September 2, 2014


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Bluffton University

University softball team makes a pitch against cancer

Taylor Haggy (right), a former Bluffton University softball pitcher from South Charleston, Ohio, throws out the first pitch before Bluffton’s doubleheader against Anderson University on “Strike Out Cancer” day, April 8.

Joined by current Bluffton pitcher Kayla Owens (left), Haggy performed the ceremonial duty in honor of her mother, Kellee, a cancer victim who passed away last August. When Haggy was playing for Bluffton two years ago, Kellee threw out the first pitch on “Strike Out Cancer” day, a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society.

Schrag wins peace oratory contest

Bluffton University junior Mary Schrag, from Moundridge, Kan., won the university’s annual C. Henry Smith Peace Oratorical Contest on April 9.

In addition to earning a $175 cash prize, Schrag qualified for a binational contest with top finishers from other North American Mennonite colleges.

Miss America draws "circles of unity" in Bluffton speech

Nina Davuluri, the reigning Miss America and the first of Indian-American descent, brought her message of multiculturalism to Bluffton University April 9 as keynote speaker for the university’s annual civic engagement day.

After being crowned Miss America 2014 last September, Davuluri launched “#Circles of Unity,” a social media campaign that seeks to spread multiculturalism and promote diversity. She particularly hopes to become a role model for children and to encourage them to embrace diversity.

Ventriloquist is final Artist Series performer

Bluffton University’s 2013-14 Artist Series will conclude Thursday, April 24, with a performance by ventriloquist Lynn Trefzger at 7:30 p.m. in Yoder Recital Hall.

For more than 30 years, Trefzger has given life to a trunk full of comical characters. Audiences are treated to her vocal illusion talents when they meet a lovable camel, a grumpy old man or a feisty little girl. She has received many awards during her career, including The American Comedy Awards and Variety Entertainer of the Year.

Wymer to address athletics awards forum

Bluffton University will recognize its top student-athletes at the annual Athletics Awards Forum, at 11 a.m. Tuesday, April 15, in Yoder Recital Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

The guest speaker will be Terry Wymer, an NCAA Division I basketball official in the Big Ten, Atlantic Coast and Mid-American conferences, among others. The North Baltimore, Ohio, resident has officiated numerous conference tournament championship games and NCAA tournament games.

Student art showcased at 47th annual show

The Bluffton University art department will present its 47th annual Juried Student Exhibition from April 14-May 3 in the Grace Albrecht Gallery in Sauder Visual Arts Center. The exhibition, which is free and open to the public, will showcase work created this academic year by students in university art classes or supervised independent studies.

Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and 1-5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays except Saturday, May 3, when the gallery will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Battle to perform ‘Songs of Black America’

Dr. Crystal Sellers Battle, an assistant professor of music at Bluffton University, will present a vocal recital at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, April 13, in Bluffton’s Yoder Recital Hall. The performance is free and open to the public.

Pianist Michael Lester will assist Battle, a soprano, during the recital, which is titled “Songs of Black America: Music Composed for or by African-Americans.”

Pops Concert on tap


Four Bluffton University musical ensembles will come together Friday, April 11, to present the annual Pops Concert at 7:30 p.m. in Founders Hall. The concert is free and open to the public; donations will be accepted for program costs, with any excess funds going toward music scholarships.

Beavers new football coach has lots of Heartland Athletic Collegiate Conference experience

Bluffton University has named Denny Dorrel as its new head football coach.


Dorrel (rhymes with “coral”), the 13th head coach in Bluffton football history, replaces Tyson Veidt, who resigned after six seasons to become the linebackers coach and recruiting coordinator at the University of Toledo.

Race: it’s not easy to just ‘get over it’

After a Florida jury acquitted George Zimmerman last July of the murder of black teenager Trayvon Martin, “I heard many people say that people of color should just get over issues of race and move on,” Dr. Crystal Sellers Battle recalls.

But the sentiment had the opposite effect on Battle, a Bluffton University music faculty member who subsequently committed to being Bluffton’s 2013-14 civic engagement scholar, leading a yearlong, campuswide conversation about the theme of “Race and Ethnicity in America.”