Friday, October 30, 2009

Halloween – Bluffton style

This morning I noticed a jack-o-lantern, complete with a tealight, on the front porch steps at the PR house. First thoughts - “That’s odd. Where did that came from?” As my to-do-list beckoned I didn’t think much more about it until later in the day.

In a stroll across campus, there were jack-o-lanterns everywhere: in the Riley Court courtyard, on Beeshy bridge, by Marbeck. Ah, last night was Trick-or-Treat. Somebody – or some group of somebodies – did a lot of work to decorate the campus appropriately. Thank you!

A relatively new tradition on campus is to open the residence halls to area children on the village Trick-or-Treat night, which happened to be last night. I have it on good authority that Trick-or-Treating in the halls – or at least in Hirschy – was a success.

Random notice:
We’re excited to announce that United States Congressman Jim Jordan representing the 4th District, Ohio, will be holding a Town Hall meeting Nov. 11 on Bluffton’s campus. Doors to Founders Hall will open at 6:30 p.m. with the event scheduled for 7-8:30 p.m.

This event is an opportunity for residents of the 4th district, especially those in Allen and Hancock Counties, to ask questions of Congressman Jordan. Other Town Hall events have occurred in the district this year, but none in this part of the region.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Walk slow and enjoy

Every so often Willis Sommer, vice president of fiscal affairs, will send a seemingly random email to the all faculty/staff email list drawing our attention to something he has noticed on campus. It is usually either nature-related or pointing out progress on a construction project.

Campus has been especially beautiful this fall. But with mid-terms, papers, multiple projects and such occupying our minds, it is easy to be so focused on the task at hand that we overlook the beauty around us.

I’d like to share Willis’ note (with his permission)

I suspect all of us are surprised this fall with the richness of the changing color of the trees. I am enjoying walks on campus seeing the various colors. I would especially note the following areas:

  1. The Ehrman Grove on the walk to Riley Court. Standing at the entrance to Sauder looking at the grove, the red maples have a backdrop of yellow leaves.

  2. Standing at Centennial Hall on the College Avenue side looking toward Hirschy—an array of colors.

  3. On the College Hall driveway where the sidewalk from Centennial to College Hall crosses, stop and look at the College Hall side entrance to Mosiman. You will see a red maple getting redder in front of two orange sweet gums. All three should get even better in the next few days.

  4. The trees in Klassen Court are now turning. Although not necessarily as bright, the leaves are still pretty, particularly seen as a grouping.

  5. The purple leaves on the tree near the IT Berky Annex entrance. It is best when the sun is bright.

  6. Several oaks, in front of Shoker and near the greenhouse, seem more colorful than past years.

Walk slow and enjoy.

Walk. Slow. And Enjoy. Amen!

(If it weren’t rainy and grey outside, I would go take a few photos to share. But if you are near campus, it would be worth your while to visit. Maybe catch a game or lecture/concert. You won’t be disappointed.)

Friday, October 16, 2009

Bluffton students are the BEST!

Tommy Thompson and Sally Orgren go to great lengths to get the perfect shot!
What a fantastic couple of weeks!

Recently, I have had the definite pleasure of getting out and about, meeting and visiting with several of Bluffton’s students.

First there was being involved in taping interviews for new fall sports videos last Thursday; then helping with a 2-day photo shoot for admissions materials earlier this week; and now I’m scheduling interviews for a ‘student scholars’ video for next week. All of which confirms for me – Bluffton has amazing students!

I’m always impressed how well our students do in the interviews for the various Web videos we’ve done in the past year. There are the lights, a microphone hidden on their shoulder, camera, and then they are told “ignore all this. We’re just having a conversation.” Riiiight! Yet they pull it off beautifully.

One of the videos last week was to promote the volleyball team. The ladies decided amongst themselves to dress professionally. What a great visual message to present. Have I mentioned how much I love our students?

Then there was the photo shoot. Select students are lined up to be photographed, but it’s not unusual for us to run ahead of schedule. Rather than wait around for the next shot, photographer Tommy Thompson will ask us to ‘find more students.’

So art director Sally Orgren from Corcoran Communications and I will run to the library, the tech center, accost students walking on the path... We’re looking for students dressed “appropriately,” i.e. colorful shirts, non-grungy, with study materials. What’s cool is that we typically don’t have to look too far. And students are typically willing to help us out.

Yes, I really do love our students!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Congratulations to all

Friday night is the annual Bluffton University Alumni Awards banquet during Homecoming weekend. I’m so looking forward to attending this banquet.

It is fun when someone you know is being honored. Even if it’s someone you only know in passing; a former classmate, former co-worker, you know what I mean.

2007 Alumni Award recipientsI attended the banquet in 2007 when Todd Miller ’86 received the Professional Achievement Award. Todd and I were classmates in Wes Richards’ communication courses. It was exciting to hear an acceptance speech for an achievement award from someone that graduated the same year you did.

This year I’ll be attending the banquet to support Tobias Buckell ’00 as he is presented the Outstanding Young Alumni Award. I got to know Tobias when he worked in the Bluffton University tech center. Nice guy, always ready to help with the weird tech issue of the day. (He helped me get an audio clip from the Camerata Singers CD into a format to post on the Bluffton site. Well, more than help, he did it. I’m sitting there, trying to learn so to do it on my own the next time. Yea, he did it so quickly, so effortlessly, I haven’t a clue what he did.)

Crystal Rain by Tobias BuckellNow he is the author of four science-fiction novels, including one that made The New York Times best-sellers list. I give him kudos for following his passion. To jump into an author’s world ready to sink or swim, and not only survive but thrive - that is impressive. (In poking around his Web site, I just learned that his debut novel Crystal Rain has been released in Czech!)

Sorry, Toby, being more of a romantic/mystery person, I cannot say that I’ve read any of your works. But that doesn’t mean I’m any less impressed by your accomplishments. Congratulations.

Congratulations as well to the other award recipients, Herman Neff ’49, Lifetime Service Award; Verne Schrich ’58, Professional Achievement Award; and Mary Ann Sullivan, Faculty/Staff Service Award.

Have more stories about the 2009 Alumni Award recipients? Share them here!