Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Making memories

Ellery performs in Bob's Place
It’s amazing what fun things are planned by the student life crowd. Makes me almost wish I could go back and relive my college years.

A duo from Columbus, Ellery, performed in Bob’s Place last week. Bob’s was transformed into a coffeehouse, complete with lighting and rearranging the soft coffeehouse-style couches for ambiance. From the photos it looks like it was an amazing crowd – on a Thursday night to boot! photos…

President Harder and others from the President’s Cabinet still carve turkey and roast beef for the annual Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. But a new tradition, the Midnight Finals Breakfast served by faculty and staff, provides sustenance and a study-break to those pulling all-nighters. It’s not often that you are serenaded by professors wearing Santa hats! photos from last year...

Some things are staples in the student life repertoire. They still play Bingo with college-student needs such as detergent, snacks, writing utensils, etc., given as prizes. But they also go big with Giant Monopoly and Giant Dutch Blitz. photos from Oct. 09... That looks like it could be fun.

Just like 20+ years ago, a walk through the residence halls will show students making their own entertainment. Euchre and Spades were the games of choice then. Now it is mostly video games. It’s all a chance for friends to gather, to laugh, to have fun. Oh, the stories that could be told…
Your turn! What were some of the events/activities which made great memories from your college years?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Once upon a time

Think of your favorite story – whether it is fiction or non-fiction; mystery, biographical, science fiction or romance – we all love a good story. Stories tell us where we’ve come from or help us envision what could be.

It’s no surprise that alumni tell us over and over that the first things they read when the Bluffton magazine arrives are alumnotes and the alumni feature stories. Even if we don’t personally know the people profiled, there is something really cool about reading what others are doing with what they learned at our shared alma mater.

We’re also told that stories are important to prospective students and their parents. It gives them a sense of what they could expect to gain from a Bluffton education. “I/my child could go to Bluffton and become an orthopedic surgeon/ FAA operations analysist/ or recipient of Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. These stories are so important that we’re starting to highlight them on the individual academic department Web pages.

Where do these stories come from? The best story ideas come from you!

Sometimes an interesting alumnote will be expanded into a feature, or sometimes a professor/former classmate will tell us what someone else is doing. Oftentimes we try to align the alumni features with the topic of the magazine – other times they are completely random.

We maintain a list of possible alumni feature stories to choose from, but we can always use more ideas. Tell us what you are doing, or narc on your friends and family. We cannot promise that every idea will become a feature story – but if we don’t know about it, we can’t write about it. Contact us at mailto:news@bluffton.edu or online. Be sure to include your contact information.

Help us tell your story and weave your experience into the fabric of Bluffton University for the benefit of alumni and future students.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Having fun along the way

Having fun on the court
What an amazing ride for the Bluffton women’s volleyball team!

When Coach Steve Yarnell took over the reins of the Bluffton program in 2004, his goal was to contend for the HCAC championship in five years. Last year, one year ahead of schedule, his team went to the HCAC tourney where they lost to Mount St. Joseph 3-0 in the semi-finals.

Then came 2009. A perfect 8-0 conference regular season record. Hosting the HCAC post-season NCAA qualifier tournament over the weekend. Let me just say - Founders was rocking! Once again the Beavers met MSJ in the post-season tournament, this time in the finals.

The ladies looked and played NERVOUS. Could it be that a pre-game pep-talk from Coach Clarence Vaughn and his two Super Bowl rings added to their anxiety? Or did they start thinking about actually playing perennial HCAC volleyball powerhouse Mount in the finals?
Team bonding on the playground
Either way, Mount won the first two games rather decisively. Then in the middle of the third game when Bluffton’s women were down and the crowd was deflated, something weird happened with the scoreboard. Bluffton was up by either one or two, then the score on the board changed several times with the action stopped. There was conversation at the scorer’s table with coaches and officials. I heard someone who might know more about volleyball than I say there was a set from the back row. Whatever that means. The scoreboard showed us tied at 8 then tied at 6. It was really bizarre.

All I do know, is that the crowd got back into it the game at this point. And something clicked with the Beavers. They started playing relaxed and having fun on the court. And wouldn’t you know it – they took the final three games to win the tourney.

And the season’s not over yet! The winner of the HCAC tourney has an automatic bid into the NCAA Division III tournament. Bluffton will be playing Ohio Northern University, Thursday at Hope College in Holland, Mich., in the first round of the NCAA regional playoffs. Earlier this season, ONU handed us our only loss in Founders in the past 20 home games.

Bluffton competed in the NCAA regional playoffs three times 1994-97 and six times in the NAIA playoffs 1982-90. Hmmm. Bluffton is a pretty young team. Could we be on the verge of another Bluffton volleyball dynasty?

No pressure though! Ladies – you just keep having fun on the court and take us along for the ride!