EMU will celebrate 30 years of cross-cultural learning during Homecoming and Family Weekend 2012. Special reunions are scheduled Saturday for members of all Middle East and Central America cross-culturals, and for alumni of the 1983 Euroterm. Pictured: EMU undergrads Taylor Swantz, Ariel Kiser, Anna Hershey, and Michelle Miller during their MIddle East cross-cultural in the spring of 2012. Photo by Michelle Miller.

Homecoming to Celebrate 30 Years of Cross-Cultural Learning

Alumni who have experienced the jarring, exciting sensations of crossing into another culture – namely, almost every student at Eastern Mennonite University (EMU) over the last 30 years – will form the bulk of those returning to campus to reconnect with friends, classmates and the community for Homecoming and Family Weekend, Oct. 12-14.

“Our theme celebrates and highlights 30 years of the EMU cross-cultural program and the experiences it has created as it has become an integral part of our community life,” said Douglas Nyce, director of alumni and parent relations. “Many alumni, including some from years prior to the start of the current program in 1982, identify their cross-cultural or international study experiences as having had life-changing impacts on them and the way they understand the world.”

The cross-cultural celebration will begin on Friday during the homecoming chapel assembly. Linford Stutzman, professor of culture and mission, and Rami Kassis, international education partner from Palestine, will give a presentation on EMU’s study abroad program, at 10 a.m.

The EMU theater department will open its season with a production of “No Roosters in the Desert,” which focuses on four Hispanic women crossing a treacherous desert toward what they hope will be a better life in the United States. It’s 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 3 p.m. on Sunday in the MainStage theater in University Commons. Advance tickets are recommended and are available by calling the EMU box office at 540-432-4582 or by ordering online at emu.edu/boxoffice.

At 10:30 a.m. Saturday, alumni will be invited to attend a program featuring a video and welcoming by an alumni music group, “The Walking Roots Band,” in Lehman Auditorium. Following the program, alumni typically mingle on the lawn in front of Lehman Auditorium.

Alumni will then be dismissed by classes for group photos, reunions and lunch.

Breakfast meetings will be held Saturday morning for alumni and friends of the business and economics department, nursing department, the Suter Science Center, Bible and religion department (Haverim) and language and literature department.

Athletics will host the Hall of Honor breakfast at 8:30 a.m. in University Commons (court C) where they will induct Philadelphia Phillies catcher Erik Kratz and the 1980 women’s field hockey team. Reservations are necessary.

EMU will host an International Marketplace Buffet 5-7:30 p.m. on Saturday, to celebrate the cross-cultural programs’ history with an evening of international cuisine, performers, musicians and storytellers. All are welcome; reservations are encouraged.

A music department dessert reception sponsored by the Encore! alumni group will be held at 2 p.m. in the recital hall of Lehman Auditorium (registration encouraged). This event is open to all and features student and faculty talent.

Special reunions are scheduled Saturday for members of all Middle East and Central America cross-culturals, and for alumni of the 1983 Euroterm.

The Jubilee Alumni Association will honor and induct the class of 1962 at a luncheon on Saturday at 12 p.m. in Martin Chapel.

Ken A. Boyers, a 1983 alumnus and principal of Cub Run Elementary School in Harrisonburg, Va., and Sylivia Clymer Helmuth, a 1979 alumnus and reading specialist of Peak View Elementary School in Harrisonburg, will give the 2012 Jesse T. Byler lecture series at 9 a.m. Saturday in room 123 of the seminary building. Boyers will speak on the “School of Hospitality,” while Clymer Helmuth will present on “Help! Testing Has Taken Over My Teaching!” The lecture is open to everyone but registration is encouraged.

Local artist Eric Kniss will show a collection of his recent drawings and sculptures, beginning with an artist’s reception at 4 p.m. Saturday in the Margaret Martin Gehman Art Gallery in the University Commons. The show is open for viewing throughout the weekend.

Field hockey, men’s soccer, women’s soccer and women’s volleyball games are scheduled Saturday. Women’s volleyball hosts Lancaster Bible College and women’s soccer will be taking on Randolph-Macon, with both games starting at 1 p.m. Field hockey hosts Virginia Wesleyan at 4 p.m. Men’s soccer rounds out the athletic activity with a 7:30 p.m. game against Lynchburg.

The alumni baseball game at 11:30 a.m. Saturday will give opportunity for former Royals to play the current EMU baseball team, followed by a cookout.

The annual Paul R. Yoder Sr. Memorial Golf Classic will take place Friday, Oct. 12, with morning and afternoon starts, at the Heritage Oaks Golf Course in Harrisonburg.

Special activities for children (kindergarten through fifth grade) and youth (grades 6 through 12) are scheduled at various times Saturday, and childcare will be provided if pre-registered. Reservations are necessary for children and youth activities.

Activities will culminate with a worship service 10 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 14, in Lehman Auditorium. Vic and Christina Buckwalter, “alumni of the year,” and David Boshart, recipient of the “distinguished service award,” will be recognized during this time.

The registration desk in the University Commons will be open 3-8:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12, and 7:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13.

For more information, see the EMU web site (emu.edu/homecoming), call the alumni office at 540-432-4245, or e-mail: douglas.nyce@emu.edu.

Discussion on “Homecoming to Celebrate 30 Years of Cross-Cultural Learning

  1. Playwright Kara Hartzler will be attending Homecoming and talking with the audience following the NO ROOSTERS IN THE DESERT Friday and Saturday evening performances. Kara graduated from EMU in 1994, and received her MFA in playwrighting and JD in law from University of Iowa. She is currently Legal Director at the Florence Immigrants Rights and Refugee Project in Arizona.

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