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Memories of Oakwood

August 26th, 2008

OakwoodThis blog has been set up as Oakwood residence hall is about to “go down.” Approximately 2,800 men made Oakwood home between 1969 and 2008. It’s time for a new facility. But the memories will live on…If you lived in (or otherwise enjoyed) the hallowed halls of Oakwood, please share your memories. Post comments, reflections, stories here. Include your grad year in your posting. And send a note to your old roommate encouraging them to check out the blog!

28 Responses to “Memories of Oakwood”

  1. Lanny Millette,

    I had a similar “gut reaction” to “Pup” when I viewed the webcam and saw a pile of bricks. I called Oakwood home for three years as a student (8/71-3/74) and two years as an RD (8/79-7/81). I had the privilege of mentoring the intrepid Tom Baker and then enjoyed watching him eclipse my influence. (Some will thank me and some will hunt me down but I’m pretty proud of it.)

    Bake, I noticed you left my favorite prank off your list. I was wakened at 2 am one unseasonably warm December night by a call from a furious Francis Brubaker (RD of Roselawn) because my guys had moved her lounge furniture out of the building. I went to 2nd South (where else?) and heard the shower running. There were two guys (still wearing their ski masks-but nothing else) getting cleaned up. (Most natural thing in the world.) Chip had the audacity to tell me that they were cleaning up after a particularly intense study session. I knocked on Baker’s door (the RA) and told him that he and the guys would need to go with me to Roselawn and undo the deed. (I wasn’t a real popular fellow at that moment.) I never laughed so hard as when I saw the Roselawn lounge, reassembled in perfect detail including carpet and Christmas tree with presents underneath set up on the lawn. It was fantastic. A work of art. We put everything back in its place and then, it being dawn, we all traveled into town to the Virginia Ham Cafe for the saltiest breakfast I had ever consumed. However teh company was terrific. What a memory!

    That is just one of many. (Carlson, I will never forget the time you hijacked my moped. I think there still may be an outstanding warrant on that one.) Blessings to all the guys I shared this experience with, both as a fellow student and as an RD. I hate to see the building go but the experience lives on in each of our memories.

  2. marcus miller,

    I lived on 3rd floor from 1976 – 78. My first year there it seemed that whenever anything bad happened on campus some of us from 3rd floor were questioned even though the vast majority of us were freshman. This happened enough we finally decided we might as well do some of the things for which we were apparently suspects. I remember lots of late night Rook, Hearts, and Risk, the occasional wrestling matches, and then there was the time somebody brought back two pairs of boxing gloves. My jaw hurt for quite a while.

    My second year a couple of us discovered a loophole in the meal plan requirements so four of us dropped our meal plans the last part of the year and began cooking our meals in the lounge. I learned a lot about cooking and keeping a kitchen clean but before the year was over we were informed we wouldn’t be able to do this again.

    Then there was the time a couple of guys cleaned their room in the spring and discovered two gallons of cider they had purchased in the fall. A couple of chemistry majors on the floor decided to experiment and added some sugar and yeast to the cider and let it age. A couple of weeks later it seemed like a good time to try the brew. If I remember correctly it tasted horrible but at least one person drank enough to get sick.

    There are a lot of things which happened up on 3rd floor which are good for a laugh but it is probably best to not write them on a forum such as this. (Do guys still light farts?) At the same time I remember Anthony Pratkanis introducing this naive kid from Iowa to Thomas Merton and Dan Horst introducing me to reggae, just two examples of the ways guys I lived with stretched me in positive ways during my time in Oakwood.
    class of ’80

  3. Pup Swartzendruber,

    Wow, seeing the webcam for the first time this afternoon, it provides a bit of finality to the whole demolition process! Kinda sad when one thinks about it. It continues to conjure up memories in my mind.

    Oh, and Baker . . . I know you’re old, Fathead, but somehow I’d think a student on the 7-year plan wouldn’t be that forgetful! (Everyone else, see what I mean about Baker’s involvement in all the pranks? You saw his list!)

