Dr. Bud Bence, a long-time professor at Indiana Wesleyan University who has now retired, is best remembered by his students for two things: his love for his students and his love for coffee.
“No one ever saw Professor Bence without his coffee cup,” Jeremy Bays, a former student of Dr. Bence recalls, “I’m pretty sure the only time he put it down was to pray.”
Bence began teaching at IWU in 1982 after having taught at United Wesleyan University for five years. When United Wesleyan closed, Bence came to what was then Marion College and stayed for 23 years, including the three years he served as the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.
Bence particularly enjoyed teaching freshmen and sophomores. He loved to see their eyes light up as they learned new information and discovered new ideas, and he expressed this love by helping to develop one of the very first classes that all freshmen were required to take.
As he taught, Bence tried to be intentional about challenging his students to truly integrate what they were learning into their lives beyond the classroom. He encouraged students to do more than just learn facts about the Bible, he invited them to consider how they would let this knowledge change their lives.
Even though he is now retired, Bence and his wife Carol, who taught in the IWU School of Nursing until her own retirement, continue to stay connected to the student body. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Bence would often visit campus two or three times a week to connect with students. Even if they don’t physically come to the campus as often, the Bences continue to remain connected to the heart and soul of IWU.
Looking forward, Bence hopes to continue to be a mentor and an encouragement to the IWU student body. Future classes will continue to rely on his wise guidance, which can easily be procured through the purchase of a cup of coffee.
Written by Emily Bays, Student Blog Writer