Huntington University will hold its 111th commencement exercises at 3 p.m. on May 16 on the front campus, weather permitting. Degrees will be awarded to 230 graduates (associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees). Three honorary degrees will also be presented.


The commencement address will be given by Dr. John Bernbaum (right), founder and president of Russian-American Christian University in Moscow, Russia. RACU’s mission, as a private faith-based university, is to equip young Russians for leadership roles in their local communities, in the marketplace, in their churches and in their nation.

doughty_del.jpgBernbaum works out of the U.S. office of RACU in Wheaton, Md., and spends approximately one-third of the year in Moscow; the remaining time is spent traveling across the country sharing RACU’s mission, recruiting faculty and raising scholarship support for financially-needy Russian students.

Dr. Del Doughty (left), Huntington University professor of English, will deliver the baccalaureate sermon to graduates and their parents at 10:30 a.m. in the Zurcher Auditorium of the Merillat Centre for the Arts. For the past dozen years, he has taught HU courses in creative writing, world literature, and academic writing and research. 


While some chose to lay on the sandy beaches of Florida to work on their tans, 13 students from Huntington University gave up their week of rest and relaxation to build houses in Benton Harbor, Mich., on March 16-20. The university’s Joe Mertz Center for Volunteer Service partnered with Harbor Habitat for Humanity, the local Habitat affiliate, to complete multiple service projects around the community.

Throughout the week, students tackled a variety of tasks, such as  picking up trash, spreading mulch, and working directly on a house–putting up roof sheeting, painting, or putting in hurricane stripping. Students were on the worksite from 8 a.m. to about 3 p.m. each day.


“I couldn’t have asked for a better group of students,” said Grace McBrayer, the JMC staff advisor. “All week I saw students be selfless, inclusive to each other and serve, serve, serve!”


After putting in more than five hours of physical work, the students took their afternoons off to enjoy the scenery, interact with members of the community, hold devotional times, participate in other service projects, and spend time together as a group playing games and building relationships.

Josh Lawrence, program coordinator of the JMC and the student leader of the trip, felt each student had a good experience. He thought the trip served as a good reminder of just how blessed students are relative to other places not too far from Huntington.


“Our group was great, and it meant a great deal to me that everyone was willing to give up their spring break to make a practical difference,” said Lawrence, a senior business major from North Judson, Ind. “We not only grew as a team, but we saw the direct results of our efforts and the work we had done. I also think it helped put things in perspective for us.”


L-r: Kelsey Butcher, Samantha Sutorius, Meghan Martin, Krista Sauter, Luke Brenneman, Brenda Bair and Alex Lute traveled to Costa Rica on their spring break. In front is their mission team leader, Amy Speake. (click photo to enlarge)

Spring break in San José, Costa Rica, wasn’t a vacation for the Foresters who participated in the week-long mission trip. Eight people went on the trip, including six Huntington University students and one faculty member and his daughter.

From March 14 to the 22, the group crossed international borders and delved into a different culture. As part of the Christ For the City International service organization, they served, lived, shared, and now emphasize the significance of an international service experience.

“I think that college students are at the perfect stage in their lives for the challenges that such international experiences bring as well as having something valuable to share,” said Dr. Todd Martin, associate professor of English at Huntington and leader of the trip.

“I wouldn’t really say that I ‘lead’ it,” Martin said. “The students did all the planning and developing of the trip.”

Alex Lute, a junior elementary education major from Lansing, Ill., was responsible for suggesting Costa Rica to the Joe Mertz Center as a mission trip possibility. He served with CFCI for six months in that same area of San José just after he graduated high school.


Emily Simpson works with children on a picture frame craft. Simpson is a senior recreation management major from Star City, Ind.

Dr. Norris Friesen, along with a group of 12 students, one faculty member and one staff member from Huntington University, witnessed extreme poverty first-hand during a spring break mission trip to the Dominican Republic on March 16-20.

One windy day they found themselves walking afoot through a small housing project called Redemption Village. Glancing around, Friesen noticed a woman making charcoal to sell on the side of the street, and on the other side of the woman, a young boy was walking around completely naked.

“We learned later that it wasn’t that the boy didn’t have any clothes, but it was a way to keep his clothes clean and to not wear them out,” said Friesen, vice president and dean of Huntington University. “You can’t visit a place like Redemption Village and not be impacted.”


his summer, the Huntington University Department of Theatre Arts will host its fourth Huntington University Summer Theatre Youth Camp. From June 29-July 25, campers entering grades kindergarten through 12 in the fall will learn basic theatrical training from theatre professionals and perform a fully produced musical theatre production. This summer’s performance will be “Fiddler on the Roof Jr.,” and every camper will have a part.

The camp will run Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Huntington University Merillat Centre for the Arts with performances on July 25.

Cost is $175 per camper with a late registration fee of $25 after May 1. Space is limited to 50 campers. Brochures and registration forms were distributed to area elementary and middle schools and are available at the Merillat Centre for the Arts Box Office.