  4. Stauffer,

    Just a couple of memories I have of Oakwood

    – The great pumpkin theft of 1996
    – penny locking all of third floor- who proceeded to penny lock all of Elmwood third floor after they escaped

  5. Doug Yoder,

    I have but one year of memories on Oakwood 1st (83-84), not that I can’t remember the other years but rather a move off campus for my second of a two year transfer stint at EMU (EMC then). What memories I can conjure up any longer are of the Iowa Yoder’s countless hours staring at a little tape player and TV monitor used to play computer games. Tasting Rocky Mountain Oysters for the first time from Frazier’s temporary meat house setup in the kitchen. The botany experiment to determine if a plant could live on processed brown spit (not tobacco juice ;). Oh and I must not forget the fringe benefits of living on first floor ground level with windows that open at all hours of the night at a co-ed college! The building will be gone soon, but not the memories. Rock on Oakwood Brothers, especially the 2nd floor boys.

    – Class of ’85

  6. Paul Shelly,

    The Screaming Flowerpots!

  7. Paul Groff,

    I lived on Oakwood 2nd north my freshman and sophomore years (1986-88). Those were really formative years of mine, and I truly believe the guys on my floor were an important part of it. Most of us on 2nd north became close friends as we played Rook, ate cardboard 4-Star pizza, had Bible studies, and played foosball in the game room. Of course we had our pranks, such as putting the RA’s room furnishings in the bathroom and popping popcorn 1 to 2 feet deep in another room. And who can forget watching “Monty Python and the Search for the Holy Grail” once a week for a semester?! (we even convinced Bible prof Steve Dintamen to watch it with us one time) Or going to Mr. Ghatti’s for their pizza buffet and watching one of our gang (Rick Eby, I think) eat 21 pieces. Or renting an EMC van so 6 couples could go to the EMC Valentines Banquet at Belle Meade? Or the time our floor dressed in our finest and served the women of Northlawn breakfast in bed? (From the “service fee” we charged to deliver Seiler’s food to them, we earned enough profit that we all could eat real food at Lloyd’s Steakhouse.)

  8. Arlin Roth,

    After reading through the first 21 entries I have many similar experiences and a few to add to the list. I lived on the 3rd floor of Oakwood for three years from the fall of 1989 to the spring of 1992. Atomic sit ups were an annual highlight. As Oakwood residents, we felt responsible for initiating the process each year. It is my understanding that Oakwood was the only dorm on campus with the locker room style communal showers. (The toilet paper was the same industrial grade as all of the other dorms.) I also remember many late night poker games in the lounge, some with very large pots. This was before poker was considered a sport on ESPN.

    The hot tub in the shower was a definite highlight. The liner was a body bag (never used) that Steve Rittenhouse got from his mom who was a nurse (I think). We never stopped to think how much weight several hundred gallons of water plus 8-10 guys added up to until the 2nd floor guys complained of the water leaking through their ceiling. I would post a photo but none of us had a digital camera. There is a picture in the yearbook.

    Another memorable event was returning from Christmas break to find that all of the TV cable that we worked so hard to run into our rooms was missing. A memo was posted on the bulletin board from the local cable company noting that there was a significant signal loss in the building along with the threat of fines if the problem continued. That was the end of cable TV in my room.

    While I miss the good times and good friends, I don’t miss cement block walls and tile floors, slamming doors, the smell of burnt popcorn and other bodily odors, no AC, sleeping in a bed chained to the ceiling, coin operated washing machines, and walking down a brightly lit hall in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom.

  9. Tom Baker,

    Three years in Oakwood as a resident and six as a residence director leaves me with hundreds of memories and stories in Oakwood or involving Oakwood residents. I list some below but leave out the names and details to protect the innocent and the not so innocent.

