Eastern Mennonite University will hold its 87th annual commencement exercises 1 p.m. Sunday, May 1 on the front lawn of campus, weather permitting.
EMU President Loren E. Swartzendruber will confer 380 degrees – 317 undergraduate, 60 graduate and 3 graduate certificates – on members of the graduating class of 2005. Last year, EMU awarded 406 degrees.
John L. McCullough, executive director and CEO of Church World Service, will give the commencement address on the topic, “Beyond the Conspiracy of Silence.”
Rev. McCullough has headed CWS, the oldest and largest ecumenical humanitarian organization in the world, since 2000. Before this, he was associate general secretary for the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries.
A graduate of Xavier University of Louisiana and Boston University School of Theology, McCullough is an ordained elder in the Southern New England Conference of the United Methodist Church. He sees his personal mission as “Preparing leaders for church and society, serving the needs of humanity and working for global justice.”
CWS has provided major funding to EMU’s Conflict Transformation Program in support of its STAR (Seminars on Trauma Awareness and Recovery), which provides training programs for religious leaders and caregivers who work in areas affected by trauma.
Graduates’ perspectives will be given by Timothy W. Baldwin of New Providence, Pa., representing the Adult Degree Completion Program, and Merwyn E. DeMello, India/Kenya, representing the Conflict Transformation Program.
The seniors have selected Herman H. (Herm) Weaver, Jr., associate professor of psychology at EMU, to give the university baccalaureate address at 7 p.m. Saturday, Apr. 30, in Lehman Auditorium. Dr. Weaver, an EMU faculty member since 1992, plans to leave his teaching position at the close of the school year.
An EMU graduate, he earned an M.S.Ed. degree from the University of Akron (Ohio) and a Ph.D. degree from The Union Institute.
Undergraduate senior class co-presidents Lindsay E. Martin, Salem, Ore., and Jared T. Stoltzfus, Harrisonburg, will give the class salutation.
EMU music students will give a short concert in Lehman Auditorium immediately following the baccalaureate service.
President and Mrs. Swartzendruber will host a reception for the graduates and their families at 9 p.m. Apr. 30 in the Campus Center Greeting Hall.
In case of rain, commencement exercises will be held in the main arena of University Commons, which can accommodate 3,600 people. An announcement to that effect will be made by 11 a.m. that day on WEMC, 91.7 FM, and other area radio stations.