Bluffton University news

Despite taking courses online, 2023 MBA graduates created community and gathered in-person following commencement.

Alumni discount

A 20 percent tuition discount on a MBA, MAOM, MAEd, MSW or Master of Dietetics degree is available to all alumni who earned an undergraduate degree at Bluffton.

Changes to the Board

Following best practices for an engaged board, the Board of Trustees changed its bylaws, reducing the number of members and standing committees. Retiring trustee Mitch Kingsley was also recognized.

The Bluffton University Nature Preserve is home to 160 acres of woodland and grassland trails, a riverine ecosystem and a small, lake, wildlife habitat.

Invasive plants

A $25,000 Cenovus grant will fund the removal of invasive plants from the Bluffton University Nature Preserve. This work will allow native plants to thrive.

More than 200 students make their way to Sommer Center for their Commencement ceremony.

Commencement 2023

More than 200 students received degrees on a beautiful Saturday morning. Commencement speaker Kathy (Gaines '78) Carr encouraged them to "Have faith in how far you can go."

Faculty received summer 2023 Bluffton University Research Center grants, which provide $2,000 and up to $300 for research-related expenses.

Dean's Reception

Faculty members were recently recognized at the annual Dean's Reception, an academic year-end event honoring faculty who have been awarded grants and other scholarly endeavors.

C. Henry Smith Scholars were among the students recognized at the Academic Awards Forum.

Academic excellence

Student scholars were recognized at the annual Academic Awards and Honors Forum.

The pottery sale coincides with Bluffton University’s 55th Juried Student Exhibition which is currently featured in the Grace Albrecht Gallery of Sauder Visual Arts Center.

Pottery sale

Students will be selling original pieces of pottery outside of Sauder Visual Arts Center April 28-30 from 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. each day. Profits from each sale will be given to the artist.

Coach Burrow poses with outstanding senior athletes of the year, Haley Gill and Jack Towell.

Burrow philosophy

Coach Jimmy Burrow, aka "Joe Burrow's dad," shared his "Plan to Win" at the Athletic Awards Forum. Outstanding senior athletes and supporters of Bluffton athletics were also recognized.

Instrumental and vocal ensembles perform in the annual light-hearted Spring Fling concert.

Spring Fling Concert

Bluffton University's music ensembles will come together for a spring concert featuring fun and familiar tunes on Sunday, April 23 in Yoder Recital Hall.

Spring choral concert

Camerata Singers and University Chorale will perform a spring concert at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, April 16.

Rev. Valerie Bridgman shared stories from her life including the integration of schools during her childhood and interacting with young gang members in Austin and Memphis.

Lifetime of activism

Rev. Valerie Bridgman looked back on her 50 years of experience as a peace activist during the annual Keeney Peace Lecture.

More than 20 Civic Engagement Day sessions were presented, many by Bluffton students.

Civic Engagement

Styled like a conference, Civic Engagement Day sessions ranged from sociology students presenting about YikYak to interactive theatre workshops on conversations on race and gender.

Forum provides a public space for interdisciplinary discovery about the personal, local and global challenges faced by students, faculty, staff and the Bluffton community.

Athletic awards

During the presentation, the football coach will discuss lessons learned from a career in coaching such as how to be successful and persevere through adversity.

Payton Stephens’ speech, “Finding Peace in Religious Conversations: The Free Exercise Clause and Public Schools,” was delivered to address issues of restraining religious conversations in schools.

Oratorical contest

Payton Stephens '22, a writing and communication and media double major from Lebanon, Ohio, was named the winner of the annual C. Henry Smith Peace Oratorical Contest.

The 2022 juried show includes works of art displayed includes ceramics, glass, two-dimensional design, three-dimensional design, drawing, painting, photography, printmaking and sculpture.

Juried Student Art

The best visual arts pieces created this academic year in university art classes or supervised independent studies will be displayed in the 55th Annual Juried Student Art Exhibition.

Oratorical contest

Oratorical contest

Bluffton's annual C. Henry Smith Peace Oratorical Contest is on April 5 at 7 p.m. Participating students will prepare an oration that applies a peace-church perspective to an issue of contemporary concern.

Pastor Georgia Metz, guest speaker for spring Spiritual Life Week, focused on the importance of really listening during Forum.

Let's Listen

Georgia Metz '13 returned to campus for spring semester's Spiritual Life Week. The theme, "Let's Listen," reflects conversations around the polarization of society and the ways technology shapes us.

