BLUFFTON — Dr. Jane Wood was inaugurated as the 10th president of Bluffton University during an event Friday at Yoder Recital Hall.
The inauguration was attended by university faculty, staff, students, Bluffton residents, visiting delegates from other colleges and universities from around the country and three former Bluffton University presidents. Richard Johnson, mayor of Bluffton, was one of seven the community, faculty, students and staff chosen to welcome Wood to the community.
Wood was introduced to campus and the community in March. She has more than 20 years of experience in higher education. Her previous position before Bluffton was as vice president of academic affairs and dean at Mount Marty College in Yankton, South Dakota.
She also served three years as vice president of academic affairs and dean at Westminster College in New Wilmington, Pennsylvania.
“It’s just been a joyous celebration,” Wood said while waiting for the inauguration ceremony to begin. “It’s just been a lovely day getting ready to enjoy the inauguration and the historical tradition that is this university.”
She said her and her husband have been getting settled into Bluffton and getting to know the community. Wood has also spent the months since being introduced getting to know the students, staff, faculty and the new class of freshmen. Bluffton University has seen an increase in the number of international students for the 2018-‘19 school year, she said. There are students from 10 international countries, which is an increase from previous years.
Wood gave an inaugural speech titled “Shine the Light,” which drew parallels between the scholarly pursuit of truth and beauty when universities first began in the middle ages and how that pursuit continues today.
“We’re ever ancient, ever new,” she said. “We’re learning new technology, we’re modernizing and that’s a good thing. There’s lot of wonderful things that technology can do for us today. But we also are linked back to this ancient medieval tradition about seeking to know oneself and seeking to know the beauty and truth of self serving in the community.”
The Bluffton University goal is to inspire students and guide them to service in their communities, Wood said.
Reach Bryan Reynolds at 567-242-0362