Bluffton University news

Based in rural Wisconsin, the famed “healing waters” of Paragon Springs have been mysteriously poisoned, and Dr. Thomas Stockman is determined to share the truth no matter the consequences.

Paragon Springs

First staged 23 years ago and set nearly 100 years ago, "Paragon Springs" was chosen by director Dr. Melissa Friesen because the issues presented transcend time.

“Your past does not define you. Not one professor held my past against me,” explained Glick. “In fact, they cheered me on.”

It's okay to fail

2007 alumnus David Glick returned to campus for Spiritual Life Week. Glick provided the Forum and Chapel messages and worked with students as they explored the theme "Be Rooted."

Early Interval will perform works from the Renaissance set against contemporary poetry about the environmental crisis.

Ecological history

A Forum juxtaposing attitudes from the Renaissance with today's climate crisis will be followed by an evening performance of "Music and Poetry for a Regenerative Earth."

Set in 1926 in the American heartland, the famed “healing waters” of Paragon Springs have been mysteriously poisoned.

Theatre cast list

The lure of capitalism and the greed of small-town-self-interest will be explored in the Bluffton University Theatre presentation of "Paragon Springs" by Steven Dietz.

Corporate Partnership

A 20% tuition discount on graduate programs is just one of the benefits provided by a new corporate partnership between Grob Systems, Inc., and Bluffton University.

Alumni weekend

Along with cheering on the football, volleyball and swim teams, the Beavers will host alumni gatherings, food trucks, Beaver Tail-Gating and more for homecoming and alumni weekend.

Applications open soon for spring 2024 experiences to the Czech Republic, Guatemala, Kentucky, the Ohio River Valley and Washington, D.C.

Cross Cultural Forum

Students who participated in spring 2023 short-term cross-cultural experiences spoke during Forum.

2023-24 Enrollment

Bluffton University enrollment for 2023-24 includes 205 new traditional undergraduate students (up from 172 a year ago) and 54 new graduate students (a 50 percent increase.)

Robin Bowlus, vice president of advancement and enrollment management; Lyle Miller, Everence; Greg Liestman, Everence; Jane Wood, president; and Ed Basinger, Everence, following the gift presentation.

$1.8 million gift

“John and Erma (Stutzman) wanted their generosity to extend beyond their lifetime and the financial gift from their estate will have the potential to create this type of legacy.”

President Jane Wood shares the State of the University for 2023-24.

State of the University

President Jane Wood announced a major gift, explained how the state of each student directly impacts the state of the university and shared successes from the year.

Judge David A. Rodabaugh, Lima Municipal Court, presented the 2023 Constitution Day Forum.

Constitution Day

Judge David A. Rodabaugh, Lima Municipal Court, discussed the recent Supreme Court decision for 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis. The case dealt with matters of free speech, nondiscrimination and LGBTQ-rights.

The university and community join in this traditional town-gown advent performance.

Join the chorus

Perform Handel's "Messiah" with the Bluffton University community on Dec. 10. Vocalists high school age and older are invited to join the chorus. Weekly rehearsals begin Oct. 3.

U.S. News ranking

"U.S. News & World Report" once again named Bluffton University to the top tier of Midwest Regional Colleges. This is Bluffton's 26th consecutive year to be ranked.

Charlene Coughlin, marketing professional and Bluffton University graduate, explored the power of advertising on mental health.

Marketing and mental health

Bluffton graduate Charlene Coughlin, spoke in Forum on the connection between marketing and mental health. If authentic, positive marketing is the right thing to do and good for business.

Works by Kathleen Pahl will be displayed Sept. 25-Oct. 22.

Pahl art exhibit

Using color, organic forms and lines, Kathleen Pahl explores intersections of life and death and our relationship with the unknowable. The exhibit begins Sept. 25.

Michael Bailey, Heather Koontz, and Laurel Neufeld Weaver answered questions on why mental health issues are on the rise and obstacles people face in managing their emotional wellness.

Emotional health

Instead of looking to social media for a diagnosis, the panelists encouraged audience members to seek help from a licensed mental health provider.

Thomas E. “Tucker” Lott, a businessman, storyteller and mentor from Kansas City, Mo., shared stories from his time at Bluffton.

Make wise choices

Make positive choices and always get back up if you fall, "because falling happens." Alumnus Thomas E. "Tucker" Lott gave this advice during the annual Opening Convocation.


Opening convocation

Thomas E. "Tucker" Lott, an alumnus, consultant, storyteller, investor and mentor, will be the featured speaker as the class of 2027 is welcomed during Opening Convocation.

The first phase of this project will remove invasive plants near the entrance of the preserve.

Preserve restoration

Invasive shrubs are being removed at the Bluffton University Nature Preserve to support biodiversity and provide resources for birds, small mammals and insects.

(Non) resident writer

Jeff Gundy, emeritus professor of English at Bluffton University, received a $93,500 grant to travel the world as a writer in (non) residence.

At Bluffton, a dedicated admissions transfer coordinator works with each student individually throughout the application process.

Transfer Honor Roll

Bluffton is one of the 208 colleges and universities selected to the 2023 Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society's Transfer Honor Roll. Colleges were named based on a "Transfer Friendliness" rating.

Bluffton has been recognized as a College of Distinction since 2019-20.

College of Distinction

Colleges of Distinction recognized Bluffton University for providing a high-quality undergraduate education that focuses on hands-on learning, strong student-teacher relationships, a vibrant campus life and successful outcomes.

 Alumni, family and friends join forces: Jesse Williams III ‘89, Clayton Jacobs, Jesse Williams IV and Matthew Jacobs golfed in 2022.

FORE! '23 scramble set

The 26th annual Alumni and Friends Golf Scramble to benefit Bluffton athletics, is set for Saturday, July 22, at Bluffton Golf Club.

Collegiate faculty and staff from as far away as Rhodes Island, South Carolina and Winnipeg, Canada, gathered to discuss vocation.

NetVUE gathering

Career center professionals gathered at Bluffton for the NetVUE (Network for Vocation in Undergraduate Education) regional meeting to discuss ways to infuse vocational exploration into the curriculum.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.