Bluffton University

May Day to Feature New Events

   Bluffton University will look back at 100 years of May Day theatricals as part of its annual May Day weekend festivities, which also include the traditional May Day ceremony at a new time —1:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 2.
   Also among the new events on the April 30-May 3 schedule are a “Faculty Showcase” presentation by Dr. Walter Paquin, an assistant professor of social work who will discuss his research related to the aftermath of the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, Missouri; and a piano/organ recital by alumnae Kathryn (Lehman ’95) Harsha and Kirsten Halker-Kratz ’96.
   The weekend will open Thursday, April 30, with the first of three performances of “The Musical of Musicals: The Musical!” in Founders Hall, and conclude Sunday, May 3, with commencement in the Sommer Center. In between will be a full complement of activities, including several alumni reunions and the May Day Run/Walk.

“Marriage Plot” Thickens in Movies Says Bluffton Speaker

    As a scholar of 19th-century women’s literature, Dr. Cheri Larsen Hoeckley knows that marriage plays a central role in many classic novels. But the pressure to get married that can be found in those books also lives on in modern movies and culture, the Westmont College professor says.
   Novels of the 19th century “are in many ways the origin of a notion that we still live with,” Larsen Hoeckley said March 31 at Bluffton University’s annual Women’s Studies Forum. “And that notion is the assumption that no matter who you are, or what you’re doing right now in your late teens, you’re going to be married at some point.”

Education, Mentors Helped Mold Former Reds’ Trainer

   Larry Starr was in his 60s when he decided to pursue a doctorate in education at Nova Southeastern University in Florida.
   The coursework for the degree was done in two years, the former Cincinnati Reds trainer said March 25 at Bluffton University, but the required dissertation became – as it does for many doctoral candidates – a stumbling block.
   But his wife provided a push, and he also remembered the work ethic and dedication of successful athletes he had worked with during a 30-year career in Major League Baseball. Prodded to finish the program, Starr received his doctorate from the University of Fort Lauderdale in 2013 – 42 years after he had earned his master’s degree from Ohio University 

Engage in the “Contact Zone,” Professor Encourages

    The “contact zone,” as defined by Kate Spike, will never be confused with the comfort zone where many people like to spend their time.
The first zone is where humans “brush up against each other,” whether in language, literacy or culture, as well as geographically, she said in Bluffton University’s annual Civic Engagement Forum on March 24. “It’s not a comfortable place,” the assistant professor of English added, comparing it to “burlap underwear” – something that most people would like to avoid.
   But it should be embraced instead, Spike asserted, explaining that amid the discomfort, learning occurs.

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