    -Atomic sit-ups
    -“Professional” Wrestling in the lounges
    -Water battles pitting one floor vs another
    -Handcuffing an Oakwood resident to a toilet in the bathroom of a ladies floor in Elmwood in the middle of the night.
    -Watching the Three Stooges in the Oakwood lounge before going to the cafeteria for supper
    -The Mr. Menno contest
    -The Oakwood Talent Show
    -Home Run Derby on the tennis courts in the middle of the night
    -Trips to Jess’ to see who could eat the most hot dogs
    -Flushing all the toilets and urinals at the same time while some poor guy was trying to shower
    -Breaking into Northlawn and throwing flour on the ladies because Oakwood residents were told when they threw water it was ruining the carpet.
    -Bachelors Til the Rapture club (BTR)
    -Toga party
    -Throwing rolls of toilet paper onto the basketball court after the Royals would score their first basket of the game
    -“Borrowing” the new lounge furniture from the Science Center ladies room to replace the ratty furniture in Oakwood lounge.
    -Hanging a decorated Christmas tree out of a third floor window to show the yuletide spirit
    -Oakwood Haunted House, complete with real chain saws
    -Stealing a guy’s white underwear in the middle of the night, dying them pink, drying them and returning them folded nicely to his drawer before dawn.
    -Mixing “Mennonite Brew” in the Cafeteria
    -Hanging beds from the Oakwood ceiling with chains to create more space in the room
    -Playing tag in the library
    -Dressing in drag for the Valentines Day banquet
    -Adopting as a pet, a chicken that fell off a truck headed for the processing plant
    -Chapel pranks such as the parachuting mice
    -Dumping a bucket of water on guys from second or third floor as they left Oakwood all spruced up for a big date
    -Posing as campus security and clearing off the hill of high school couples on admissions’ visit weekends

    I could go on and on!

    Tom Baker, Class of 81, Oakwood RD from 81-87

    PS- Who is this Pup Swartzendruber fellow? I don’t remember him.

  10. Jeff Doyle,

    I worked as the Residence Director for Oakwood from 1994-1997. I enjoyed and will never forget my 3 years there. I worked with wonderful RAs including Trent Hummel, Chad Lacher, Mark Hamsher, B.J., Ross, Wossen, etc. I won’t miss waking up to cockroaches in my apartment every day or having to try to put a stop to atomic sit-ups. I will miss the incredibly creative pranks which often replaced alcohol and drug abuse that occur with more frequency at other institutions. How you can forget the 3-story icicle from a resident’s room or midnight wrestling? To all who lived in Oakwood – here’s to some great memories.
    Jeff Doyle

  11. J. Eric Bishop,

    I lived in Elmwood North all four years, the closet thing I would ever have to a college fraternity. But I often sallied forth to Oakwood to visit some of the finest and quirkiest people I have ever known, such as Brent Gunsalus (C ’75) Norman Moshier (C ’75), John Fritzman (C ’77). I recall visiting my younger brother Michael (C’ 81) one weekend and using those showers with the compressed air that jetted out with the water, giving an illusion of good water pressure. I suppose it was a water-saving device.

    As for nefarious malfeasance directed at Oakwood, I do confess to participating in a night-time bottle rocket barrage, launched from a second floor lounge in Elmwood, using one of those heavy, old, black music stands as the launch silo.

    And finally, as a graduation present to me, Fred Hess (C’ 80) of Oakwood Third South, granted my request by cranking up his stereo and playing “Great White Buffalo” from Ted Nugent’s “Gonzo: Double Live” (vinyl!) album and blaring it across the quad from Oakwood to Elmwood, with all due honor and respect.

    And to Richard Lichty (see post above), I own a piece of “Old Main” (the center section of the original Ad Building) that someone salvaged for me from the Ad Building renovations that had begun before the fire, and I consider it a holy relic….or at least a conversation starter. There is even a sprig of dried ivy on it. But, I do not plan to purchase an Oakwood brick. Now, if it were Elmwood that were coming down, I would make a special trip to campus just to seek out the Time Capsule that my roommate, Karl Brubaker, and I created and hid somewhere on Elmwood Second North just prior to our graduation. Eldon K. and company….have you found it yet?

