The campus

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

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. The complex houses the Dwight Salzman Stadium (football); Bluffton University Memorial Field (baseball); and the softball and soccer competitive athletic fields.

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 geographic, religious and racial diversity. Most students are from Ohio. Among Bluffton's 1,094 students, there are about 554 women and 540 men. There are approximately 11 international students on campus from a variety of countries. Approximately 12 percent of Bluffton's traditional undergraduate students are Mennonite; the rest represent many different denominational backgrounds.

There are approximately 55 full-time and 5 half-time instructional faculty. In addition, Bluffton hires about 40 adjunct faculty members. About 76 percent of the full-time faculty have earned terminal degrees. The student faculty ratio is 13 to 1.

Buildings and grounds

Printable campus map (pdf)

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: social work; psychology and criminal justice; business; education; English and language; and mathematics.

College Hall Erected in 1900, College Hall houses administrative offices, several classrooms, the learning resource center and the A.C. Ramseyer Auditorium. The auditorium has a seating capacity of 135 and is used for dramatic productions and theatre 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 nutrition and dietetics department and a number of classrooms.

Musselman Library, a 1930 structure of Georgian colonial architecture, was the gift of Mr. and Mrs. C. H. Musselman, Pennsylvania apple growers. This facility, with the four-story 1965 addition, includes the University Archives, Mennonite Historical Collections, and the Writing Center. The Reading Room on the main level is one of the most attractive spaces on campus for study and as a venue for campus events. Throughout the library, there are areas for individual and group study, including conveniently located computer workstations. The seminar room on the fourth floor is used for library classes and group meetings. For information about library collections and services, see  Learning resources, Musselman Library.

Sommer Center opened in the fall of 2012. The 60,000 square-foot facility serves as the new home for volleyball and men's and women's basketball. In addition to the main game courts, there are two practice courts for each sport as well as a walking/jogging track. The building also contains a 5,000 square-foot weights and fitness center, a sports medicine center with a hydrotherapy pool, locker and team rooms and offices for the athletic department. The Sommer Center also contains offices for the Health, Fitness and Sports Science academic department and a multi-purpose room for classes, meetings and special events.  

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, athletic offices and two general education science labs. In the fall of 1996 an addition to Founders/Burcky was completed. The addition's upper level contains five offices and a reception area. 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, development, public relations and student life. The academic departments of communication and theatre, and history and religion are housed in Riley Court. The Adult and Graduate Education Department office is in Riley Court. The Institute for Learning in Retirement and The Lion and Lamb Peace Arts Center of Bluffton University share space in the lower level. Two units are also periodically used as theme housing for residential students.

Mosiman and Yoder Halls The music department's 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 department s collection of CDs, tapes and LPs. The computer music/piano lab includes electronic keyboards, computers and software used for sophisticated music and video applications. In 2007, Bluffton University became an All-Steinway Institution. In addition, three harpsichords and a Baroque style pipe organ in Yoder Recital Hall, offer varied 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 Bluffton 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 Bluffton University Memorial Field (baseball), all-weather track, softball diamond, 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.

Residence halls

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.  More info...

Bren-Dell Hall, built in 1962, provides housing facilities for 95 students. More info...

Hirschy Hall, with housing for 95 students, was completed in 1963. More info...

Hirschy Annex, which includes housing for 109 students and a hall director s apartment, was completed in 1966. The multicultural affairs office is located in the Hirschy Annex breezeway. More info...

Ramseyer Hall, which was completed in 1994, 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. More info...

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 the lower level. More info...

August 2014