The Eastern Mennonite University campus captured in the rays of an evening sunset in summer 2021.

EMU’s 2020-21 donors come through with strong support

Responding to financial challenges prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic and new initiatives to increase student access and opportunity, Eastern Mennonite University donors and alumni generously contributed over $5.1 million during the 2020-21 fiscal year. This represents a five percent increase over the previous fiscal year.

Contributing focal points for generous donors were the launch of the new Forward Together campaign and another successful, record-breaking LovEMU Giving Day in April.

“EMU exists to prepare our students to lead together now and in the future to create a more just and sustainable future,” said Kirk Shisler, vice president of advancement. “This is a mission that our Royals family of 3,000 donors and alumni stand behind and support with whole hearts. We hear again and again that our EMU-educated leaders are serving, unifying and healing in their communities worldwide.”

The Forward Together campaign focuses on three strategic initiatives, each of which gained significant donations during the first year of a multi-year campaign: 

  • The University Fund for Resilience totaled gifts of $1,772,511. In addition to unrestricted gift support, this includes annual gifts for the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding, Eastern Mennonite Seminary, and Athletics.The fund helps provide student tuition support, student life services, collaborative faculty-student research, technology upgrades, cross-cultural programs, and infrastructure, among other operating expenses.
  • The Student Tuition Relief Initiative gained a total of $2,307,026. This included $278,291 for direct tuition relief assistance for students in need; $705,322 in direct grant scholarship awards, and $1,323,413 in named endowed scholarship funds;
  • The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Fund, buoyed by the new leadership of Dr. Jacqueline Font-Guzman as executive director of DEI, accrued total gifts of $111,264. [Read more about her work and watch an interview.]

EMU’s LovEMU Day helped to launch the Forward Together Campaign, raising a record-breaking $280,653 from 1,017 gifts (30 percent more than in 2020).

EMU will celebrate the dedication of Suter Science Center West this fall during Homecoming 2021. Suter West’s multi-million dollar renovations supported EMU’s engineering majors with several labs and spaces for faculty/student collaboration; a new welcoming and open main entrance to lead visitors into the S-106 lecture hall, to be named in honor of President Emeritus Loren Swartzendruber and his wife, Pat; and renovated space to display artifacts from  The D. Ralph Hostetter Collection.