BLUFFTON, Ohio– Three exceptional Bluffton University alumni will be honored this year during Bluffton’s Athletics Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Saturday, Feb. 15. In addition, students who have served as mascots J. Denny and Jenny Beaver in 2019, will be revealed.
Sarah (Betts ’06) vonSeggern will be inducted for achievements in softball. One of the best pitchers in Bluffton softball history, she was previously inducted into the Hall of Fame as a member of Bluffton’s 2004 softball team. vonSeggern was named first team All-HCAC all four seasons, second team CoSIDA Academic All-America and first team CoSIDA Academic All-Region in 2004. Also in 2004, vonSeggern was named the HCAC’s most valuable player, made first team NFCA/Louisville Slugger All-Region and third team NFCA/Louisville Slugger All-America.
Jerry Burrey ’65 will be inducted for achievements in basketball and baseball. A four-year starter in basketball, Burrey earned all Mid-Ohio Conference second team honors in his junior year and first team honors his senior year. He was the MVP of the Flint Holiday Tournament in 1964-65 and scored 1,181 points in his career at Bluffton. He remains in Bluffton’s record books as 19th in scoring and 13th in field goals. Burrey was previously inducted into the Hall of Fame with the 1962 baseball team coached by A.C. Burcky. The team went 10-4 on the season and 8-2 in conference play.
Ed Diller ’69 will be inducted for his achievements in football. A letterman on Bluffton’s team for four years, Diller played a variety of positions; however, his primary role was middle linebacker. As a senior he was tri-captain of the team, defensive captain and most valuable player. He also earned the CL Spade Award for the conference athlete with the highest grade point average and received all conference honors several years during his playing career. He served on the Bluffton University Board of Trustees for 20 years, including 10 as chair and was awarded an honorary degree for his service. Diller, who graduated from Harvard Law School in 1976, is married to Karen (Esmonde ’68) Diller.
The brunch buffet and Hall of Fame Induction will start at 11 a.m. in Sommer Center. The Athletics Hall of Fame committee, appointed by the president of the university, selects the recipients from nominations submitted by alumni, faculty and friends of the university. Reservations, at $15 per person, can be made by contacting Claire Clay at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Beavers will be revealed also between the men’s and women’s games against Hanover. The men’s game starts at 1 p.m. in Sommer Center.
The mascots routinely cheer on student-athletes at sporting events, but they are also active at admissions, advancement and community events. Each year, multiple students take on the role of J. Denny and Jenny Beaver, but the true identities of the students who portray the Beavers are kept hidden until the big reveal. The chosen few must pass a competitive selection process that includes a written application, an in-person interview and an audition in the suit.
J. Denny came on the scene in fall 2010 to honor Dr. J. Denny Weaver, professor emeritus of religion and longtime faculty athletics representative at Bluffton. Jenny was introduced in fall 2014 to help J. Denny spread campus spirit.
The reveal will kick off the application process for the next round of Beavers to be selected for the 2020-21 academic year.
Tickets include entrance into both games and are $6 for adults, $5 for senior citizens, $3 for children ages 6 and up, and free for Bluffton University students, faculty and staff with a current ID.