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Mission and community keep Bush connected

Written by Gino Spadaro

History professor Perry Bush is well-known on the Bluffton campus, and part of the reason he is so well liked is the energy and passion he brings to the classroom each day.

“Perry is very passionate about his work. As a teacher, he wants all of his students to care about history as much as he does. Besides his expertise in the field, the most valuable thing Perry has to offer his students is his drive for excellence in the discipline of history,” said Kenny Beeker, a junior history and communication major.

In order to get his students more involved and more attentive, Bush said passion plays a big factor. “You’ve got to enjoy teaching,” Bush said. “If I’m not passionate, how can I expect students to be passionate?”

Bush, who has taught at Bluffton for the past 23 years, said he never saw himself as a professor while in college.

“When I was in college, I thought I was going to go to seminary,” he said.

After spending some years as a house painter after college, Bush went to Carnegie Mellon University and got his doctorate. After getting his doctorate, he wrote a dissertation on Mennonites and taught at Phillips University in Enid, Okla., for four years. While at Phillips, Bush realized he wanted to get involved more in the Mennonite world and applied to Bluffton for a job, and the rest is history.

When asked about what makes him stay here at Bluffton, Bush pointed to the university’s mission and sense of community.

“It’s been a good experience here,” Bush said. “I identify very much with the mission of the institution and that’s largely been sufficient to keeping me here. You may come here for a job, but you stay here because of the community.”

During his free time, Bush enjoys writing. An author of four published books so far, Bush said he plans to publish more books in the future.

“I enjoy writing,” he said. “I like to teach and I like to write.”

About the author

Gino Spadaro

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