    -J. E. Bishop, C’ 1978
    Souderton, PA

  12. Eldon Kurtz,

    I’m loving the stories. A couple of follow up comment.

    Bro. Lichty, I must set the record straight. Few people know this, but the brick in the Lehman board room of the Campus Center were salvaged from the brick ends of the old Ad Bldg. You can see a photo of the brick behind Leroy Troyer on Page 20 of the Summer 2007 Cross Roads mag which I’m sure you have safely placed on your coffee table. Here is the link to the online version you’ll need to hunt for it but there are a lot of fun photo and stories in the issue.

    I’ll be Working on at trying to salvage a few bricks and some other stuff on Saturday so if you want to come and help wear some sturdy shoes and come on over. I’ll probably be on the quad side.

  13. Doug Nyce,

    Having lived in Oakwood for the 1982-83, and part of the 1983-84 school years, I had the privilege of having the aforementioned Mr. Tom Baker as my RD. Baker lived in Oakwood longer than anyone else alive, having lived there as a student for 3 years and then as an RD for 5 or 6 more. What a legend he was (is), and what a special place he holds in the hearts of such illustrious alumni as PA businessmen Jim Rittenhouse and Gary Wimmer, and pastors like Mike Clemmer, and I could go on and on, and would, if this were true, but since House and Wimmer are neither respected, nor is Baker really THAT well-loved, I suppose I should stop. Actually, as current alumni director, let me quickly assure that I am kidding.

    By the way, the Toilet Bowl ended in 1982-83, and I’ve always wondered why. Always have been kind of sore about that; I only got to play in the Toilet Bowl once, and that was in my first year (’81-82), as an Elmwood resident, when Elmwood BEAT a combined Oakwood-Maplewood-Birchwood team! Stop a minute and think about that statement: “I only got to play in the toilet bowl once, and that was in my first year”…

    While I am with Pup Swartzendruber that some of the Oakwood stories probably shouldn’t be told, I’ll give one of my favorites that can be: The time that we somehow got ahold of stacks of newspapers and crumpled them up and filled up the entire second floor lounge with them, and then left the lounge that way for a few days and enjoyed jumpinig and diving off the furniture into the soft crumpled paper. Doug Geib, who did more than his share of the work, was dubbed “paper boy of the year”.

    – Doug Nyce, Class of ’85

  14. Anna Engle,

    I also never lived in Oakwood, but it always held a certain mystique in my mind. I loved to visit Oakwood last year, even though the stairways smelled funny. Just something about the community of all males, and how they made it work. I hope that funny anecdotes continue in the other dorms… especially Northlawn, where I live for the second year. Maybe we’ll get the excitement Oakwood won’t this year. It is hard for me to see the orange plastic around the dorm I once visited….

  15. John M. Spidaliere,

    For some reason, this news hits hard. Perhaps it is that I don’t visit Harrisonburg anymore or that my mentor Al Keim died just a few weeks ago, but this news makes me nostalgic. I lived in Oakwood for two years, my freshman and sophomore years, 1988 to 1990. While in high school I visited EMC and stayed in Oakwood. I watched Bladerunner that night and watched a group of men get pumped up for flag football outside Jeff Landis’ dormroom, dancing like fools to Billy Idol’s version of by dancing to “Mony Mony.” By next year these crazed men were my friends and we spent great years together in that dorm. I’d be best men and groomsmen in some of their weddings.

    My sophomore year, I lived on the southside of the second floor in a suite with John Leonard, Brian Hill and Chris Hoover. It was the best year of my college life. John, or Bull as we called him, played basketball. Hill, Hoover and I never missed a game. Come Spring, Bull pitched and Hill played first base for the Royals baseball team. And each night the three of us would convene in what was essentially the living room of our suite and talk until late. Sometimes Phil Hess (our RA) or Glen Lapp would join us, or others from that hall. Today, I see some of these same men around Lancaster, Pa., where I live now and it takes me back even just briefly to those days in Oakwood.

