Dr. Benjamin Sprunger


When Ben Sprunger was named Bluffton's sixth president in 1972, he was, at age 35, one of the youngest presidents in the history of the university.

Just prior to becoming president, Sprunger was a senior planner for the National Institute of Education in Washington D.C.

During his term as president, Sprunger was one of 21 American educators who were privileged to travel to China for a month in the summer of 1975.

The Sprunger family resided in the red brick presidential residence on Grove Street, formerly the home of Dr. and Mrs. Moisman and, for a time, of Dr. and Mrs. Ramseyer. The Sprungers did considerable remodeling of the house during the time they lived there.

A former elementary school teacher, Sue Sprunger became very active in the community. She served on the nursery school board and became the first president of Bluffton Child Development Center. She was also on the original staff of the popular fall Christian retreat, "Reaching Women."

A very active family, the Sprungers could often be seen outdoors together, riding their bicycles on Bluffton streets or playing with their pet Labrador retriever.

Ben Sprunger did not leave the college environment when he left Bluffton in 1977. He moved to Columbus where he became president of the Ohio Foundation of Independent Colleges, an organization to which Bluffton belongs.

From 1984 to 1991, Sprunger was CEO and director of Quest International, a drug and alcohol prevention organization. Sprunger then started his own company, "Life Skills International" which he headed until 1994.

Since 1994, Ben Sprunger has been president of Mennonite Economic Development Association (MEDA), an organization devoted to providing monetary and entrepreneurial assistance to small business owners throughout the world. He and his wife Sue continue to make their home in Columbus.