I Succeeded


Commencement speaker Glen Guyton

Commencement speaker Glen Guyton encouraged Bluffton’s graduates to celebrate, to acknowledge that growth is success. - Photo by Beth Caroline Designs

Graduates Celebrate Success

Four years ago, the graduating baccalaureate class of 2024 began their journey at Bluffton University in the midst of a pandemic. Saturday morning, May 4, their journey was celebrated as 147 bachelor’s and master’s degrees were conferred.

Commencement speaker Glen Guyton, Mennonite Church USA executive director, encouraged graduates to celebrate how far they have come before stressing about the future. Graduates were encouraged to say out loud, with hands raised, “I Succeeded.” “You are a thousand times better than you were,” Guyton stressed. “Success is about growth.”

Guyton offered some secrets to success to the graduates. “Look back to see where you come from, don’t chase the idea of would have-should of–could of and, celebrate yourself,” he said. “My hope is that you do not pursue happiness – but be happy. That you do not chase dreams – but dream.”

Graduate processional

Bluffton graduates

Six states and four countries were represented in the graduating class. Dr. Alex Sider, interim vice president of academic affairs, shared that 16 first generation students, four students with alumni parents and one student with an alumni grandparent were among the graduates. 

The Master of Nutrition in Dietetics graduated its first four students. This one-year program meets new Registered Dietitian Nutritionist credentialing requirements. 

In addition, Master of Arts in Education and Master of Business Administration graduate degrees were presented. Bachelor of Science in Nursing and bachelor of art degrees were also conferred.

Emeritus faculty

Dr. Perry Bush

Emeritus status was presented to three retiring faculty, Dr. Perry Bush, history; Dr. Deborah Myers, food and nutrition; and Gary Schiefer, business.

Bush, emeritus professor of history, joined Bluffton’s faculty in 1994. He is known for his lively and passionate classroom storytelling. Bush is also a published author of more than 30 articles and four books, including “Dancing with the Kobzar,” the centennial history of Bluffton College.

As a Fulbright Scholar to Ukraine in 2012, Bush later served as a selector for the Fulbright Scholars Program.

Dr. Deborah MyersMyers, emeritus professor of food and nutrition, joined the Bluffton faculty in 2000. She is credited with establishing the dietetic internship program in 2012 and the Master of Nutrition and Dietetics program in 2023, both to meet requirements for the RND credentialing exam. 

As program director of the nutrition and dietetics program, the program was recognized as a “Program of Excellence” by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Gary Schiefer

Schiefer, emeritus professor of business, joined the Bluffton faculty in 1990. For years, he taught the first two classes for all new economics, business, marketing and accounting students. Then also taught the senior year capstone class for most of these same students. 

Having served as department chair for a decade and on many other faculty committees, Schiefer has furthered Bluffton’s mission from behind the scenes by setting policies and helping hire faculty and key staff members.