Images of community life at Eastern Mennonite University, from students playing jazz on the front lawn to orientation and commencement joys, are among the top photos of 2017, selected by photography and videography manager Andrew Strack.

Check out EMU’s ‘Top Photos of 2017’

From our newest president watching her father give an address at her inauguration to a young butterfly taken its first wingbeats from a safe perch near Roselawn, enjoy a collection of the best photos of 2017, selected by Eastern Mennonite University’s photography and videography manager Andrew Strack.

View the ‘Top Photos of 2017.’

(Also check out “Editor’s Picks,” the best of our 2017 news coverage.)

Strack chose images from among the thousands taken and processed by his team, including hundreds alone that documented two major events of 2017: the spring inauguration of EMU’s ninth president, Dr. Susan Schultz Huxman, and EMU’s Centennial Homecoming and Family Weekend.

To view other photo albums from 2017 events, click here.

“I tried to focus on high-quality images that may not have been displayed in our news coverage or in other venues,” he said.

The image of Huxman and her father at inauguration, he says, wouldn’t be a selected feature image for EMU news coverage, “but the way the two are isolated in that photo, sharing a moment that is pretty unusual in families, is extraordinary.”

Other images, such as the woman participating in the color run, “capture the feelings of the moment and of the weekend.”

Two photos of the new water tower on “The Hill” behind EMU’s campus made the cut. Aware of the hill’s prominent role in EMU history, Strack set up a video camera to create a time lapse of the construction.

“The Hill is an iconic feature of student and campus life for the entirety of campus history,” he said. “It was really important to capture this new feature as part of that continuity.”

From aerial landscapes to insect close-ups, the images showcase the range of photos taken by Strack and his team, which includes part-time photographer and videographer Macson McGuigan, creative director Jon Styer, and a rotating cast of interns. Former photographer/videographer Joaquin Sosa’s work is also included.

“People often admire the equipment and comment on how much it costs, but I always say that the best camera is the one you have with you,” Strack said. “We may be going from taking a group shot to event coverage, but we are always keeping our eyes open for other creative possibilities. You always carry your camera so that if the clouds or the sunset is just right, you don’t miss taking an image of campus that would be really special to share with our global community.”

Many days this fall, Strack could be seen on the campus center balcony, flying a quadcopter to collect images for the Advent video. He also flies during special events, such as homecoming and commencement.

“We have a pretty good archive of historic photos of campus taken from the air, but now that we can do it more easily, it’s fun to provide these new perspectives of our campus. People really love these photos,” he said. “It really gives you a sense of our place in the Shenandoah Valley with the nearby farms and the mountains.”

View more photos at

Also check out “Editor’s Picks,” the best of our 2017 news coverage.

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