Join in the fun of Homecoming and Family Weekend 2021

Alumni, parents, and students are invited to join Eastern Mennonite University’s celebration of Homecoming and Family Weekend Oct. 15-17, 2021.

“Homecoming is one of our favorite times of the year, when alumni return to campus to reunite with friends and family and professors, share memories and make new ones,” said Jennifer North Bauman, director of alumni and parent relations. “After last year’s virtual programming, we are resuming our in-person activities with health protocols in place, while continuing the livestreamed programming that allowed so many to join in last year. We’re hopeful this hybrid format encourages participation in ways that are comfortable to all in our Royals community.”

The Homecoming website is your complete source for events and any changes and updates. Please use it as a regular reference as you make plans to travel and/or watch events. Some events that originally involved food have been modified or cancelled in observation of CDC and Virginia Department of Health recommendations (those who have registered already will be notified shortly).

All visitors are required to wear masks indoors, per university policy.

Look for the Facebook icon that denotes a livestreamed event. Go to the EMU Facebook page to view these events; recordings will also be available after the event. You do not need a Facebook account to view the livestream.

Athletics events, including the Hall of Honor induction ceremony, will be streamed through the website.

Here’s a few highlights of the weekend. See the full schedule for more on athletic events, department gatherings, and special reunions.


–Homecoming is the traditional gathering and welcome for the Jubilee Alumni, those who have graduated 50 years ago or more. The afternoon program and luncheon welcomes the induction of the Class of 1971.

Azariah Cox ‘19 is the featured artist in the Margaret Martin Gehman Gallery. Join the reception to hear about and view his photography at 4 p.m. The gallery is also open all weekend.

Joseph Gascho ‘95, a professor of music and harsichordist, will be the special guest during the evening’s traditional Celebration Concert. He will join the EMU orchestra for the program, which begins at 8 p.m. in Lehman Auditorium. Tickets are available on the website. [More news coverage coming.]


–The Hall of Honor ceremony celebrates EMU’s legacy of athletic excellence. This year’s inductees include field hockey’s Alyssa Derstine ‘10, runner Richy Bikko ‘11, and hurdler Michelle Leaman Richards ‘10.

–The 9 a.m. Department Gatherings are double-billed as Lifelong Learning Opportunities. Take your pick in an area of interest, from interfaith engagement to education, Haverim, business and leadership, and more. This time slot also includes the Suter Science Seminar with Dr. Samfee Doe, speaking on marginalized groups’ distrust of the healthcare system.

–Meet for cider and pretzels from 10-10:30 a.m. outside Lehman Auditorium and then join the Homecoming Celebration where alumni award honorees John Lowe ’81, Ral Obioha ‘08, and Timothy and Cheryl Heatwole Shenk, both 2007 grads, will be introduced.

TenTalks, 10-minute talks with time for questions after, features food entrepreneurs Oz Blackaller ‘96, Kirsten Moore ‘93, and Kaleb Wyse ‘10 speaking on food and community. Read more.

The 2021 TenTalks speakers: Oz Blackaller ’96, San Diego, Ca., Kirsten Moore ’93, Harrisonburg, Va., and Kaleb Wyse ’10, Mount Pleasant, Iowa.

Fall Festival from 3-7 p.m. Claim a spot on the lawn to listen to The Walking Roots Band. Inflatables and fun for children. Food trucks and tailgating.  

–Join in celebrating the dedication of the Suter Science Center West at 3:30 p.m. 

Don Clymer, professor emeritus, presents a Writers Read event with  his memoir of life in Honduras.

–The world premiere of the original U2 Romeo & Juliet rock musical opens at 7 p.m. Adult themes. See also the Sunday matinee.


–The traditional worship service will be at 10:30 a.m. with music, liturgy and alumni award honorees.

U2 Romeo & Juliet rock musical matinee at 2 p.m. Adult themes. 

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