Centennial celebration committee is off and running to 2017-18

By Steve Shenk | August 20th, 2014

Louise Hostetter; Photo by Lindsey Kolb

Louise Hostetter; Photo by Lindsey Kolb

Louise Otto Hostetter, a 1979 graduate who has served on many boards in Harrisonburg, assumed the lead for EMU’s centennial planning steering committee in July. EMU will celebrate its 100th anniversary during 2017-18.

As committee chair, Hostetter will work with those giving leadership to various aspects of the year’s celebrations, including large-venue events involving music, theater and art; alumni gatherings; worship services; academic department gatherings; storytelling; and displays. She will oversee the master schedule and manage the centennial budget.

“EMU began with the vision of relatively few people and has grown over the past 100 years to a global community,” said Hostetter. “With the resources of those who are currently involved with EMU as well as those with past connections, we can explore and honor the history of EMU with a variety of events in 2017-18, as well as celebrate the vision going forward.”

Hostetter also serves on: the advisory boards for Sentara RMH Medical Center Foundation and the Forbes Center arts complex at James Madison University; the church council of Community Mennonite Church; and the board of the Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival.

In 2011-13 she co-chaired the capital campaign for the RMH Funkhouser Women’s Center and in 2010-11 she was president of the EMU Alumni Council. From 1999 to 2012 she was an intensive individualized instructor at Eastern Mennonite School.

Coming to EMU from Arcola, Illinois, Hostetter majored in English education and met her future husband, Alden Hostetter, a pathologist. All three of their sons have attended EMU.

Donald Kraybill, a 1967 graduate who is the nation’s best-known writer on Amish and Mennonite culture, has been commissioned to produce a history of EMU.