Statement from the president
Statement from President Harder on Executive Order on Immigration
As President of Bluffton University, I express my dismay at the recent executive order which denies entry to people from Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Libya and Somalia and suspends the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program.
Bluffton University has students, faculty and alumni from a number of these countries. This action is detrimental to those who have come from these countries and who are currently or have been members of our campus community.
Many people from these countries, including Bluffton alumni, have already been through war, loss of family members and displacement. Many in our community understand the pain of such dislocation since the ancestors of many members of the Bluffton University community fled persecution and warfare in other lands and were welcomed here. As a Christian university in the Anabaptist tradition, we believe strongly in God’s command to welcome the stranger (Deuteronomy 10:19).
Bluffton stands with its students, faculty and alumni wherever they are from. I call on the United States administration to rescind the executive order suspending the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program and denying entry to people from the seven countries named above.
Ironically, Karen and I are on our way to India as part of a delegation of education and civic leaders from Lima, Ohio. Our efforts are to build relationships and explore cultural and educational exchanges including the potential of enrolling students from India at area universities including Bluffton.
As is always the case when we travel internationally, I anticipate great learnings from those we meet. The profound impact of the executive order reminds me of the central importance of global education and understanding as part of Bluffton’s mission as we continue to prepare all students for life and vocation, responsible citizenship, service to all peoples and ultimately for the purposes of God’s universal kingdom.
Dr. James M Harder, Bluffton University President
"As a Christian university in the Anabaptist tradition, we believe strongly in God’s command to welcome the stranger (Deuteronomy 10:19).