Participants in the Color Run on Saturday afternoon at EMU Homecoming.

Homecoming 2021: Our best Royals pics (and picks)

Here’s some fun facts and photos from the Oct. 15-17 Homecoming and Family Weekend at EMU.  


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EMU hosted 33 total events over three days. Six events were also livestreamed, attracting approximately 800 total viewers. In order, the “Most Watched” were 1) Celebration Concert, 2) Tentalks, and 3) the Writer’s Read Event. Missed these events? Catch them here.

Nearly 400 alumni registered (we can’t begin to guess how many total attendees there were, considering the many local alumni, friends, family, employees and students!). All regions of the United States were represented. Making the furthest trip: six people from Oregon and one from Japan!

The Class of ‘71, celebrating its 50-year anniversary, was the largest class to attend; 51 came to the Jubilee Alumni Association induction program and luncheon.


From left: Reunion committee members J.B. Miller, Bob Brenneman, Marian Driver Hackney, Gloria Horst Rosenberger and Bob Bishop at the Community Bell. The Class of ‘70 finally celebrated their Jubilee reunion in person, an event that marked the end of  two-plus years of work for their stalwart reunion committee members and also a joyous celebration announcing their $1 million fundraising accomplishment. [More news coverage is on the way!]


The Suter Science Center hosted a dedication of its west wing, and President Emeritus Loren Swartzendruber and wife Pat, with children and grandchildren watching, was present for the dedication of S-106 as Swartzendruber Hall. We also heard from Collin Longenecker ‘20, who shared gratitude for those who contributed to the SSC space, his “home away from home” while earning his engineering degree at EMU.  [More news coverage is on the way!]  View the dedication program here.


The field hockey program marked its 50-year anniversary and the Hall of Honor induction of one of their all-time greats, Alyssa Derstine Landis ‘10. The drop-in tent hosted a lot of hugs and memories, which boosted spirits after a late morning loss to Roanoke. 


Ace Cox ‘17 took a break from around-the-world travels and major magazine assignments to connect with students and faculty. He visited classes and did a special gallery talk before the public exhibit opening of his editorial and lifestyle work in the Margaret Martin Gehman Gallery.


TenTalks featured opportunities to connect with three food entrepreneurs. Here’s permission to brag on your EMU connections with Kirstin Moore ‘93 at Magpie Diner, in Harrisonburg, Va; Oz Blackaller ‘06 at Cueva Bar in San Diego, Ca., and Kaleb Wyse ‘10, online as The Wyse Guide. Just tell them all you saw them during EMU’s TenTalks


Our Hall of Honor inductees Richy Bikko ‘11 (teammate Michael Allen was his stand-in), Alyssa Derstine Landis ‘11, and Michelle Leaman Richards ‘10 joined in the Homecoming celebration.

We heard from our alumni award winners (from left) Timothy and Cheryl Heatwole Shenk ’07, John Lowe ’81, and Ral Obioha ’08 at the Homecoming Worship Service on Sunday. Hear and see their portion of the service beginning at the 36-minute mark. They also shared at a special luncheon afterwards, where they received their commemorative clocks.

Photos by Rachel Holderman, Jon Styer, Joaquin Sosa, Lila Marks, Laura Daily and Jennifer North Bauman

Join the Discussion on “Homecoming 2021: Our best Royals pics (and picks)

  1. Thank you to the creative people who pooled energies and generated a week-end of enjoyable, engaging connection. Highlights were my 50 year class reunion and the U2 Romeo and Juliette Musical Drama- – a “fasten your seat belt” paced musical drama with a timely message. Impressive energy, talent and daring with learned control! Oh the hours of practice! Wish I could be there to see it again!

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