    Those worn — even then — halls won’t be forgotten. Farewell Oakwood. They could build another, but they couldn’t replace it.

  16. Matthew "Cheeseman" Tschetter,

    Oak trees stand tall and firm in most any weather condition. Strong wood fibers contribute to its stately stature, while at the same time presents an ora of warmth and beauty when milled into fine wood creations. Okay, so this is not a guy-sort-of-way to describe a place that was home for two great, wonderful, hard, and challenging years, but Oakwood Second was that and more. It was the northwest corner that gave me a great view of the ball fields and the Division III teams that battled inning after inning. At night, as I gazed at the North Star, I tried to contemplate what Prof Calvin Shenk said in class that week.

    Here, where after a certain “semester abroad group” had come back from a certain foreign country with certain items that could (did) entice the best behaved Mennonite boys. Oakwood Second had a “Few Good Men” face a $25.00 fee for attempting to experience one of the traditions of this most recently visited country. Whether it was 10 proof or 100 proof (memory is a bit hazy – “don’t recall remembering”), it sure made a few of those good men, a little crazy. Crazy enough to visit our “sister floor”, whereby our beloved sisters proceeded to report the “incident” to school officials. Oh well, if that hadn’t happened, I would have nothing interesting to write for this blog.

    As for the “Oakwood” experience, it was just as educational as my classes with Professor Ray Gingerich (never a dull moment, always engaging and ever challenging), I loved it!.

    May the fibers our memories, forever hold Oakwood tall and strong. May it be the foundation on which more generations of EMU alum can recall memories of their time in environmentally friendly rooms, and have stories for their children and grandchildren to come.

    So, since I paid my $25.00 17 years ago, does that mean that I am eligible to receive a complimentary brick? How about the same for my fellow “Few Good Men”? “Here’s to the memories…”

    Matt Tschetter 1991-92

  17. Mark Bixler,

    I lived in Oakwood during the 90-91 school year and graduated in ’93. I’ll share one memory, of many that come to mind. I lived on the second floor and one evening we noticed some water leaking into our lobby. We soon found out that third floor had sealed off the drains and doorways of their shower using duct tape, plastic and plywood. The showers were running hot and everyone was invited to a community “hottub”. It was a memorable event, but maintainance was not very pleased with the idea.

  18. Joe Irish,

    I have many fond memories of my year at Oakwood both the fine people I met there and the traditions. As I took my youngest off to Grove City College this year I remembered sitting on my bed in Oakwood thinking about what I was getting myself into when I drove 10 hours to the EMC campus and a radically new adventure. It quickly became apparent that that was a great opportunity. While I was there I was sworn to secrecy about identity of the chapel bench turners. My tastes in music were rightfully challanged by (Dr to be) Chamba Muganda. We all shared in fun, pranks, games and challenged each other to be better people. I remember catching others in the dorm to celebrate birthdays and engagements by giving them a swim in the fish pond and running for my life to avoid a March swim myself . Memoriable moments still pass through my mind to this day as I re-experience the pain in my lower back that came from a water battle on the first floor. Not all of my education came in the classroom and I will fondly remember the people, talks and times of Oakwood.

    Joe Irish, Class of 1980

  19. Richard Lichty,

    Well, Jim Bishop, bite the bullet, as you are certifiably “old,” if they’re tearing down buildings that weren’t there when you went to EMC. As an old-timer, I spent my dorm years in South Third (third floor of the old Ad Building – that’s what existed in the space now occupied by, what do you call it, the “Campus Center”?). I happened to be in Harrisonburg when the old cracker box burned to the ground, and I don’t recall anyone saving a brick from that wreckage.

    Almost forgot, but one of my years was spent in the old “Block Dorm,” down east from the campus in the woods. This miserably cold, damp building, constructed out of concrete blocks, was aptly named. I hope it has been demolished by now. I couldn’t weep or hold a wake for either of those places we had for dormitories.

    The women had it nice, a big brick monster of a place. At least we men could eat in the basement of their dorm. Is the dining hall still located there?

