Author Archives: Ricardo Fearing

President’s letter: On Living, worshipping, volunteering, working, playing, in the Valley

I meet many strangers on airplanes while traveling for EMU, and inevitably we ask each other, “Where do you live?” “I’m from the Shenandoah Valley,” always draws a positive and envious response, even if the person has never visited Virginia. “What a beautiful area of the country!” This issue of Crossroads shares the stories of […]

Letter from the editor: believing in community, building our community

Talk about punching above your weight . . . Consider, EMU has never been large and still has just 900 traditional undergraduates enrolled, plus 600 other types of students (adult degree completion, master’s, seminary, etc.). This place is one-half the size of my old high school in Northern Virginia, and twenty-sixth the size of my […]

These businesses exist to raise money for charities

Hundreds of volunteers, many of them EMU alumni, are the backbone of four alumni-run, nonprofit charitable enterprises in Harrisonburg that funnel funds toward worldwide poverty alleviation, relief and development efforts. Gift & Thrift, and its used-book enterprise, Booksavers of Virginia, and adjacent Artisans’ Hope gift shop (all three in a small shopping strip an easy […]

43 years as a country doctor at Green Valley Clinic

Every Tuesday night, Dr. Linford Gehman ’59 still makes the trip from Bergton, back in the farthest mountain reaches of Rockingham County, to the hospital in Harrisonburg for continuing education seminars. Though he’s been practicing medicine for a half century, he’s got a medical license to keep up. He’s still seeing patients three days a […]

When I was sick, you cared for me

More than 700 alumni living in the City of Harrisonburg or Rockingham County work in the healthcare field, according to EMU’s alumni database. This represents a larger concentration of alumni than in any other field of local employment. Sentara RMH Medical Center and its affiliated offices of healthcare providers, plus a plethora of private offices […]

Restorative justice and talking circles: JMU embraces EMU’s teachings

Not long after he’d come out of the closet, Mark was at a party with his friends. At some point that evening, a group of guys approached Mark and told him they suspected their roommate, Joe, was also gay. They asked if Mark would be willing to talk with Joe about this. 1 Mark thought […]

First mediation center in state – still growing and innovating

Harrisonburg’s Fairfield Center – known for most of its 32-year history as the Community Mediation Center – has a long record of leadership in promoting and practicing creative problem-solving in Virginia. Founded as an alternative to the court system for mediating disputes in the community, the Fairfield Center (the name used throughout this story for consistency’s […]

Bridgewater College’s counseling department staffed by EMU graduates

Every March, more than 800 students from the four local colleges, wearing t-shirts in their school colors, converge on downtown Harrisonburg to raise awareness about suicide prevention. Walk For Hope is just one of the community events that Randall “Randy” Hook ’95, MSW, is involved with as director of counseling services at Bridgewater College. Working under […]

David Whyte highlights counseling’s 20th year

David Whyte, an internationally recognized poet, author and expert in organizational development, came to campus in late February for an event highlighting the 20th anniversary year of the master’s in counseling program – the first EMU program outside of Eastern Mennonite Seminary to produce graduates at the master’s degree level. Whyte’s day-long workshop was attended […]

Dozens of alumni are faculty or staff at JMU and Bridgewater College

When Conley McMullen graduated from EMU in 1978, the aspiring botanist decided there would be no finer profession than to become a “gentleman scholar” at his alma mater like his mentors, Claire Mellinger and Gary Stucky. McMullen had taken just about every class that Mellinger taught, from plant taxonomy and physiology, through general ecology and ornithology. […]