WHSV-3: President Huxman shares excitement with strong recruitment, retention and new ‘Lead Together’ branding

Highlighting the new brand tagline “Lead Together” and recent solid enrollment growth, Eastern Mennonite University’s President Susan Schultz Huxman joined WHSV-3’s Bob Corso for his weekly “1on1” interview segment.

In the 5-minute interview, Huxman situated EMU’s current strong recruitment and retention, as well as its new brand refresh, within the current contractionary environment affecting all public and private universities across the United States, but especially tuition-dependent private institutions.  

EMU students graduate with a sense of community connections, whether they are nurses, biologists, teachers or accountants. We wanted to put that front and center in those two words:


—President Susan Schultz Huxman

The new brand refresh, the result of a year-long study and intensive research, found strong commonality between external and internal stakeholders about EMU’s distinctives, she said: academic rigor, excellent outcomes, community engagement and for creating in students and the broader EMU community “a sense of belongingness,” all important values in our “fractured, divisive world.”

“Our new tagline ‘Lead Together’ is a way of saying, ‘Yes, we are all about achievement and we’re about learning and about placing leaders in the workplace but we want to do that in the context of bringing others along.”

Huxman also noted the 2019-20 academic year has kicked off with two strong positive statistics in recruitment and retention that bode well for the future.

A growing number of students are transferring from area community colleges, including Blue Ridge and Lord Fairfax, Huxman said. The 258 first-year, transfer and readmitted students welcomed this fall are specially recruited into the EMU community, bringing high GPAs and considerable diversity of religion, socioeconomic status and race (approximately 35 percent are of Asian, Hispanic, Asian and Native American descent).

EMU’s 85 percent retention rate from first year to sophomore shows a high level of student satisfaction, she added.