Huntington University freshman Ben Swartz is selling necklaces to raise money for orphanages overseas.

“I have known since I was 16 that God was calling me to care for the orphans,” said Swartz, a freshman nursing major from Botkins, Ohio.

Swartz said he had been praying for some time for a way to raise money for this cause. Then one day someone showed him how to make the necklaces he currently sells. He started wearing them, and when others expressed interest in the necklaces, he decided to sell them as a way to raise money for orphanages.

necklaces.jpegThe funds raised from approximately 200 necklaces was given to CKS Ministries, an organization building an orphanage in Kenya, Africa, and started by C. Kevin and Cheri Singer, a couple who attend Swartz’s church.

“I’ve been able to converse, meet, and befriend so many awesome people who are feeding and caring for orphans and the least of society,” Swartz said. “I know that the money that we have given to the orphanage being built in Kenya will affect kids’ lives that we may never meet, and it is hard to grasp the affect that the money will have.

“I know that this has affected my life so much. Just to see the amount of people who believe in the dream that God has placed in my heart is incredible. Our next step is to create a non-profit, and it is cool to see how God provides now even before we are a non-profit.”

Huntington University‘s current spring semester enrollment is the largest in its history, with a total student body of 1,114. That compares to 1,080 in 2008. They include:

  • 893 traditional undergraduate students.
  • 125 EXCEL Adult Degree Programs students.
  • 96 graduate students.

The Huntington University Board of Trustees approved a 4.9 percent increase for fulltime traditional undergraduate tuition and fees in 2009-2010.

“In light of the current economy, Huntington has worked diligently to moderate tuition and fees increases for 2009-2010 to make college more affordable for students and their families,” said Tom Ayers, vice president for business and finance. “We believe this effort, combined with Huntington’s continued commitment to providing scholarships and grants to students, will enable more students to pursue their college goals at HU.”

For the 2008-2009 academic year, the cost for a Huntington University education is $20,300 in tuition and fees, $4,843 less than the national average. According to College Board’s 2008-2009 Annual Survey of Colleges, four-year private institutions charge an average of $25,143 in tuition and fees, a 5.9 percent increase of $1,483 over 2007-2008.

In the fall of 2008, Huntington University was recognized by three institution-ranking organizations. U.S.News & World Report ranked Huntington No. 5 among the 2009 “Best Values in Baccalaureate Colleges” in the Midwest and No. 7 among the Midwest’s “Best Baccalaureate Colleges.” Huntington ranked in the same positions in both categories on the 2008 lists.

Approximately 90 percent of Huntington University students receive financial aid in the form of scholarships, grants, loans or work-study assistance.

Huntington was also pleased to be included in a new U.S.News category called “Economic Diversity.” Essentially, it features schools that have students on campus from a variety of economic profiles who are, in the words of U.S.News, not colleges just for “rich kids.” At Huntington, 40 percent of the student come from households with total incomes of less that $50,000 per year.

In addition to institution-ranking organizations, Huntington University also receives high marks from its students. Each year, the university participates in the Student Satisfaction Inventory – a national survey of college students.

“According to survey data, Huntington students believe the tuition they pay is a better investment than students who participated in the Student Satisfaction Inventory at other public and private schools,” says Jeff Berggren, vice president for enrollment management and marketing.


The Huntington University women’s basketball program raised $2,007 for breast cancer research through a Pink Out event held Saturday.

The team presented a check to Heidi Floyd, development ambassador for the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer, following its game against Grace College. Funds were raised through donations in lieu of a game-day admission charge as well as through T-shirt and pink popcorn sales.

All of the funds donated to the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer are directed toward breast cancer research.

Beth Goldsmith (top right), a breast cancer survivor and former assistant coach of the Huntington University women’s basketball team, spoke at halftime. Goldsmith’s sister passed away from the disease, and her mother is currently fighting it.

“I am grateful for this journey,” she told the crowd. “It hasn’t changed my life goals and purpose, but it has expanded them.” Goldsmith said she was pleased to come back and support “a coach, a program and an institution that I respect so much.”

Also at halftime, 35 breast cancer survivors were recognized and presented with a Pink Elephants Candle of Hope from the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer.

The Huntington University Foresters are currently ranked 12th by the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.

Norma Tinker, a longtime UB member and trustee of Huntington University, passed away January 5 at Swiss Village in Berne, Ind. She is the mother of Pat Bergdall, wife of Huntington University professor Dr. Chaney Bergdall.

Visitation: Thursday, January 8, 4-7 p.m., and 1 hour before the funeral service.
Location: Myers Funeral Home, 2901 Guilford Street, Huntington, Ind.
Funeral Service: Friday, January 9, 2 p.m.
Funeral Service Location: Myers Funeral Home.

Burial will be in Sacramento, California at 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 14.
Preferred memorials are to the Huntington University Scholarship Fund.