:

musicalMAY DAY MUSICAL
[title of show]
An original Broadway musical with music and lyrics by Jeff Bowen, book by Hunter Bell, this delightful contemporary show is an original musical about writing an original musical. Premiering in the 2004 Musical Theatre Festival in New York City, and documenting its own process of creation, this small-cast show addresses themes of creative collaboration, self-doubt and the journey of following your dreams.

Yoder Recital Hall - adults $15; students $5
May  4 and 5 at 7:30 p.m.
Buy tickets

may day runMAY DAY RUN/WALK
A four-mile race/Nature Preserve walk sponsored by the Bluffton University Alumni Association with support from Bluffton Hospital. Register early to reserve your tech-fabric shirt. Medals awarded to top three finishers in each age/gender bracket. Trophies awarded to fastest male and fastest female. 

Sommer Center
7 a.m. check in and  walk-up registration begins;
8 a.m. START four-mile race and Nature Preserve walk 
9 a.m. Medals and trophies awarded
Register

juried art showANNUAL JURIED STUDENT EXHIBITION
This exhibit showcases work created by all Bluffton University students in the arts programs in a variety of mediums including ceramics, drawing, painting, photography, printmaking and sculpture.

Grace Albrecht Gallery, Sauder Visual Arts Center
9 a.m. - 5 p.m.


chioirALUMNI CHOIR SING/STUDENT HONORS RECITAL AND RECEPTION
A highlight of May Day is when former Bluffton choir/chorale members gather and revisit their favorite choral pieces. We will intersperse some solo performance pieces by our best music students. A reception follows in the Gilliom Room. The alumni choir will gather again to sing "The Lord Bless You and Keep You" to close the May Day ceremony.

 

 

reunionsCLASS REUNIONS AND LUNCH
Come and reminisce. Reconnect with your classmates, renew friendships and celebrate Bluffton! Because of growing crowds, two venues have been established. A buffet luncheon will be available in Marbeck Center for alumni, family and friends through 2014. A picnic lunch will be available inside Burcky gym for alumni, family and friends of classes 2015-2017; and for 2018 graduates, their families and current students . Adult lunches $15, Children 10 and under $8

Marbeck Center Commons and Burcky Gym
11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Tickets available online and at the door

ceremonyMAY DAY CEREMONY
This event celebrates the end of an academic year, the beginning of a new chapter for graduates and the remembrance of times past for alumni. It includes the colorful Maypole dance performed by first-year students, crowning of the queen and king and recognition of graduating seniors.
Centennial Lawn
1:30 p.m.


banquet
PI DELTA SOCIETY

The 2018 Pi Delta Annual Banquet will be held in the Commons at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, May 5.

 

 

 

may day

HISTORY 

Bluffton students, parents and alumni celebrate May Day each year on an early May weekend. This celebration includes alumni reunions, graduation events and student activities.

The May Day tradition at Bluffton University dates back to 1910 and continues to feature the Maypole dance, perhaps the most spectacular event of the weekend.

Each year, 16 first-year students, eight men and eight women, are chosen to dance the Maypole dance. The dance takes place around a large pole. The dancers, wearing colorful, Germanic-style costumes, encircle the pole. Then each couple in turn grabs two streamers that are hung from the top of the pole. The dancers proceed to weave the streamers around the pole. When the dancers have wound their streamers part way down the pole, the weaving stops and each couple is reunited.

m danceMay Day celebrations were once popular across the United States at many colleges and universities. However, they are now rare.

May Day celebrations date back to 238 B.C. in Rome. The Roman holiday was a celebration of the goddess Flora and the coming of spring. In England, May Day was a celebration of flowers and the coming of spring after a cold winter. The May Day dance represented the joy of the coming of spring and the streamers represented the rays of the sun.

At Bluffton the May Day celebration represents the end of a school year for students, the beginning of a new chapter for seniors and the remembrance of times past for alumni. The tradition weaves together past, present and future around the Maypole in a never-ending circle.