Homecoming 2016 showcases athletics, but so much more. Come to campus Oct. 14-16 for concerts, reunions, celebrations of honored alumni, intellectual invigoration and worship. (Photos by Michael Sheeler)

Fall Festival on the lawn and EMU TenTalks headline Homecoming and Family Weekend 2016

Registration is now available for Homecoming and Family Weekend 2016 at Eastern Mennonite University (EMU), Oct. 14-16. To see a full schedule of events, click here.

To catch a few of the highlights, read on.

New Events

  • The traditional Friday evening concert at 8 p.m. in Lehman Auditorium features, for the first time, the A Cappella Voices Celebration, with alumni and student vocal groups Shekinah, Good Company, Bellaccord and Emulate.
  • “We are Family” Black Student Union Network Soiree: On Saturday from 1-2:30 p.m., come to a networking dessert and discussion with BSU alumni. Share your EMU experience and make new connections.
  • EMUTenTalks. Impact. Influence. Inspire.: Stop by the Main Stage Theatre Saturday at 2 p.m. for EMUTenTalks: Impact. Influence. Inspire, 10-minute impactful talks to inspire and generate ideas. Based on the popular TED Talks, this premiere event features Shirley Showalter ’70, author and president emeritus of Goshen College; Leonard Dow ’87, lead pastor and board vice-chair of Mennonite Central Committee; and Erik Kratz ‘02, major league baseball player. They’ll give an inspiring talk for 10 minutes and answer questions afterwards.
  • Fall Festival: A time and place where alumni, parents, and students can meet, mingle and celebrate. Saturday’s fall festival on the front lawn will be fun for all ages from 3-7 p.m. Tailgate, listen to live music, enjoy lawn games, face painting and inflatables for the kids. Local food trucks will have delicious options, as well as a cookout provided by Pioneer College Caterers for students with meal plans and ticket-holders. Parents, visit the reception tent on the front lawn from 4-5 p.m. for your special gift. Also, stop by the admissions booth to learn more about enrolling at EMU.
  • Special reunions: The Chamber Singers reunite in honor of retiring professor Dr. Kenneth J. Nafziger, from 3-5 p.m. The ’84-’85 Middle East and the ’89 France cross-culturals will also host reunions. Additionally, class reunions for classes ending in 1 and 6 will meet.
  • Athletics events: Homecoming is always a chance to showcase fall sports: field hockey at 1 p.m., women’s soccer at 4 p.m. and men’s soccer at 7 p.m. The women’s basketball team hosts an alumni game. Men’s basketball hosts a Midnight Madness Blue/White Scrimmage at midnight.

Traditional Events

The Margaret Gehman Gallery hosts an exhibit by Michael Spory' 11, assistant professor in the visual and communication arts department.
The Margaret Gehman Gallery hosts an exhibit by Michael Spory’ 11, assistant professor in the visual and communication arts department.
  • Department Breakfasts and gatherings: Saturday kicks off with a number of traditional breakfasts and morning coffee sessions: the Suter Science Center breakfast and lecture with Christopher Longenecker ’01; nurses’ receptions; Haverim and seminary breakfasts; business networking with coffee and donuts; and the Jesse T. Byler education lecture with Jesse Rodriguez ’05 and Kendal Swartzendruber ’07, education coordinators with the Virginia Office of Education.
  • Hall of Honor: Field hockey star Jonalyn Denlinger ’06 and pole vaulter Megan Mlinarchik ’06 will be inducted in the Hall of Honor.
  • Fun Run: The Campus Canvas Fun Run returns for its second year. Jog a 2-mile route through campus and finish covered in color.
  • Jubilee Alumni Reception, for those who attended EMU 50 or more years ago, is at 3:30 p.m in Martin Chapel.
  • Sunday’s Homecoming worship service will celebrate the contributions of Alumnus of the Year Harvey Yoder ’64, Distinguished Service Award recipients Donna ’69 and Wayne ’67 Burkhart, and Outstanding Young Alumna Grace Schrock-Hurst Praseyto ’10.

Need a ride to Harrisonburg? Want to give a ride?

Visit Tojit.org to find a ride or give a ride to EMU Homecoming 2016.

The site was developed by Jakob zumFelde ’11, a graduate student in city planning and engineering at Ohio State University. ZumFelde says his decision not to own a car is directly linked to what he learned about sustainability during his undergraduate years at EMU. Yet the choice to be carless makes travel to and from events like Homecoming difficult. He created the site because he’s “passionate about making it easier to live without a car” and  in hopes that intergenerational connections might occur between alumni of all ages.

“I hope this site encourages carpooling among people who could drive separately too, as people could save gas and money, and maybe meet someone new. I’m sure a lot of carpooling already happens with travel to Homecoming, but given the wide age range of people who will be there, I think this website would help connect people who don’t already know each other,” zumFelde said.