It was during the January 1968 Interterm on Freedom and Order than a young and handsome Bluffton Professor strode to the podium wearing a cowboy hat and western clothes, with six-shooters protruding from holsters dramatically slung on either hip! This was John Unruh, the immaculate and creative professor of history, in the throes of his dissertation research on "The Plains Across," which argued, among other things, that the six-shooter was really not as central to the westward movement in America as popularly depicted. John died very suddenly on January 18, 1976, following brain tumor surgery. He was just 38, in his ninth year of teaching at Bluffton..."
Elmer Neufeld, President Emeritus, in Centennial tribute to John D. Unruh Jr., August 1999