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EMU Sets 89th Commencement

Posted on April 16th, 2007

EMU will hold its 89th annual commencement exercises 1 p.m. Sunday, Apr. 29 on the front lawn of campus, weather permitting.

President Loren E. Swartzendruber will confer 403 degrees – 302 undergraduate, 87 graduate, 3 associate degrees and 11 graduate certificates – on members of the graduating class of 2007. Last year, EMU awarded 405 degrees.

Lee F. Snyder
Lee F. Snyder

The former president of Bluffton (Ohio) University, Lee F. Snyder, will give the commencement address on the theme, "A Road or a Path?" Dr. Snyder was vice president and academic dean of EMU for 12 years before accepting the Bluffton presidency in 1996 and serving there until retiring on July 31, 2006.

Snyder’s work with the Mennonite Church has ranged from congregational involvements to a term of service in Nigeria to denominational leadership assignments, including serving as moderator of Mennonite Church USA, 1999-2001. International assignments in Africa, Asia and Latin America have contributed to her interest in global issues and international education.

Back in Harrisonburg

A native of Harrisburg, Ore., Snyder attended EMU for one year and earned a B.A. degree from the University of Oregon. Later she received an MA in English literature and linguistics from James Madison University and a PhD in American and Victorian literature from the University of Oregon. Her doctoral work focused on the writings of contemporary California writer Joan Didion.

Snyder and her husband Delbert W. Snyder again reside in Harrisonburg, Va.

During the ceremony, "graduates’ perspectives" will be given by Timothy Shenk, a liberal arts major from Harrisonburg, and Elizabeth Heavener, a liberal arts major from Telford, Pa.

More Information

Jay B. Landis
Jay B. Landis

The seniors have elected Jay B. Landis, professor of English, to be speaker for the baccalaureate service to be held 7 p.m. Saturday, Apr. 28, in Lehman Auditorium. Dr. Landis plans to retire this summer after teaching several generations of students for 50 years.

Undergraduate senior class co-presidents Joy Shaiebly, a health and physical education major from Lancaster, Pa., and Kendal Swartzendruber, a liberal arts and special education major from Keezletown, Va., 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. 28 in the Campus Center Greeting Hall.

In case of rain, commencement exercises will be held in the Yoder 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.

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