Convocation preview


Bestselling author to speak on integrity, truth and virtue to Bluffton’s class of 2021

Nathan Whitaker, a six-time “New York Times” bestselling author, will be the featured speaker at 10:45 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 29, in the Sommer Center for Health and Fitness Education as Bluffton University welcomes the class of 2021 during its annual Opening Convocation.

Whitaker has co-written several books with leading sports figures including “Quiet Strength: The Principles, Practices, and Priorities of a Winning Life,” the memoir of Super-Bowl-winning NFL coach Tony Dungy. “Quiet Strength” also served as this year’s summer reading for first-year Bluffton students.

During Opening Convocation, faculty wearing academic regalia will welcome first-year and transfer students. The name of each new student will be called during the ceremony with professors presenting honor covenants signed by each student.

Whitaker’s portion of the event will introduce Bluffton’s 2017-18 Civic Engagement Theme, Integrity, Truth, Virtue: Bluffton’s honor code in the world. 2018 will mark the 100th anniversary of the honor code at Bluffton through which students have been taught to uphold the community of respect in all of their campus interactions.

“During Opening Convocation, we welcome each new Bluffton student into our academic community. It is our way of communicating that each student plays a role in making Bluffton a community of engaged learners. The ceremony also focuses on a significant contemporary issue that is related to Bluffton’s mission and becomes the subject of cross-disciplinary exploration,” said Lamar Nisly, interim vice president and dean of academic affairs. “This year, students, faculty and staff will explore Bluffton’s legacy of honor both on campus and among graduates in the context of larger conversations about integrity and truth. This exploration begins with the reading of ‘Quiet Strength.’”

In addition to writing, Whitaker is a principal lawyer at Whitaker Partners, LLC, which represents college and professional coaches and administrators. He was previously a member of the player personnel departments of the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In college at Duke University, he was a two-sport athlete in football and baseball, and he graduated with degrees in English and political science.


Nathan Whitaker