A Second Century of Transformative Learning: students share their visions for EMU

December 20th, 2017

OUR WORLD, abounding with the wonder of God’s creation and humanity, provides never-ending opportunities to learn, serve and lead. As Eastern Mennonite University launches into a second century of transformative learning, members of this community far and wide have a unique role in bringing healing and hope to a diverse world. That focus grows out of the past 100 years and who we are today, looking forward.

In 2017, we reaffirm a belief in the power of Anabaptist-inspired education: that education at its best prepares the whole person –  intellectually, personally, socially and spiritually.

In this issue and on our website (emustories.com), you’ll read about graduates from our first century of transformative learning who are agents of change, serving as Christ’s hands and feet worldwide.

You’ll also hear current students offer wise counsel, ask tough questions, and share prophetic insight about where EMU should be heading.

Our journey together continues …

Vision for the Future

Ariel Barbosa, Sophomore, Double-Majoring in Sociology and Bible and Religion:

As EMU continues to seek what it means to fully live out our mission, I hope that our vision will stay focused on what our community would look like if we fully opened space for Spirit, color and difference – for the hands, voices, minds and hearts that represent every nation, tribe, people and language to be invited, desired and loved.

My vision for EMU is that the wholesome Christ-like values of the Mennonite faith will remain the foundation for why we desire to integrate the newness that will continue to come. May we use radical love and boldness to pursue uniqueness and diversity.

Brittany Williams, Senior, Majoring in Recreational Leadership and Sports Studies:

As EMU enters its second century, my hopes are that all students can consider this community their home. Whether an athlete, a student of a different denomination/religion, a student of color or any other variant, I hope that EMU finds ways to better adjust to what all groups consider comforting. I hope for more faculty and staff members to be willing to get involved and advocate not just for students to get by, but for students to be successful!

Mario Hernandez, Junior, Double-Majoring in History and Biology:

My hope is that EMU will continue its compassionate service and dedication to the people of Harrisonburg. I hope that the connections and partnerships between the two will only continue to grow as Harrisonburg itself grows. Maintaining a deeply rooted connection to the people of Harrisonburg should be of the utmost importance to EMU, as it continues to stress the importance of engaging with one’s neighbor, especially those of such a friendly city.

Luke Mullet, Senior, Majoring in Math:

My hope for EMU as it enters its second century is that the institution can move as rapidly as the student population on inclusion issues surrounding race, gender, sexuality and others. Engaging in these issues demands a radical level of willingness to experience discomfort and human connection, which can sometimes arrive slower when working through an institution. However, I have high hopes for the leadership that Susan Schultz Huxman brings to EMU as the United States dives into a pivotal and divisive period of history. In addition, I hope to see a large expansion of the music facilities.

Erin Brubaker, Junior, Majoring in Education (Secondary Math):

My hope for the future of EMU is that our community continues to build upon its motto of being “A Christian University Like No Other” by integrating a strong faith background into the classrooms, sports fields and residence halls. As a transfer student, I have been amazed by the inclusion, acceptance and passion cultivated by the faculty and staff at EMU, all aspects that I hope will continue to touch students’ lives.