    So, I don’t weep much for old places, except . . . . Let me know if they ever move the hill behind the old Ad Building. Now that would be a real loss.

    I could go on sharing memories of Oakwood for many pages, but it’s time for someone else to check in.

    Richard J Lichty
    Class of 1962

  20. Allen Wyse,

    The day I walked back from lunch to find my 2nd floor Oakwod room on fire with firemen throwing the mattresses and personal belongings out the windows is probably the more memorable of the Oakwood events for me. Eventually there was a small remuneration from the Adminstrattion that defrayed some of the loss, but I lost all of my clothing, class notes, text books, etc., in the incident. I’ve never known what caused the fire. Never let it be said that there weren’t “Hot Times” at EMU.

    In the extreme opposite, Allen Peachey used to sleep in the first floor corner room with his windows open in the winter. We would walk past the room near the sidewalk as we made our way to breakfast and see the snow piled on his bed. As underclassmen we were impressed at that upper-level student!

  21. Denton Yoder,

    I lived in Maplewood in high school and Oakwood 3rd in college. I will take this opportunity to apologize to all the others in the dorm who tolerated me living there. I was the guy who played his stereo sooo loud that it could be heard in the lounge on 1st… The only really funny story was keeping my pistol in Tom’s closet so we could go shooting on weekends, and one day asking him “You do keep it locked don’t you”… He let me keep it locked in my room after that. My how times have changed.
    Denton Yoder – EMHS ’81, EMC ’85, Oakwood 3rd. ’84

  22. Jim Herr,

    Oh those shaking steam pipes during winter heating, Having to open our windows in the winter so we would not be overcooked by the heat, soap/water slides down the hall of oakwood second, Eldon Kurtz coming up to join in the fun, water battles, watching hogans heroes after supper, floor meetings, One phone for each end of the hall and frustration about who was going to answer it, pennying people in their rooms, having to yell flush so as no to scald the person in the shower, getting into your room by going over the wall when you forgot your key, hanging beds from the ceiling to make more room (this must have been in the pre-lawyer days)

    These and many more memories as well as friendships that were made from 1975-1978

    Best wishes on the project

    Jim Herr

  23. Trent Hummel,

    Oakwood resident from 1993-1996… So many memories… so little space to write. I think all who have lived in Oakwood have experienced, maybe more so than other other dorm on campus, the four basic elements of FIRE, WATER, AIR, and EARTH. Fire – well no Oakwood resident worth their salt would leave without have his inner pyro satisfied at some level. Be it with rubbing alcohol on the walls or seeing if an object would hold its flame when lit from the third story, Oakwood has FIRE in its history. Water – Showers turned sauna, shouting “flush”, large water fights, the list is endless with water. Air – the air of Oakwood had a distinct aroma to be sure. An aroma of sweat and blood from turf burn with a nose of stale towel – no amount of incense could cover that up. Alas, I shed a tear for those future EMU’ers who will smell that sweet smell no more. Earth – Feeling grounded as a community – Oakwood residents stuck together (often times because it was so blazin hot) – we fed off the land – Papa John’s, Ramen noodles, a microwave (CD’s are not meant to go into them), and a certain distributor of soda that would sell his product at just below the cost of the machines (brilliant) were all we needed to subsist. I shall miss you Oakwood – its drop ceilings, its corner suites, its community showers, its wrestling matches, its free washing machines (hanging file folders anyone?)… sigh. may the new dorm provide as many memories to EMU’ers as Oakwood did for me.
    Trent Hummel -Class of ’97

  24. Eldon Kurtz,

    Speaking of Baker….I hope he makes the “viewing”. Somebody suggested that he and I open confession booths during the visit to allow former residents to unburden themselves. Actually I’m a bit surprised that my troops haven’t reported uncovering boat loads of contraband when they removed the ceiling.

