Bluffton University will add to its list of more than 85 academic programs this fall semester by offering two new majors: teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) and pre-art therapy. TESOL, which has been available at Bluffton as a minor for roughly two decades, will have an expanded curriculum – including courses in language, education and the social sciences – for students to fulfill the new major. “There are students who come to us whose central interest is TESOL,” and they want to make it their main focus of study, says Dr. Lamar Nisly, associate dean of academic affairs. “This is an important step in moving in that direction,” he says, noting that the university will also explore state licensure in TESOL. The minor in the program will continue to be offered as well.
The second annual running, swimming and biking of Bluffton’s Be A Beaver Triathlon brought about 100 competitors to town on Saturday, May 30. The participants – up in number from 64 for the event’s debut last year – started with a jump into the Bluffton Community Pool for a 400-meter swim. A 20-kilometer (12.4-mile) bike ride and a 5K (3.1-mile) run completed the triathlon, won for the second straight year by Justin Kahle, 21, of Defiance, Ohio, in a time of 58 minutes, 28 seconds.
Life after graduation can be a confusing and stressful transition for many college students, but Dr. Karen Longman believes the secret to life can be summarized in one interjection: WAHOO! “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” asked Longman, quoting poet Mary Oliver, May 3, at Bluffton University’s 115th annual commencement ceremony. WAHOO! isn’t just a shout of celebration on graduation day, but also an acronym to guide students as they open a new chapter of their lives, she told Bluffton’s class of 2015.
A borrowed sawhorse that was broken, and replaced, without the director knowing what had happened. A dead character wheeled off on a dolly, to applause, during a scene change. A rented backdrop coming down during a change and winding up in a pile on the floor backstage during the show. Those were just a few of the memories – most humorous, others more serious – evoked on May 2 for current and past directors of Bluffton University’s May Day theatrical productions, which date to 1915.