Les Horning has been a pastor, bus driver, chemist, house painter and doctoral student of Hebrew. Now he is a full-time advocate for Eastern Mennonite Seminary, Harrisonburg, Va., as associate director of development, church relations and admissions. He is also the father of an EMU undergrad.
“When I was a student here in 1995, I knew I wanted to return some day as faculty or staff,” said Horning. “As a student here I felt like a balloon that had lifted off the earth. Suddenly my horizons seemed endless. I have always wanted to help other students have that experience.”
Horning is responsible for both seminary fundraising and recruiting of students. He aims to grow the seminary annual fund and build a $2 million dollar scholarship endowment.
“The current economic situation makes it a challenging time to raise money,” he says, “But I see great possibilities for strengthening small givers and broadening our base of supporters.”
Actually, Horning says hard times prompt many people to focus on what is really important, including a strong seminary preparing much-needed church and community leaders.
“People are looking for things to believe in and to belong to,” he says.
In his admissions duties, Horning is working in tandem with Anita Fonseca, a new seminary student and admissions assistant, from Chile, both will work under the leadership of Laura Amstutz, MDiv ’06, director of seminary admissions.
Horning earned a BS from EMU in 1986, majoring in biology and chemistry. He completed an MDiv here in 1998. He and his wife Crystal have two daughters, 20-year-old Anya at EMU and Alanah, 18.