BVU says goodbye to four faculty members


Megan Snyder, News Editor

Four Buena Vista University (BVU) faculty will be retiring from the university after the 2017 Spring semester. Those leaving are: Joni Anderson, Beth Lamoureux, Henry Hardt, and Robert Blodgett. Combined, they have spent over 100 years at BVU, both as students and faculty members.

Joni Anderson, Associate Professor of Management, has been an instructor and professor at BVU for 16 years. She says that she has enjoyed “seeing all the student success” and that “it’s just fun to see people grow up and have lives.”

Beth Lamoureux, Professor of Communication Studies, has been a student and faculty member of BVU for 35 years. When asked about her fondest memory of BVU, she had to say:

“I’m not sure that there’s one fondest, but I get so much satisfaction, as do all faculty, in seeing students reach their potential, secure meaningful employment, become young professionals with confidence and poise, and seeing the growth that takes place over four years.”

Robert Blodgett, Professor of Psychology, has been at BVU for 27 years, and shares the same pride in seeing his students succeed as Anderson and Lamoureux.

“I think my fondest memories are with the students I have worked with who have grown, and I’ve known that I’ve had a little bit of influence on that growth, who now are off doing what they want to do.” He continued, “that’s what this place is about.”

Henry Hardt, who has been with BVU for 33 years and is the Professor of Business Law and Finance, states:

“One of the great things about BV is the amount of pride staff and faculty take in educating students for tomorrow. There’s a sense of pride that we’re doing something together.”

When asked if they had noticed changes over time within the university, all responded that there were changes to different aspects of the university, such as the physical, but that the overall principles and values of BVU have remained strong and unchanging.

“I don’t think we’ve changed a lot” said Anderson. “I think our foundational values have remained the same. I think we’ve had a lot of turnover in leadership on campus, but I think our foundational BV experience has been pretty much the same. It’s kind of like coming home.”

“We were just talking about organizational cultures in class just yesterday and how rich cultures stand the test of time and I used Buena Vista as an example, a powerful example of an organization that is alive and well,” stated Lamoureux. “I asked the students what they thought the values were and why they came as a student and they’re almost identical to what they were when I came as a student. The value of the student experience and the importance of the feeling of family and the opportunity to travel and to achieve and to experiment. Those are all values I believe are consistent decades later.”

Each faculty member has plans for their future after BVU. Some are pursuing other career opportunities, and some are relocating across the country. When asked how he felt about his future, Hardt stated “Frankly, to me right now I am as apprehensive about next fall as a new freshman going to college.”

In contrast, Anderson said that she related more to the graduating seniors, stating “I’m both excited and terrified all at the same time. I feel like my seniors as we’re going out, it’s all good but it’s new. No more 8 o’clock classes and standing in the forum.”

All four professors are hopeful about the future of BVU. Anderson stated:

“As I leave, I think we need to just hold tight to our foundational values and participate in the BV experience because, if you do, I think it opens doors.”

Lamoureux tearfully hoped for future students and faculty to recognize and continue the traditions and values of BVU. “We all know that this is a wonderful institution. I hope that everybody will carry on to keep it growing.” She continued, “we’re fortunate to have a higher institution of learning at our back door and it’s a wonderful place. And my heart will always be here.”

Photo courtesy of Megan Snyder