Bluffton University news

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.

Biblical study notes developed by Dr. Gerald Mast's Religious Communication class will be submitted for publication.

Not just an assignment

Students of Dr. Gerald Mast's Religious Communication class developed study notes to submit for possible inclusion in the Anabaptist Community Bible.

Bluffton Bread Company student advisory board members.

Student-run business

From developing and standardizing recipes to streamlining the online shopping cart, Bluffton University students are gaining hands-on learning experiences through the Bluffton Bread Company.

Students are prepared to successfully enter the workforce or pursue graduate nursing education after completion of their BSN.

Full accreditation

Bluffton's nursing program has been granted the full five-year accreditation by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, the nation's leading accrediting agency for nursing programs.

Ceramic students built a new wood-fired kiln. The design is similar to a kiln often used in the 19th and early 20th centuries in southern states.

New wood-fired kiln

Behind Sauder Visual Art Center, there is a newly built wood-fired kiln constructed by ceramics students and T.R. Steiner, adjunct professor of art. Bricks used in the kiln were repurposed.

A clinical educator schedules all supervised experiential learning experiences, including at the Blanchard Valley Hospital.

New MND program

Bluffton is now offering a Master of Nutrition and Dietetics graduate degree for students interested in becoming a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. Complete requirements for the RDN exam in 12 months.

Consider this your invitation to The Big Reveal of the 2022-23 J Denny and Jenny performers.

And J Denny Beaver is....

Performers in the J Denny and Jenny Beaver suits will be revealed Jan. 28 following the men's basketball game. Multiple students, chosen by a competitive selection process, portray the couple.

Lima Mayor Sharetta Smith gave three pieces of advice: no one is successful on their own, be a person of character and keep showing up.

Show up every day

Early circumstances did not deter future successes for Sharetta Smith, the mayor of Lima, Ohio. Smith spoke on her "Journey to Leadership" at the Presidential Leadership Forum.

A celebration of Coach Guy Neal's accomplishments will be held following the men's basketball game on Feb. 4.

Legacy coach retires

Men's Basketball Coach Guy Neal will retire at the end of his 34th season. The three-time conference Coach of the Year is the winningest coach in Bluffton men's basketball history.

Clayton Moore described his experiences as the first black police officer in Fostoria, Ohio, and his fight against racial discrimination within the department.

Why me?

During the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Forum, retired police sergeant Clayton Moore addressed a question people often ask themselves in times of trial.

Estée (Arend ’13) Hemphill, assistant director of service for the Cleveland Guardians, shared lessons from her career at Forum.

Those other duties

When Estée (Arend '13) Hemphill reflects on her rise through the Cleveland Guardians's front office, she places importance on words often overlooked in a job description: other duties as assigned.