It happens around the second weekend in October each year – scores of former Eastern Mennonite University students return to campus and reconnect with friends and former classmates.
More than a thousand EMU alumni and parents of students are expected to continue that tradition Oct. 13-15, 2006 as they gather to celebrate homecoming and family weekend on the theme, "Setting the Stage: Service & Song."
Among the myriad events scheduled are "EMU on Stage," with performances by students, faculty and alumni, interspersed with humorous skits from the theater department 8 p.m. Fri., Oct. 13 in Lehman Auditorium.
"Mennofolk," a festival of acoustic musicians with Mennonite connections or roots, will provide the main entertainment at this year’s homecoming event.
The Cincinnati-based duo "Over the Rhine" will present a concert 9 p.m. Saturday in Lehman Auditorium. Fifteen other acts – folk, jazz, blues, traditional bluegrass and a capella – will perform at three locations on campus from 4 to 9 p.m. Saturday.
Some of the artists also will perform at three locations in downtown Harrisonburg on Friday night.
A dinner and commemorative reunion marking 85 years of the Young People’s Christian Association (YPCA), the oldest student-led Christian service and leadership development organization on campus, will be held 5 p.m. Oct. 14 in the University Commons. Reservations are required.
A worship service 10 a.m. Oct. 15 in Lehman Auditorium will have a music and scripture emphasis. Recipients of the "alumna of the year" (Catherine Mumaw) and "distinguished service award" (Claude Good, both members of the class of ’54) will be recognized during the service.
Traditional homecoming features will include reunions 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Oct. 14 for graduating years ending in a "1" or "6," from 1961 to 2001. The "Jubilee Alumni," persons who attended EMU 50 years ago or more, will hold a luncheon and program at 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 science department, Bible and religion department (Haverim), the music department (Encore!) and the language and literature department.
Outstanding alumni athletes will be recognized at a "hall of honor" breakfast Saturday morning. This year’s inductees are Jill Basinger Mullet of Berlin, Ohio, who played basketball and volleyball, 1981-84; and Tim Cressman from Scottdale, Pa., a track and field standout, 1988-91.
History major and pre-law minor alumni and other interested persons are invited to a special luncheon meeting 12:30 p.m. Oct. 14 to hear guest speakers address vocational, ethical and theological themes within a law-related course of study and career. A new student-led law society, "Res Judicata," is developing on campus in connection with EMU’s pre-law minor.
An art exhibit featuring works by Barb Gaucher, an art teacher at Eastern Mennonite High School, will be on display in the third floor gallery of Hartzler Library. A reception for the artist will be held 2:30-4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 14.
Varsity field hockey, women’s volleyball and men’s and women’s soccer games are scheduled on Saturday, preceded by a Loyal Royals "fun run" 7:30 a.m. Saturday at the EMU track.
Activities Include Golf Classic
The Paul R. Yoder, Sr., Memorial Golf Classic will be held Fri., Oct. 13 with start times at 7:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. at the Spotswood Country Club in Harrisonburg.
Special activities for children (kindergarten through fifth grade) and youth (grades 6 through 9) are scheduled at various times Saturday, and childcare for infants through age 5 will be provided during reunions and at other designated times.
The registration desk in the University Commons will be open 3-10 p.m. Fri., Oct. 13, and 7:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Sat., Oct. 14.
"It is a totally new venture for EMU to host a ‘Mennofolk’ event on campus as a part of Homecoming and Family Weekend," said Douglas Nyce, director of alumni-parent relations. "We believe that it will be an attraction for many alumni families, as well as for the Harrisonburg/Rockingham community and beyond.
"Hosting a reunion for the Young People’s Christian Association will also be special, because so many EMU alumni took part in YPCA programs during their years as student," Nyce added. "We look forward to seeing many old friends as well as families of current students here on campus. There will be something for everyone to enjoy!"
For more information, go to www.emu.edu/homecoming/, call the alumni office at (540) 432-4245 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.