Eastern Mennonite University

Summer 2008

Modern Facilities Needed for Tomorrow's Servant-Leaders

EMU President Loren Swartzendruber
EMU President Loren Swartzendruber confers with Kirk Shisler, vice president for advancement, on expansion plans.

Five years ago, in preparation for assuming responsibilities as president, I reviewed documents outlining dreams for new and renovated facilities. The Suter Science Center was near the top of the list. I was momentarily disoriented; in my mind the Suter Science Center was a relatively new building and should hardly need a renovation.

And then reality set in. Forty years ago this fall I entered EMU as a first-year student, the same year that the science center opened. The building and I had both aged since 1968!

The inspiring stories in these pages have emerged from a university that prepares students to be agents of change in the world. Our science alumni repeatedly note that EMU prepared them superbly for their graduate studies and for their roles as servants and leaders afterwards.

In 1969 I transferred to the University of Iowa to study pharmacy. I went from small science classes at EMU taught by PhDs (who were also in the labs with students) to lecture classes of 300-400 students at Iowa. Labs were taught by graduate assistants. When I advised my children to attend EMU and take advantage of its excellence, I was speaking from experience.

The quality of our current science faculty is impressive. They are well prepared to carry on the legacy of venerated faculty members of past decades. If one had to choose between quality faculty and state-of-the-art facilities, the faculty would have to come first. Now is the time to improve the science facilities to match the quality of our faculty. (See this issue's "Vision for a New Science Center"...) We will continue to prepare graduates to serve and lead globally.

EMU is undertaking a comprehensive campaign of extraordinary scale. The speed with which we are able to proceed with construction is dependent upon the generosity of alumni and friends. Please pray for this campaign.

If you wish to be among the leadership group in making a commitment to this effort during the initial quiet phase of this campaign, please contact Kirk Shisler, vice president for advancement at , or me at or by calling (540) 432-4000. I hope to see you at Homecoming 2008, October 10 through 12.


Dr. Loren Swartzendruber

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