New head men's basketball coach Seth Clark has experience as a DIII student-athlete, assistant coach and faculty member.

Welcome Coach Clark

Seth Clark, former assistant men's basketball coach at Manchester University, will serve as the next head men's basketball coach at Bluffton University.

Music department chair, Dr. Roy Couch, will conduct the concert which will feature six Bluffton University student musicians.

Student musicians

The varied program will include an arrangement of "It Don't Mean a Thing If It Ain't Got That Swing," "Mas Que Nada," and an arrangement of "The Incredibles."

Rae Carson has published 10 books and several short stories, but the obstacles she faced at the beginning of her career, remain. The difference now is she’s made peace with them.

Path to publication

New York Times Bestselling Author Rae Carson shared a few lessons she learned on her journey to becoming a full-time author during Bluffton University's 38th English Festival.

Full-circle musical

The spring musical "Quilters" features a quilt created for a previous performance at Bluffton. It has been taken out of the archives to be featured once again on stage.

Destinations include Edinburgh, the Scottish Highlands, Glasgow, Belfast, Galway and Dublin!

Alumni travel

Join President Jane M. Wood and fellow travelers in Scotland and Ireland. Tour participants will visit small villages, enjoy the beautiful countryside and view seaside cliffs.

Lead President's Ambassadors for 2023-24

Ambassadors named

President's Ambassadors for 2023-24 have been named. They will receive professional development training and will engage with prospective students, alumni and donors.

Seniors Logan Daugherty of Bradford HS and Abbigail Martin of Colonel Crawford HS accepted Bluffton's full-tuition Presidential Scholarship.

Presidential Scholars

Logan Daugherty and Abbigail Martin, incoming students at Bluffton University, have been awarded the full-tuition Presidential Scholarship, valued at nearly $140,000 for four years.

The artists will be available to discuss their work during a reception from 1-3 p.m. on Sunday, March 19, in the Sauder Visual Arts Center.

Senior art exhibit

The exhibit opens March 13 and runs through March 25 in the Grace Albrecht Gallery of Bluffton University's Sauder Visual Arts Center.

Tickets are available now for performances on March 30, 31 and April 1.

'Quilters' musical

Through music, story and dance, the challenges and joys women faced on the North American frontier will be performed as the spring musical "Quilters."

Commencement speaker Kathy Carr began her career with Fort Wayne Community Schools as a special education teacher in 1978.

Commencement speaker

Kathy (Gaines) Carr, a 1978 Bluffton graduate, long-time educator and community advocate, will address the 2023 graduating class during the May 6 Commencement ceremony.

“We’re not putting on rose colored glasses or airbrushing out the warts of this history in this class. We’re remembering the past as it was and there are lessons out there for us,” said Perry Bush

A look into the past

History students “put their fingers on the bones of Lima’s historic African American neighborhood” in Perry Bush’s Theory and Application class. “What they found is significant,” said Bush.

“My favorite thing about the trip was being able to learn the Greek language in a classroom setting and then using it out on the street right away.”


Immersed in new environments, participants experience diverse lifestyles, make new friendships and learn respect for other heritages all while meeting personal challenges which build character.

Board action taken

The Board of Trustees approved a new construction project and a grant for students, recognized retiring faculty and welcomed a new board member during its annual winter meeting.

Former female student athletes gathered in 2022 for a reunion with Coach Kim Fischer.

Fischer Press Box

Construction for the Coach Kim Fischer Softball Press Box will start in May 2023. Former student-athletes, fans and friends contributed toward the two-story building.

Triple Chocolate Bread will be available through Feb. 28.

Bluffton Bread Company

Students are gaining hand-on learning experiences with the Bluffton Bread Company. Triple Chocolate, Birthday Bread and Asiago Cheddar bread are available through Feb 28.

Dr. Jane Wood selected for year-long Presidential Renewal Program.

Sustain leadership

President Dr. Jane Wood was one of just 15 college presidents selected for The Council of Independent Colleges' Presidential Renewal Program.

Dr. Duane Stoltzfus, professor of communication at Goshen College, told stories of three conscientious objectors seeking US citizenship.

Citizenship for COs

Following World War I, prospective US citizens were asked: "Are you willing to take up arms in defense of country?" The impact of this question on pacifists was discussed at Forum.

PAX presentation

PAX presentation

The public is invited to watch two presentations of the World Friendship Center's Peace Ambassador Exchange (PAX) at The Lion and Lamb Peace Arts Center.