Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Why should students have all the fun?

As I compose this blog more than 130 Bluffton students are scattered across the globe on their cross cultural experiences – in Iceland, Israel/Palestine, Guatemala, Columbia and closer to home in Chicago inner city, the Gulf Coast, Appalachian Kentucky and New York City.

Not to be outdone, the music department has decided to pull together an Alumni Choir Tour to Italy in June 2013. While the student's three-week long experiences focus on service and cross-cultural experiences in homestays, the alumni 10-day tour is being organized through a travel agent with hotel accommodations. So it's really not quite the same thing, but it would be interesting none-the-less.

One of the PR student assistants, an art major, went to Italy for her cross-cultural experience a few years back and brought back wonderful photos. (Photo credit to Cara Rufenaucht Delphia '07)

The alumni tour includes stops in Venice, Florence, Orvieto and Rome. Plans are for the alumni to present a cappella performances at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome and San Marco Cathedral in Venice. Are you imagining yourself there yet?

After posting about this trip on Bluffton’s Facebook page yesterday and sending out an email to select alumni and students today, there has been quite a bit of chatter about this opportunity on social media.

Unfortunately, most of the chatter I’ve seen is by recent grads for whom a trip to Italy isn’t quite in the budget. Don’t despair, while alumni trips are not organized on a regular basis, opportunities to travel with fellow Beavers do come along on occasion. So start saving your pennies now and you’ll be ready for the next trip!

To learn more about the Alumni Choir Tour to Italy, visit the Bluffton web site for detailed information and a registration form. Deadline to express interest, and to let director Mark Suderman know what voice part you sing, is June 15, 2012. Contact him directly at sudermanm@bluffton.edu for more information.

2007 Cross cultural students in Italy

Friday, May 4, 2012

BBF - Bluffton Beavers Forever

So it’s Friday before graduation. Classes are complete. Finals turned in. There’s nothing to do but to pack up and make memories before Graduation Sunday.

Four years. Four years of living, eating, studying, praying and playing together comes down to this one last weekend. Then you’ll move on to the next stage in your life. If you are like I was, there are many emotions swirling right now: happy, sad, scared, nervous, excited, thankful…

I remember standing in Klassen Court after my commencement in a sea of black. Where are my friends? My professors? Who do I want to give one final thank you, good bye, love you hug? All I see is black robes and my parents standing off to the side waiting to give a congratulations, proud of you, love you hug.

The people at Bluffton who have grown to be important to you, those who have encouraged you, challenged you, supported you – they will always be with you. Sure they may no longer be right down the hall, you will probably not see them or even talk with them daily – but they will always be part of you.

In the words of Jon Geuy ’85, "Although we maybe took it for granted while there & we don't always stay in close contact now, being a Beaver is something special.”

So enjoy this weekend! Then go make a difference in the world! But be sure to come back to campus for Homecoming and/or May Day because being a Beaver really is something special.