Location and environment
Bluffton University is in Bluffton, Ohio, a progressive town of 4,000 in the heart of a prosperous agricultural area. It is principally a residential community with several thriving industries, an attractive shopping district, a good public school system, a dozen churches, a modern hospital and a full program of community activities.
Bluffton is midway between Lima and Findlay on Interstate 75, a 90-minute drive from airports at Toledo and Dayton. The community is served by State Highway 103 and, five miles south, U.S. Highway 30.
The campus is on the northwest side of town. It lies on 234 acres of rolling land, partially covered with a natural forest of oak, elm, beech, buckeye, maple and more than 100 other varieties of trees. The south side of the campus is traversed by Little Riley Creek. The area abounds in a wealth of material for ecological studies.
On the 60 acres of the main campus are the academic and residential buildings, the student center and some of the athletic facilities. Immediately west of the main campus is a 10-acre athletic facility, the Sears Athletic Complex, where the Dwight Salzman Stadium is located.
The remaining acreage includes the University Farm and the Bluffton University Nature Preserve, which offers an outdoor education site with an eight-acre lake and nature trails.
The Bluffton University student body exhibits diversity Ė geographic, religious and racial. Most students are from Ohio. Among Bluffton's 1,120 students are about 670 women and 450 men. There are approximately 25 international students on campus from a variety of countries. Approximately 20 percent of Bluffton's traditional undergraduate students are Mennonite; the rest represent many different denominational backgrounds.
There are approximately 63 full-time instructional faculty and 54 part-time faculty members. About 75 percent of the full-time faculty have earned terminal degrees. The student faculty ratio is 13.5 to 1.
Buildings and grounds
Centennial Hall opened fall of 2000. The 44,000-square-foot facility houses 16 classrooms, 38 faculty offices, a technology center, and offices. The following academic departments are located in Centennial Hall: the social and behavioral sciences; economics, business administration and accounting; education; English and language; mathematics; and the master of arts programs.
College Hall Erected in 1900, College Hall houses administrative offices, several classrooms and the A.C. Ramseyer Auditorium. The auditorium has a seating capacity of 135 and is used for dramatic productions and theater classes.
Berky Hall A brick building in the colonial style of architecture, Berky Hall was built in 1914. The building was renovated in 1981 and houses the family and consumer sciences department in addition to a number of classrooms.
Musselman Library, a 1930 structure of Georgian colonial architecture, was the gift of Mr. and Mrs. C. H. Musselman. This facility, with the 1965 addition, houses over 160,000 volumes and includes the University Archives and the Mennonite Historical Collections. Through the libraryís membership in the OPAL (Ohio Private Academic Libraries) and OhioLINK consortia, students, faculty and staff have access to the holdings of over 84 college and university libraries throughout the state. Participation in interlibrary loan extends resource access to the collections of libraries across the nation. Research databases, electronic journals and books, and digital media resources from the library further support research and study. For additional information see Learning resources, Musselman Library.
Founders Hall, the auditorium/physical education building, was erected in 1951. The A.C. Burcky Addition was completed in 1971. The auditorium has a seating capacity of approximately 2,000. In addition to the main auditorium and stage for public programs, Founders/Burcky is equipped with two playing floors, storage and dressing rooms, two racquetball courts, a weight room, a classroom, offices for the health, physical education and recreation department, the Bluffton University Athletic Hall of Fame. Three general education science labs are located in the former Stauffer Chapel area. In the fall of 1996 an addition to Founders/Burcky was completed. Its upper level contains five offices and a reception area for HPER. The lower level has a classroom and two offices.
Riley Court, a cluster of five multipurpose halls completed in 1969, is located on the town side of the campus, across Beeshy footbridge from Marbeck Center. Several administrative offices are located in Riley Court including: Admissions, Financial Aid, Advancement and Communications, and Student Life. The academic departments of communication and theatre, and history/political science/religion departments are housed in Riley Court. The Bluffton Cohort-based Organizational Management Program (BCOMP) and the Master of Arts recruiting office are in Riley Court. The Institute for Learning in Retirement and the Lion and Lamb Peace Arts Center share space in the lower level of Riley Court.
Mosiman Hall and Yoder Halls The music departmentís home, Mosiman Hall, was expanded in 1996 to include Yoder Recital Hall, a 300-seat, state-of-the-art performance facility. In addition to this elegant setting, the music building contains three classrooms, a rehearsal/lecture hall and faculty teaching studios. The music library/listening center includes a collection of performance scores and provides facilities for students to use the departmentís collection of CDs, tapes and LPs. The MIDI lab includes synthesizers, computers and softward used for sophisticated music and video applications. Seven Yamaha Clavinovas make up a fully equipped piano lab which, in addition to three harpsichords and a Baroque style pipe organ located in Yoder Recital Hall, offer various opportunities for keyboardists.
Computer Center, an addition to Berky Hall completed in 1965, houses the administrative computer and related offices.
Marbeck Center is a campus center with dining facilities for the entire student body, a snack shop, lounges, bookstore, post office, student organization offices and a variety of other facilities. Marbeck Center was completed in 1968. An addition and renovation occurred in 2002.
Shoker Science Center, completed in 1978, provides 10,000 square feet of space in a unique underground energy-conserving design. The center houses integrated laboratory facilities for biology, chemistry and physics; a science library; faculty offices; and instructional computers.
Klassen Court lies between Marbeck Center and Founders Hall and displays artwork by the late BC professor J.P. Klassen.
Rosenberger Drive and Plaza The main approach to Founders Hall and Marbeck Center is known as Rosenberger Drive and Plaza.
International flags flown on a rotating basis on 10 flagpoles along the walkway leading from the Marbeck Center parking lot to Klassen Court, represent the countries of current international students.
Sauder Visual Arts Center, a 12,000-square-foot pre-engineered steel building with stone and brick exterior completed in 1991, is located on the bluff overlooking the Riley Creek floodplain. Sauder Visual Arts Center houses an art gallery; projection/lecture room; darkroom; foyer/reception area; faculty offices; and laboratory/classroom space for printing, painting, drawing, arts and crafts, sculpture, ceramics, kilns, woodshop and welding.
Emery Sears Athletic Complex, located adjacent to the main campus, includes a baseball diamond, all-weather track, football field and soccer field. The Dwight Salzman Stadium, dedicated in 1993, affords seating for 2,600 spectators and hosts Bluffton home football games. The pavilion beneath the stadium houses locker rooms, dressing rooms, concession stand, restrooms, three classrooms and a storage area.
Buildings and Grounds Center, erected in 1967, is located on the western edge of the campus. It houses workshops and storage facilities for the buildings and grounds department.
Ropp Hall was built in 1914, with a second wing (Ropp Annex) completed in 1958 and an addition (Ropp Addition) completed in 1967. It provides housing for 220 students.
Lincoln Hall, erected in 1924, provides rooms for 78 students.
Bren-Dell Hall, built in 1962, provides housing facilities for 95 students.
Hirschy Hall, with housing for 95 students, was completed in 1963.
Hirschy Annex, which includes housing for 109 students and a hall directorís apartment, was completed in 1966. The multicultural affairs office is located in the Hirschy Annex breezeway.
Ramseyer Hall, which was completed in 1994 and dedicated in May 1995, houses 111 students. Features include air conditioning, a large main-floor lobby, floor lobbies on second and third floors, an exercise room and a conference room.
Neufeld Hall opened in 2003, housing 112 students in a four floor mod arrangement with each floor having a kitchenette and common lounge area. A large exercise area is located in teh lower level.