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In 1899, Mennonites established Central Mennonite College, the predecessor of Bluffton University, in Bluffton, Ohio. As the number of Mennonite students enrolled declined, the institution became known as Bluffton University. In 1997, only thirteen percent of the student population was Mennonite.
For most of the twentieth century, Bluffton University numbered several hundred students, but in the 1990s, the institution exceeded one thousand students for the first time. In 2005, 1,211 people enrolled, including 239 graduate students. Phyllis Diller and Hugh Downs rank among the college's more prominent graduates.
[[Category:Industrialization and Urbanization]]