  25. Ken L. Nafziger,

    I lived in Oakwood from 1974-78 until I left to student teach. Besides the life-long relationships that I developed with room- and floor-mates, the top three events I remember are combining with Birchwood to win the inaugural Toilet Bowl football game (see 1976 Shen yearbook, p. 179, for team pics and toilet trophy, complete with plant) against Maplewood and Elmwood; the water slides down first floor that led some upper-floor crazies to try the same with water pouring down the steps and through the ceilings; and finally, the 1977 turning of the new chapel benches. That final one is a story I can elaborate on at homecoming since I already confessed to President Augsburger before I agreed to take my current position as vp for student life in 2003. Myron’s astute comment: “you’ll probably look at those kind of things a little differently now.” At the time we thought we had come up with the ultimate prank that would be funny but have no negative effects on people or things. The morning it happened when chapel was held outside on the lawn, Myron said that the perpetrators probably weren’t aware that we had voided the 20-year warranty on the new benches. We were petrified to think that we might be held responsible for that, so everyone kept quiet about who had done it. Instead, we quietly spent some time helping the phys plant staff turn them around, and the mastermind of the project provided the plans to Eldon Kurtz (the new director of physical plant) showing how we had pulled it off. It’s now 31 years later, and I’m glad and relieved to say, those red benches are still there and going strong!

  26. Larry "Pup" Swartzendruber,

    Well, there was the time that . . . oops, can’t tell that one. Then . . . nope, that one either. Umm, I do recall the night that . . . sorry, can’t tell too many stories, as they all involve a guy by the name of Tom Baker — and I don’t want to implicate him in any way!

    I remember the years when Maplewood was for EMHS students, and I recall trying to keep my fellow collegiate cohorts from hassling them . . . many times to no avail.

    Suffice it to say that Oakwood provided me with many lasting memories, and my son had the “privilege” of living there last year. I will only add that many of the stories and anecdotes were somehow more hilarious as a student in the 1980’s than as a parent in 2008!

    Larry Swartzendruber, class of ’83

  27. Eldon Kurtz,

    Hey Friends,
    Hope you can join us for this historic occasion. I especially hope to see more of the guys from my tenure as RD ’74 through ’76. It has been a joy to work with former OW residents like Ken L. Nafziger, Dave King, and Ron Stoltzfus. It has also been very satisfying to see quite a few children of former residents on the campus as well. For all the orneriness of some of you guys I take considerable pride in the accomplishments of the Oakwood Alums. I especially, enjoyed the nice photo of Dr.Chamba Mugamba in the last Cross Roads mag. I hope some of you will find time, at this late date, to stop by and “pay your respects”. I might even convince Ms. Sharri to join me at the visitation. If you have photos bring them along or email them. Spread the word.

  28. Jim Bishop,

    I’ll tell you what demolishes me about this latest campus development – we’re about to tear down a building that didn’t exist when I graduated from this noble institution in 1967. When I arrived as a greenhorn, know-it-all freshman the fall of 1963, Maplewood and Elmwood were brand-new residence facilities – which we promptly broke in with several full-scale water battles between the two dorms, one of which escalated into open warfare on a pacifist campus. The dean of men had to call a special meeting of residents to lay out some ground rules for any future altercations. But, that’s another story.

    My most immediate recollection of Oakwood is that it was the site of the infamous “Bison incident” in the early morning hours of Apr. 13, 2007 (the fact that this happened to be Friday the 13th was not lost on the news media) when a student fell from the roof of the three-story building while a group was attempting to put a stuffed American bison from the university’s Suter Science Center lobby on the dorm roof. While he was seriously injured and eventually recovered, it could have been a tragic outcome. (The incident created considerable work for the EMU marketing and communications office, as the story got picked up by several news networks and, of course, generated media queries far and wide. I was just thankful that we could eventually report there appeared to be no life-threatening or permanent injuries).

    What’s encouraging to me is not only the prospect of a new residence facility for our students that will be designed to promote community but will also be environmentally-friendly with the prospect of LEED certification. Seems to me this should be a priority for a university that puts high priority for sustainability and care for God’s creation at the heart of its mission. Watch the future unfold on this blog . . . — Class of ’67