EMU’s Top News of 2022

Our news site is one of the most powerful and engaging ways that we tell the EMU story to a global audience. It’s the most-visited page on the EMU website. 

This year, from Jan. 1 to Dec. 13, we recorded 267,550 total visitors — 7,000 more than in 2021. We also saw a slight increase in the length of time spent reading each article (2 minutes, 34 seconds is pretty amazing in our age of micro-attention spans).

These photos and articles are distributed to media channels, feed our social media handles, appear in other materials used for different audiences, and zoom around the world, courtesy of readers like you who often share links.

Also, check out the Top Photos of 2022, curated by our photo/video specialist Derrick Chirinos ’20.

Top Tweet: TGIF (no surprise there!)

Top Instagram posts

Top Facebook posts


1. A tribute to Jim Bishop, EMU’s information officer for 40 years: 3,453 reads

EMU News chronicles the comings and goings of the community, some more permanent than others.  Retirement articles are always well-read and serve as a kind of digital messageboard for the sharing of well-wishes and fond memories. Memorial tributes for longtime employees also make perennial appearances in the top news list. 

Jim Bishop, Eastern Mennonite University’s much-beloved public information office for 40 years, died Sunday, Jan. 16, 2022, at home of complications from brain cancer.  Lehman Auditorium hosted an in-person and live-streamed service. We miss you, Jim. [Note that the social media post about the Bishop’s Grove tree-planting ceremony earned a place in our top three Facebook posts of 2022.]

2. Cords of Distinction Announcement: 2,636 reads

The spring announcement of Cords of Distinction honorees is always a top contender. Ten seniors are selected for EMU’s highest honor. 

Click here to read the tributes to each honoree (this is the one article published each year which most dramatically encapsulates EMU values, the caliber and character of our students,and the relationships they have with professors and staff.) 

3. Lavender Graduation ceremony preview: 2,294 reads

EMU’s first Lavender Graduation ceremony honored graduates of the Class of 2022 who identify as LGBTQ+.  LGBTQ+ alums were also welcome. This article previewing the ceremony generated the most comments during 2022 (only 16, significantly fewer than the 2021 record of 61 comments to EMU’s announcement of its first LGBTQ+ Month commemoration).

This is a topic of interest: A round-up article about EMU’s spring 2022 LGBTQ+ events and projects, including Lavender Graduation, sits in the #8 spot, with 1,492 reads.  

4. Eight track athletes break records: 1,695 reads

Justin McIlwee, communications director for EMU Athletics, churns out a lot of articles but this one was the top read. We’ll assume it’s because EMU’s excellent track and field program is getting lots of attention (true), but we also need to mention that the inclusion of Oprah Winfrey in the article (“You get your name in the record books. And YOU get your name in the record books. And you get your name in the record booooooooooks!”) might explain its popularity (we are not above SEO manipulation).

5. Return of the International Food Festival photoessay: 1694 reads

This fun photoessay shared themes of EMU’s international community, interest in intercultural experiences, community, and food! Staffers Rachel Holderman and Kate Szambecki teamed up to take photos and gather info, respectively, for this chronicle of international cuisine and pageantry on Thomas Plaza.

6. EMU announces transition at CJP and with executive leadership team: 1,515 reads

The retirement announcement of Jayne Docherty, executive director and longtime professor at CJP, was paired with another transition announcement: that of Jackie Font-Guzmán to new roles as strategic vision director for CJP and vice president for diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

7. Professor David Berry at Carnegie Hall: 1,502 reads

Readers were thrilled by this announcement that EMU’s own Professor David Berry would join as a member of the Gateways Music Festival Orchestra for its historic house debut at Carnegie Hall in April 2022. The orchestra was comprised entirely of professional classical musicians of African descent.

8. EMU’s spring 2022 LGBTQ+ events and projects: 1,492 reads

9. Poole and Holsopple’s ‘Bonhoeffer: Cell 29’ preview: 1,435 reads

This theater production about German dissident and theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer is a cinematic and theatrical collaboration of professors and co-creators Jerry Holsopple and Justin Poole, with an original score by cellist and Preparatory Music Program director Kimberly Souther.

10. 2022 Commencement coverage: 1,342 reads

EMU’s 104th Commencement ceremony was marked by the conferring of 408 degrees and its second honorary doctorate in its history to human rights lawyer Bryan Stevenson

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