The second weekend in October each year, scores of former Eastern Mennonite University students return to campus to reconnect with friends and classmates.
More than a thousand EMU alumni and parents of students will continue that tradition Oct. 10-12, 2003 as they gather to celebrate homecoming and parents weekend on the theme, “The World Next Door.”
The weekend program is the final event in a year-long series of activities marking the 30th anniversary of EMU’s cross-cultural study programs.
Albert N. Keim, professor emeritus of history, led EMU’s first semester-long study-travel seminar to Europe in 1972. In 1982, the university made cross-cultural study a graduation requirement for all students.
“Homecoming is always a wonderful opportunity to reflect and focus on meaningful college experiences of EMU alumni,” said Janet M. Stutzman, director of alumni-parent relations. “Since most students point to their cross-cultural experience as a highlight of their college years, we feel that homecoming activities are especially significant this year for both our alumni and our students,” she added.
Special events on the program theme include a buffet meal with an international flair 5:30 p.m. Sat. in the University Commons, with specially designated tables provided as gathering places for former students of EMU’s cross-cultural programs.
The music department faculty will present a concert on the theme,”Travels: music and dance from around the world,” 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday in Martin Chapel of the seminary building. Tickets will be available at the door.
Donald R. Clymer, director of EMU’s cross-cultural programs, will answer questions about the school’s off-campus study opportunities 10 a.m. Oct.11 in the University Commons.
An exhibit featuring photos and art pieces from EMU’s cross-cultural programs will go on display Friday, Oct. 10 in the third floor gallery of Hartzler Library.
An alumni-parent worship service 10 a.m. Oct. 13 in Lehman Auditorium will premiere a new university hymn and feature the EMU Chorale and Chamber Singers. The theme will be structured around the hymn text written for EMU by Fresno, Calif., poet Jean Janzen. Recipients of the “alumnus of the year” and “distinguished service award” will be recognized during the service.
Traditional homecoming features will include reunions 10 a.m. Oct. 11 for graduating years ending in a “3” or “8,” from 1963 to 1998. The “Old Grads,” alumni who attended EMU 50 years ago or more, will hold a luncheon 11:30 a.m. that day at the Eastern Mennonite High School dining room.
Breakfast meetings will be held Saturday morning for alumni and friends of the business and economics department; nursing department, the Suter Science Center, Bible and religion department (Haverim) and the music department (Encore!).
Varsity field hockey, women’s volleyball and men’s and women’s soccer games are scheduled on Saturday, preceded by a three-mile Loyal Royals “fun run” 7:30 a.m. Saturday at the EMU track.
The annual alumni golf classic will begin at 1 p.m. Fri., Oct. 10, at the Heritage Oaks Golf Course west of Harrisonburg.
Special activities for children (kindergarten through sixth grade) and youth (grades 7 through 12) are scheduled at various times Saturday, and childcare will be provided during reunions and at other designated times.
A coffeehouse 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 11, in the EMU Campus Center Greeting Hall will feature a “Writers’ Read” by alumni authors and music by Daphna Creek, a local gospel bluegrass group.
The EMU theater main stage production, “Godspell,” a highly-acclaimed musical based on the gospel of Matthew, will be presented 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday in Lehman Auditorium. Advance tickets are recommended and will be available starting Sept. 19 by calling the EMU box office at 540-432-4582.
The registration desk in the University Commons will be open 3-10 p.m. Fri., Oct. 10, and 7:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Sat.