IWU Dedicates Renovated Café to Dr. Bud Bence

Indiana Wesleyan University revealed the name of the newly renovated café inside of Noggle Christian Ministries Center at a dedication ceremony on Friday. The café is now named Bence Café in honor of Dr. Clarence “Bud” Bence, a well-respected leader in the community and beyond who has devoted numerous years to The Wesleyan Church

After pastoring a Wesleyan church in New York for five years, Bence shifted his focus to teaching and has spent the past 33 years teaching in Wesleyan institutions. In 1982, he joined the IWU faculty where he has served as professor, chair of the Ministry department and vice president for Academic Affairs. In 2003, he took a sabbatical leave to Southeast Asia where he and his wife, Carol, taught in a mission school and lectured to pastors and their wives in India, Myanmar and Cambodia. Bence retired from full-time employment in 2013 and was given the distinguished status of Professor Emeritus of Religion. He has continued to teach courses at Wesley Seminary when he is not involved in overseas ministry in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean.   

“His passionate service to the church, decades of faithful ministry to students, and deep love for IWU make Dr. Bence one of the best models for what we aspire to be in the School of Theology and Ministry,” said Dr. Dave Ward, dean of Theology and Ministry. “Given his long love affair with coffee, naming a café gathering space after Dr. Bence is one of the most appropriate ways we could honor him for his years of service.”

Bence Café offers students, faculty and staff amenities such as an oven, stovetop range, microwave, sink and small fridge. Over the next two years, there are plans to add a gas fireplace, movable glass walls to the Bistro classroom, and display shelving for faculty publications and student achievements. The space allows IWU personnel to serve refreshments to pastors at training events, students at summer institutes, and attendees of conferences and retreats.

“We hope the café creates a focal gathering place not just for Ministry and Theology majors, but for interdisciplinary connections with all of the general education students who pass through our doors each day,” said Ward.

For more information about the School of Theology and Ministry, click here.

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