Dr. Noah C. Hirschy

HirschyNoah Calvin Hirschy was born on a farm near Berne, Indiana to an Amish Mennonite family, in a community where higher education was not encouraged. However Noah was a scholar throughout his lifetime.

After graduating from the country school near his home, Hirschy taught in a similar Indiana country school for four years. He then went back to his studies where he earned his B.A. and B.D from Oberlin College. After finishing his work at Oberlin, he was called to be assistant pastor at Wadsworth First Mennonite Church. In 1894 he assumed full ministry and married the pastor's daughter, Augusta.

When the Hirschys arrived in Bluffton, the family consisted of Noah, 34 years old, his wife Augusta Hunsberger Hirschy, and a 3 year old son, Hermon. A baby daughter, Lois Elizabeth, was born to them here in Bluffton in 1904.

Although Noah Hirschy may have left the farm, his love of nature never left him. Students remember that, when he was at Bluffton, he always had some piece of nature in his lapel - a flower or a leaf or even a blade of grass.

Hirschy's love of nature was captured in marble when Bluffton College art professor John Klassen sculpted a likeness of Bluffton's first president. The bust of Hirschy stands in the lobby of Musselman Library.

Viewers may not at first recognize the extra touch which Klassen included in his work, but careful notice will show that Klassen places a violet in Hirschy's lapel. A fitting tribute to a man who, although a scholar through and through, recognized the beauty of God's nature each and every day.