Graduation 2018_hero pic

Baccalaureate addresses


2018 graduation MAEd students

Graduation information

Saturday, July 18, 2020
10 a.m.
Salzman Stadium

“We are excited to announce Bluffton University will host an in-person Commencement ceremony on campus at 10 a.m. on Saturday, July 18, at Salzman Stadium.
President Jane Wood
June 19, 2020

Each graduate will receive a limited number of tickets for guests.


8-9 a.m. Graduates arrive on campus and check-in at Founders Gym. After July 6, and based on RSVPs, graduates will be assigned staggered arrival times to manage capacity at check-in.
9:15 a.m. Graduates arrive in Sommer Center. You will have the opportunity to take a formal photo and then will line up with your classmates to process out to Salzman Stadium.
9:30 a.m. Stadium gate opens for guests. Seating is first come, first served; however, guests must adhere to the designating seating areas to ensure safe social distancing practices.
10 a.m. Ceremony begins
12:30 p.m. Stadium closes

If you have any questions about the schedule, contact Claire Clay at

Arrival and parking

Graduate arrival at Founders Gym for check in

  • MAEd, MBA, OMP and undergraduates A through Bias, arrive at 8 a.m.
  • Undergraduates with the last name Blanchard through those starting with L, arrive at 8:20 a.m.
  • Undergraduates with a last name starting with M through Z, arrive at 8:40 a.m.

Graduates should bring a facial covering (mask or face shield) to wear if you cannot maintain a six-foot distance from someone else.

Graduates will receive their cap, gown, tassel and Commencement medallion at check-in, then be released to go to Sommer Center.

All graduates need to be in Sommer Center by 9:15 a.m. to line up. No guests will be allowed inside Founders Gym or Sommer Center.

Graduates will have the opportunity to take a formal graduation photo in Sommer Center. Graduates will also have their photo taken with President Wood while on staging receiving their diploma. Please be sure to look for the professional photographer in front of the stage! Photos will be provided to the graduates at no cost in the weeks following the ceremony.

Parking will be available in the lots near the stadium (parking map). When you arrive on campus, please remain in your car until a staff member comes to welcome you into the stadium. This is allow us to maintain a smaller number of people gathered in one area at a time. If you need accessible parking, you may use these lots or the small lot on the north end of the stadium, just off Augsburger Road.

Entering the stadium
The entrance to the stadium opens at 9:30 a.m. Guests should remain in their cars until a staff member releases them to the gate. Printed tickets MUST be presented to enter the stadium. No exceptions. The entrance will be closed and locked at 10:15 a.m. Please follow directional signs and directions given by staff as this will help us maintain social distancing protocols.

Safety precautions
If you, or your guest(s), are a member of the high-risk population or become sick between now and July 18, we strongly encourage you to participate by watching the livestream.

Members of the high-risk category include those over the age of 65 or those who have severe obesity, chronic lung disease or asthma, a heart condition or compromised/weakened immune system, diabetes, kidney or liver disease. In addition, this ceremony will take place outside where temperatures can reach up to or higher than 90 degrees. This ceremony will take place rain or shine unless serious inclement weather deems the location unsafe. Guests are welcome to bring umbrellas for use in the stadium.

We request guests bring a facial covering to put in case a six-foot distance is not able to be maintained

If you have questions about Commencement, please contact Elaine Suderman at

Bookstore hours
The Bluffton University bookstore on campus will be open immediately after the ceremony concludes. Please ensure you follow all requested safety precautions clearly posted around campus and inside the bookstore.

Contact Janine Paul at if you have questions about purchasing items from the bookstore.


Safety guidelines

Please note that in order to hold in-person commencement services, the university must take the following safety precautions in accordance with guidelines set by the Governor of Ohio, and in collaboration with the Allen County Department of Health.

As of July 16, 2020, Allen County, Ohio, is a Level 3 (Red) county per Governor Mike DeWine’s Ohio Public Health Advisory System. This means Bluffton University falls under a health order with specific guidelines we must follow while in public spaces. 

Wearing a facial covering (mask or shield) is REQUIRED while indoors. Graduates MUST be wearing a facial covering during check-in at Founders Hall, while seated in Sommer Center and during processional line up in Sommer Center. We strongly encourage all guests to also bring a facial covering to wear during the ceremony in the stadium.

  • All faculty and staff will be required to perform a symptom assessment prior to arriving on campus
  • All graduates and guests will be encouraged to perform a symptom assessment prior to arriving on campus
  • All graduates and guests who are or become ill between now and Saturday, July 18, are encouraged to celebrate via livestream.
  • All faculty and staff will be required to wear facial coverings
  • Requesting all graduates and guests wear facial coverings if they are unable to maintain a six-foot distance from another guest

    Please note: family members living in the same household are not required to social distance from each other
  • Salzman Stadium will close immediately after the conclusion of the ceremony to limit congregation

Full guidelines:

Dr. David Yost

Dr. David Yost

Dr. David Yost, a 1983 Bluffton graduate who worked with the CDC tracking the Ebola outbreak in 2014, will be the commencement speaker.