Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A year of building and beheading

J. Denny Beaver's "beheading," Feb. 2011
While things are a little quieter around here, I decided to archive the ‘coming event’ news releases from 2011, and in the process reviewed events from the past year on campus.

As we go through our day to day activities it’s so easy to move from one “big thing” to the next without acknowledging the totality of what’s being accomplished. So here is a reminder of “big Bluffton stories” from 2011.

Disclaimer: the following is my opinion only and listed in no particular order.
Blended Voices: Music and Worship in the Gospel Tradition
The inaugural Blended Voices event set a high standard for the next workshop, tentatively set for 2013.
More than 200 'Blended Voices' to sing gospel
African-American sacred music in most music's lineage

Fulbright award
Dr. Perry Bush leaves next month to teach on the intersection of politics, economics, religion and culture in 20th-century America.
Fulbright award taking Bush to Ukraine

NCATE reaccreditation
Bluffton received the highest rating for modeling professional practices in teaching and service, and for its leadership and authority, facilities and resources, including technology.
Bluffton's teacher education program reaccredited

The Lion and Lamb Peace Arts Center 25th
Dr. Libby Hostetler had a vision of children learning about peace, justice, cultural understanding and nonviolent responses to conflict by interacting with literature and the arts.
Lima News feature - The Courier feature
Peacemaking: A labor of time, patience, creativity

Health and Fitness Education Center
Construction of a Health and Fitness Education Center is underway. This building is part of the Extending Our Reach campaign.
Bluffton breaks ground for Health and Fitness Education Center
Construction webcam

Chapter of excellence for service
Bluffton’s Ohio Collegiate Music Education Association is one of only three in the country honored as a chapter of excellence by The National Association for Music Education.
Bluffton's future music teachers give, serve

Public health major
A major in public health is now offered to help meet society’s increasing need for health care and social services professionals. Even though this was announced in 2010, it actually happened in 2011 so I’m including it here.
Bluffton adding public health to academic offerings

Women’s soccer
Several Bluffton athletics teams enjoyed success in 2011. But, a special shout out goes to the women’s soccer team that reached multiple milestones, including a first ever trip to the HCAC post-season tourney; most victories in a season; and a 523:31 shutout streak.
Bluffton takes down #1 seed Earlham in HCAC semifinals

Living with enough
The Civic Engagement Theme for 2010-11 focused on “Living with Enough: Responding to Global Poverty.” Among the speakers and events highlighting this topic was the author of “Dead Man Walking.”
‘Dead Man Walking' author learned from victims' families
Bluffton magazine: Living with Enough

U.S. News & World Report
Bluffton has been included in this ranking for 14 consecutive years.
Bluffton in top tier of Midwest 'Regional Colleges': U.S. News & World Report

Out of curiosity, I researched the top 10 visited news releases as reported by our web analytics system. (Sports stories were not included in this search.) Here are the news stories you have deemed the most interesting in 2011:

10. Disability awareness program coming to Bluffton
9. More than 200 ‘blended voices’ to sing gospel
8. Bluffton to stage 'The Castle of Otranto'
7. Put 'O.R.R.S' in 'Water of Humanity,' Bluffton graduates urged
6. Fulbright award taking Bush to Ukraine
5. Who's the Beaver? Bluffton mascot revealed
4. Second senior art exhibit to open at Bluffton
3. Play to premiere at Bluffton
2. May Day court named
1. Two standouts named Bluffton's top senior female athletes

While no year is without its challenges, 2011 has been a good year on campus. You have made all this possible with your gifts of time, talent and treasure. Thank you. And here's hoping we all have a happy and safe 2012.

FYI - New and increased gifts to the Bluffton Fund are now being doubled by the Trustees' Challenge.

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