123rd Commencement: Saturday, May 6, 2023

Faculty processionalHappy grad
Emeritus professor Randy KeelerFriends
MBA/MAOM graduating classJ Denny and friend

The achievements of Bluffton University’s class of 2023 were celebrated on Saturday, May 6, during Bluffton’s 123rd Commencement ceremony. More than 200 students crossed the stage, including traditional undergraduates, degree completion and master’s degree students.

“We are so pleased to celebrate each one of our graduates and their accomplishments today,” said President Wood. “We are gathered together to participate in and witness an academic ceremony that marks a significant moment of achievement that will be forever important in each student’s life.”

Kathy Carr, a 1978 graduate, shared the Commencement address “Bluffton College Then - Bluffton University Now.” 

While noting how campus has changed and will continue to change, she also reflected on the enduring qualities of a Bluffton education, including the values of discovery, community, respect and service.

Her prayers and advice for the class of 2023 included:

  • Follow your heart. It knows the way.
  • Before you act, listen. Before you react, think.
  • Before you criticize, wait. And, before you quit, try.

Always remember that you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, smarter than you think and loved more than you’ll ever know.

Carr concluded her remarks with a reminder that graduation isn’t the end of a journey. Instead, “it’s the beginning of a beautiful one.”

“Take pride in how far you’ve come,” said Carr. “Have faith in how far you can go.”

Cathy (Gaines '78) Carr

Commencement speaker | Kathy (Gaines ’78) Carr began her career with Fort Wayne Community Schools as a special education teacher in 1978, teaching severely and profoundly mentally handicapped students, moderately mentally handicapped students and students with learning disabilities. During her 42 years with the district, she served as a resource teacher, dean of students, principal, manager of recruitment and hiring, and director of human resources.Retired since 2020, she has been a consultant at South Bend Community Schools. Carr actively serves her community and is currently on the Board of  Directors of the YWCA of Northeast Indiana. She received Bluffton’s Lifetime Service Award in October 2022.