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A highlight on Calvin Shenk

Calvin Shenk ’59 does not have to face the existential question of whether he would be willing to die in a nonviolent act to save the life of another person. He would. The test came in 1985. Shenk and his wife Marie were leading an EMU group that was staying temporarily in a Palestinian community in the Middle East. Shenk heard an argument outside his apartme ...More

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EMU’s Center for Interfaith Engagement promotes friendship and understanding among those who believe differently

Why would an explicitly Christian university go out of its way to bring Muslim and Jewish scholars to its campus to teach entire courses and interact every day with students? That’s what is happening at Eastern Mennonite University. “Interacting with people of other faiths builds friendship and understanding – something we sorely need in this world,” says ...More

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Friend, confidant, of Martin Luther King Jr. to speak at EMU – 52 years after first visit in segregated era

When civil rights leader Vincent Harding visited Eastern Mennonite University 52 years ago, he knew that Mennonites had refused to own slaves during the slavery era. But he was surprised to see in 1962 that they were doing little to protest segregation and other racial injustices around them. Harding also knew that EMU was the first historically white colleges in Virginia to admit Africa ...More

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Meet the drone-toting Riehls – radicals in their 80s?

“He needs me to go with him when he has the drone,” Marie Riehl says, referring to her husband, Daniel. It takes both Riehls to load this drone into their vehicle. Behind the driver’s wheel, Daniel relies on Marie’s eyes to compensate for his partly obstructed view. Interviewed in their living room, the Riehls speak of drones that conduct surveillance and drop bombs, of military ...More

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Near-home “cross-culturals” prove to be life-changing too

For most EMU undergrads, cross-cultural study entails deepening their knowledge of humanity in such settings as South Korea, Eastern Europe or the Galapagos. Yet others find equally life-changing experiences in their own backyards. Since 2001, EMU has offered the “local context cross-cultural” program for students whose work and/or fami ...More

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Sunny skies for 1,000 volunteers behind Virginia Mennonite Relief Sale

The calendar declared that it’s autumn, but Mother Nature decided to stick with summer at least one more weekend, providing a warm backdrop for heated bidding and buying at the 47th annual Virginia Mennonite Relief Sale. Sunny skies prevailed and temperatures topped out at 85 degrees by the height of the sale early S ...More

EMU professor, MCC representative fast for reform

Each morning, before heading to work at Eastern Mennonite University, nursing professor Ann Graber Hershberger chows down on breakfast. When she goes home, her angry stomach demands dinner, and she obliges. Her lack of lunch isn’t an oversight or a necessary negligence d ...More

EMU alum, local doctor makes lifetime commitment to health

Bergton local Dr. Linford Gehman graduated from high school in the early 1950s. Much like many recent high school graduates today, the then 18-year-old Gehman was unsure about what to study in college. “I didn’t know what I wanted to do,” he admits. Gehman decided to take a break before pursing a degree, and spent the next two years working at a porcelain plant in Pennsylvan ...More

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Why I marched for 10 hours with farmers in Colombia

This essay by senior writing major Lani Prunés pertains to an experience she had while on her EMU cross-cultural in the spring of 2013. Lani is a native of Philadelphia, where she is active in Oxford Circle Mennonite Church. All along, Colombia’s leading politicians have told the leaders of displaced peoples in rural regions to be quiet about their struggle to survive. Last A ...More

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Visiting Islamic scholars from Iran begin first full year teaching at EMU

The first visiting scholars at Eastern Mennonite University’s Center for Interfaith Engagement (CIE) will teach several courses on Islam and contemporary issues in Iran during the coming academic year, their first full one at EMU. A husband-and-wife team from Tehran, Iran, Amir Akrami and Sheida Shakouri Rad are splitting a faculty position ...More