Author Archives: wslzs343

1990-Present: Tapping Our Roots, Mapping Our Future

From its earliest days as a four-week Bible institute until now, Eastern Mennonite has maintained focus on its religious purpose. It evolved through a two-year Bachelor of Theology program from the 1930s through the 1950s, to a four-year theology degree in the 1960s, moving step by step toward having a full-fledged seminary. Yet facilities lagged. […]

Circa 1917: Sinking Roots in Virginia

Can you imagine Eastern Mennonite University nestled in densely populated Fairfax County, just across the Potomac River from Washington D.C.? The earliest version of EMU was a four-week Bible institute held in January, 1915. Forty-nine students, taught by five men, lived and studied in a 19-room mansion. It was old even in those days, dating […]

1941-1960: Thanks to Jacob Shenk

Assembly Hall was torn down in 1941, more than 20 years beyond the time when the board acknowledged that it was a fire trap. For decades Eastern Mennonite officials had swallowed their qualms, kept the building patched together, and used it for short-term housing. It was also used for high school classes in woodwork, sheet […]

Distinguished Service Award: Dr. Claire Schnupp

“We’re a team,” says Dr. Clair Schnupp of his extensive ministry travels with his wife, Clara, to the extreme Arctic north. “We have really served together. It’s not just me, it’s us.” Aviation plays a central role in the Schnupp’s ministry. Clair has flown over 12,000 hours in planes bearing floats, skis and wheels. “Forty-seven […]

It Runs in the Family: the Rissers at EMU

On April 29, Mark Risser graduated from Eastern Mennonite University. His cousin, Elisabeth Barthlow, 22, of Cleveland, Tenn., officially received her diploma in December, but walked across the stage with him this spring. Touching, but there’s more. The cousins are just two of nearly two dozen family members to attend EMU over the last half-century. […]

The People of Physical Plant

On observatory steps, left to right, from top step down: Tom Martin ’85, Miriam Hill ’92, Nevin Bender Sr. ’61, Annie Thompson, Loretta Helmuth ’75, Kim Yoder, Betty Lee, Josh Brubaker ’06, Roger Pultz, Jonathan Lantz-Trissel ’00. Leaning on truck, from left: Doug Blyer ’99, David Emswiler ’89, Tony Brenneman. Standing on ground before observatory, […]

Kenneth J. Nafziger

In trying to sum up Kenneth J. Nafziger’s 30 years as music professor at Eastern Mennonite University, it is hard to know where to start. Do we start at the bestselling hymnal for which he was music editor? His 15 years as director of an acclaimed Bach Festival? His dozens of appearances nationally, often internationally, […]

Remebering Jeanine Musselman of EMU’s Parent Council

There’s an open space in the EMU parent council circle where Jeanine R. Musselman ’85 used to sit.Jeanine, parent of EMU junior Miles, died March 13, after a battle with cancer. “As a parent council member Jeanine was committed and helpful, bringing fresh ideas and energy,” said Doug Nyce ’86, director of EMU alumni and […]

Six Lessons from EMU’s History in Facilities and Fundraising

1. Believe in miracles but work for them. In its 90 years of constant struggle with limited resources to provide a Mennonite version of education “an alternative to secular and other Christian institutions” EMU has been saved several times by seemingly inexplicable interventions. An unexpected gift arrives at the last minute, students rally, faculty and […]

Leading the Way

EMU was one of the three national leaders in efficient energy use out of 90 colleges and universities surveyed two years ago by the Association of Higher Education Facilities Officers. The association recently released its findings. Ranked third out of 90 schools, EMU started on the path to energy efficiency in the late 1970s when […]