EMU graduates walk across the campus front lawn at the 105th annual University Commencement on May 7, 2023. (Photo by Jon Styer/At Ease Design & Consulting)

A visitor’s guide to graduation

What to know if you’re attending EMU’s commencement events

Commencement is fast approaching, bringing along a series of events and ceremonies to honor the dedication of this year’s graduating class. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions to help guide you through the weekend.

When is Commencement and where will it be held?

Eastern Mennonite University’s 106th Annual Commencement ceremony will begin on Sunday, May 5, 2024 at 1 p.m. It will be held on the Campus Front Lawn. See map below.

How long will it last?

Commencement is about two hours long.

What if the weather is bad?

Commencement will be held under a tent on the Front Lawn, rain or shine.

Will the ceremony be livestreamed?

Yes, a live video feed will be available on the EMU Facebook page.

Where should I park?

Please see the campus map for parking information. The south portion of the University Commons parking lot will be reserved for handicapped and mobility-restricted parking.

Where should I sit?

Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. The seating area opens on Sunday at 11 a.m. A remote viewing location for Commencement will be at Suter Science Center 106.

How many students will be graduating?

EMU will award 366 total degrees at Commencement. The total includes 207 undergraduate degrees, 88 master’s degrees, 62 graduate certificates, five Eastern Mennonite Seminary degrees and four doctorates.

Who will deliver the commencement address?

Business leader and philanthropist Jose Koshy, class of ’76, whose support fuels international student scholarships, faculty fellowships and inclusive excellence grants at EMU, will deliver the address. Read more about him in the post below.

Who else is speaking?

Hebron Mekuria, Ariel Morales Bonilla and Chidi Ihezuoh will offer graduate perspectives at Commencement.

Who are the class officers?

The 2024 undergraduate class officers are:

Co-presidents: Hannah Landis and Megan Miller
Secretary: Julie Weaver
Business Manager: Lizzy Kirkton

The 2024 undegraduate class advisers are Shannon Dycus and Chad Gusler.

Is the event free? Is there a limit to how many guests can attend?

Commencement is free to attend. There is no limit to the number of guests you can invite, and no tickets are needed.

What other events can I attend?

Ten graduating seniors will be honored as 2024 Cords of Distinction recipients in a special ceremony from on Friday, May 2 from 6-7 p.m. in Martin Chapel. EMU will host its third annual Lavender Graduation on Saturday, May 4 from 12:30-1:30 p.m. in University Commons Room 177 (Old Common Grounds) to honor LGBTQ+ graduates and alumni. EMU’s ninth annual Donning of the Kente ceremony will be held on Saturday from 3-5 p.m. in the MainStage Theatre to recognize graduating students of color and international students. On Sunday, May 5, after Commencement, the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding will host a graduation celebration at 4 p.m. in Martin Chapel. All events are listed online here.

When are the baccalaureate events?

The Undergraduate Baccalaureate will take place on Saturday, May 4 at 7 p.m. in Lehman Auditorium.

Will the dining halls be open?

The commencement weekend schedule for the dining hall is as follows:

Continental breakfast: 8:15-9 a.m. 
Lunch: 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. 
Dinner: 5-6 p.m. 

Continental breakfast: 8:15-9 a.m. 
Lunch: 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

Where else can I eat, and what else can I do in Harrisonburg?

Read through this guide for celebrating graduation weekend in Harrisonburg, written by the city’s tourism office, chock-full of recommendations for dining, graduation gifts and what to do while you’re in town!

When will the Lancaster, Pennsylvania, campus hold its graduation?

EMU at Lancaster will hold its Commencement ceremony on Friday, May 10, 2024 at 7 p.m. at Forest Hills Mennonite Church in Leola, Pennsylvania. The school will recognize 14 aviation graduates and 16 Leadership and Organizational Management (LOM) and Graduate Teacher Education graduates.

Where can I find more information?

Visit the website at emu.edu/commencement or email questions to commencement@emu.edu. 

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