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October 27, 2020

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Three new board members join university trustees

Three new members joined the Bluffton University Board of Trustees for their annual fall meeting Nov. 13-14 on Bluffton's campus.

"As outgoing board members complete their terms, it is gratifying to see leadership commitment and expertise continuing in these new appointments from our church, alumni and business constituencies," said Morris Stutzman, Bluffton board chair from Wooster, Ohio.

The new trustees are:

Wanda Stopher, representing the Ohio Conference of Mennonite Church USA, is a 1981 Bluffton graduate. She is currently serving as associate pastor of Central Mennonite Church in Archbold, Ohio, and is an M.Div. student at Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary. She and her husband Bret have three children, two who have already graduated from Bluffton, and the third is a current student.

Kerry Strayer is a representative of Central District Conference of Mennonite Church USA and is a 1984 Bluffton graduate. Her advanced degrees include an M.A. in political communication from the University of Cincinnati, and a Ph.D. in organizational communication from the University of Texas at Austin. Strayer taught at Goshen College and the University of Tulsa before returning to Ohio, where she is currently an associate professor in the department of communication at Otterbein College in Columbus. She is a member of Columbus Mennonite Church and resides in Columbus with her husband, Frank Sigler.

Greg Wannemacher is an at-large member of the board and is a 1977 graduate. Wannemacher is the president of Wannemacher Enterprises, Inc., a transportation, warehousing and distribution business in Lima, Ohio. He previously served as Bluffton's past chair of the President's Council of Corporate Advisors and was the 2008 recipient of the Alumni Association's Professional Achievement Award. He and his wife Donna have three children, and one of which graduated from Bluffton. He and his family are members of St. John Catholic Church in Lima.

During their meeting, the trustees heard campus updates from President James M. Harder, and the vice presidents of academic affairs, advancement, fiscal affairs and enrollment management and student life. The remainder of the board's agenda was spent on reports from board committees, including the following actions.


Sabbatical research leaves were approved for faculty members from four academic disciplines.

*Dr. Michael Edmiston, professor of chemistry and physics, will experiment with new microprocessor and sensing technology to enhance undergraduate laboratory instruction.

*Dr. George Metz, associate professor of education, will engage in cross-cultural research on models for teacher preparation in France and New Zealand.

*Dr. Deb Myers, associate professor of dietetics, will develop the model for a post-baccalaureate dietetic internship for Bluffton.

*Dr. Will Slater, professor of psychology, will pursue training and certification in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction through the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

The board established the Elizabeth Boehr Memorial Endowed Scholarship, with preference for students in Family and Consumer Sciences department and food and nutrition majors. This scholarship is one of 349 endowed student scholarships provided through the gifts of alumni and friends of Bluffton.

The board approved a final operations budget for the current 2009-10 fiscal year of spending of $33,061,421 and anticipated revenue of $33,102,671.