Wednesday, May 14, 2014

It's Summer Time

Faculty and staff enjoy ice cream served by the President's Cabinet to celebrate summer.

May is such an odd month for those of us working at Bluffton University.

According to our academic calendar, summer officially began on May 5, the day after graduation. It is so crazy quiet on campus. Student parking lots are empty.  When you do see faculty strolling through campus, they are often wearing shorts, t-shirts and sandals. I ate lunch at Marbeck earlier this week - thinking there might have been a dozen of us in The Commons.

Outside of the Bluffton bubble, it’s not yet summer, which begins for some on Memorial Day, for others in early June when local schools are out for the summer. (Thanks Polar Vortex.) People are wrapping up the school year, competing in end-of-the-season sports tournaments, planning graduation parties. Life has definitely not slowed down off of Bluffton’s campus.

Which leaves us in a type of limbo straddling these two worlds. Not that I’m complaining. Especially because this “slow” time doesn't last long – or at all for some of us.

While lunching at Marbeck, I learned that roughly 8,000 visitors are expected on campus through various conference and events this summer – beginning with soccer tournaments and the Special Olympics which together brought an estimated 2,000 people to campus just last weekend.

And that does not count three orientations for new students, a Discovery Day for prospective students and the Ultimate Frisbee Alumni Reunion, which are all happening on campus in June alone.

Then there are multiple off-campus alumni events to host, publications to design and print, student life activities to plan, summer research to conduct, etc.

It is true, there is a different vibe on campus in the summer, it’s more relaxed and much quieter (well at least until the band camps start in July.) But don’t let our casual clothing fool you… a lot happens on campus while the students are away.