Wednesday, October 13, 2010


What a weekend! If you didn’t make it back to Bluffton, you definitely missed out.

I made it to campus in time for the meeting of J. Denny Weaver and J. Denny Beaver. That was so classic. You could tell the Professor Weaver was very honored to share his name with the new mascot. And he and his wife Mary were so pleased with the actions, the looks, the attitude of the Beaver. Although he joked that all the good B mascot names were already taken and that’s how we ended up with J. Denny.

After a quick lunch at the alumni picnic it was time for the Homecoming court coronation.

In the weeks prior to Homecoming we started giving grief to the senior members of the PR student staff. To the point that Cody Litwiller was told it was his DUTY to be the Homecoming king because it is tradition that one of “our” students is on either the Homecoming or the May Day court.

Cody Litwiller and Ashtyn ShaferPR royalty over the years have included Molly Pawsey (Homecoming 2004), Natalie Troyer (Homecoming 2005) Jana Hammer (May Day 2005), Carol Ritz (Homecoming 2006 and May Day 2008), Mary Eckert, Thea Rosengarten and Evan Miller (Homecoming 2007), Jenna Patty (May Day 2008), Drea Ressler (May Day 2009) and now Cody Litwiller (Homecoming 2010.) As embarrassed as Cody was the first time we brought this up, he seemed to be really enjoy himself as the newly-crowned Homecoming King.

It was such a great atmosphere out at the stadium for the game. Student groups were selling flowers, baked goods or providing face-painting to raise funds. Alumni with small children were gathered where the kids could play in the green space between the baseball outfield and the football field. Other alumni and family members were leaning on the fence watching the game. Peg was there. As an alumnus from the ‘80s walked by I heard her yell, “See you Cincinnati.” Students came ready to cheer on their classmates and friends. And the Beaver was in his glory.

Saturday night was my first President’s Dinner. It was nice. A little fancier that the typical alumni gathering but not over the top. Good conversation around the table. A nice meal served by tuxedoed student waiters and waitresses. And to my surprise, our waiter was Alex Carter, conference special teams player of the week.

The highlight for me was the student presentations. Three of the students who will be performing in New York City next week and Dr. Lucia Unrau performed an eight hand piano piece. Totally unbelievable. Eight hands on one piano. You just have to see it to believe it. Keep watching Bluffton’s Facebook fan page next week for a sample.

The second student presentation was former PR student assistant Hannah Mattingly telling about her semester in Uganda and how it’s helped confirm her vocation.

What a great ending to a great day, that reminder of “why we do this.” Why we work at Bluffton, why we support Bluffton, why we keep up on what’s happening here. It’s all about the students and seeing them grow in confidence and ability, and achieve and do things they never even imagined.

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