Monday, July 20, 2009

Down time on campus?

Many people have the misconception that all work ceases on college campuses during the summer. Ah contraire.

While it is true that there are significantly fewer Bluffton students and faculty around during the summer, there is still much activity on campus and with our students, alumni and faculty.

Here is just a sampling of activities from Bluffton this summer.

Summer dreaming/MIR
While many students head home to summer jobs and internships, several students are exploring their vocation through Summer Dreaming Grants, Ministry Inquiry Program or Pathways to Ministry scholarship program.

Research Center grants
Three faculty members received grants to support summer projects that are scholarly or creative in nature through the Bluffton University Research Center. They will report on their research in Friday Colloquium presentations this academic year.

Mathematics education workshops

Each year Duane Bollenbacher, mathematics, hosts a series of three-day workshops for middle school and high school math teachers. Each workshop can be taken for 20 contact hours, LPDC credit or one semester hour graduate workshop credit.

Marpeck conference
More than 75 Anabaptist scholars from around the world gathered at Bluffton for the Anabaptist Convictions after Marpeck Conference in June. (Yes, Marpeck. It’s not a typo.)

Conference center

Bluffton’s campus becomes a conference center during the summer months. More than 7,000 guests will visit campus this summer for various events including

  • band camps for 11 high school marching bands (including the Willard H.S. band that has been on campus every summer since 1975)
  • high school basketball, volleyball and soccer day camps
  • a wedding on the Intramural Field and a wedding reception in Marbeck Center
  • pre-Mennonite Church USA convention lodging for six youth groups representing Kansas, Oregon and Pennsylvania
  • Catholic youth gathering from the Toledo Diocese, an annual event on campus dating from 1971
  • events such as the American Cancer Society Bluffton Relay for Life, the Lyons Club Festival of Wheels and the Bluffton/Pandora Rotary Freedom Fest celebration

Alumni events
Good times were had by all at two annual alumni summer events, the Young Alumni Ultimate Frisbee event in June and the Alumni and Friends Golf Scramble in July. In addition, this year more than 100 alumni gathered for a reunion at the Mennonite Church USA conference held in Columbus, Ohio.

Your turn. How have you been keeping busy this summer thus far?