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November 27, 2021

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Lion and Lamb Peace Arts Center planning project

The Lion and Lamb Peace Arts Center at Bluffton University recently celebrated its 35th anniversary with an open house. Also this fall, center director Louise Matthews resigned after working there for 26 years. 

A committee of faculty and staff is evaluating the direction of the Lion and Lamb Peace Arts Center, as part of “We Flourish,” the university’s 5-year strategic planning project.

“The university is committed to continuing the important work of the center and building on new experiential learning opportunities to connect university students with teaching peace as they prepare for life and vocation,” said Dr. Lamar Nisly, vice president and dean of academic affairs. 

The committee received feedback from several stakeholders including Matthews, Hostetler and local teachers. Nisly is leading the planning. 

“Comments from teachers reiterated that Lion and Lamb programming continues to provide important tools for K-12 students on how to respond to difficult experiences and situations in positive ways,” said Nisly. “These life skills are badly needed in our world today. The planning team will finish their work by the end of the semester with recommendations ready for implementation in the spring semester.” 

Questions and feedback about the Lion and Lamb Peace Arts Center can be sent to Nisly at [email protected]


Dr. Elizabeth “Libby” Hostetler, professor emeritus of education, founded the center in 1987 to provide a resource for children to gain skills necessary for developing a vision of peace. The center’s work focuses on peace and justice, cultural understanding and nonviolent response to conflict.

Highlights from this fall include:

More than 50 programs for audiences including Bluffton Elementary and Middle Schools, Liberty Arts Magnet School, Allen East Elementary and High Schools, Bluffton University, First Mennonite Church and Andrew’s House of Hope

PAX conference virtual session sponsored by World Friendship Center in Hiroshima, Japan 

Hibakusha Symposium on campus with survivors sharing about the atomic bomb with Bluffton students

The Lion and Lamb Peace Arts Center, on Bluffton University’s campus, also houses resources such as a large collection of picture books, fine art and illustrations focused on peace.