Bluffton University - Trotter finds success in many fields

 Todd Trotter, Cincinnati, Ohio

For Todd Trotter, a valedictorian at Cincinnati s Aiken University High School, choosing between Bluffton University and the Art Institute of Chicago was easy. Football is an important part of my life because it has kept me out of trouble, says the inner-city Ohio, native, who has played the sport since a young age. I came to Bluffton to play football and give a major in art a try, he laughed. No one on the football team suspected I was an art major, says Trotter whose grandfather was an architect and got him drawing and creating early in life.

Now a senior, he never imagined all the opportunities his decision to just play football would open up for him, including a summer 2011 job in Bluffton s public relations office that offered him a new opportunity to explore video production.
Working with Louise Matthews, director of The Lion and Lamb Peace Arts Center, Trotter filmed and edited 15 short, online videos in which Matthews explains the peace message in individual pieces of the center s art collection.
The idea originated last year with a Lion and Lamb visitor from Japan, who, after receiving a tour from Matthews, told her through a translator that the art should be captured on video so more people could be introduced to the unique collection and its message of peace and reconciliation.
Todd was able to capture each piece differently, says Matthews. It s even better than I could have imagined, she adds about the project, part of the center s 25th-year celebration. The videos can be viewed at
Trotter s success off the football field hasn t surprised his head coach, Tyson Veidt. Todd certainly has held up on both ends of the student-athlete spectrum, says Veidt, noting that Trotter is a good student, well-liked and involved on campus, as well as a talented wide receiver and kick returner in football who has received Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference recognitions every year of his Bluffton career.
This fall, Trotter, who aspires to apply his artistic talents in the graphic arts industry after graduation, was honored for his work and dedication on and off the field with the Alex McClelland Award presented for hard work, dedication to sport, excellence in the classroom, campus and community service, and a great teammate. The award is presented annually to a Bluffton football player in memory of McClelland, a Bluffton student-athlete who lost a courageous battle with cancer in 2009.