Graduates of the EMU Class of 2024 embrace after their Commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 5, 2024.

EMU’s 106th Commencement celebrates 357 graduates

Eastern Mennonite University awarded 366 total degrees (with some students earning more than one degree) at its 106th annual Commencement on Sunday, May 5, 2024. The total included 207 undergraduate degrees, 88 master’s degrees, 62 graduate certificates, five Eastern Mennonite Seminary degrees and four doctorates.

More than 3,000 people were in attendance to recognize the graduates.

Check out the 2024 Commencement photo gallery!

Business leader and philanthropist Jose Koshy, class of ’76, delivered the address on the power of agape love and kindness. He shared three acts of kindness he received at EMC that have guided him in building a career, a business and a family.

When Koshy was an 18-year-old first-year student at EMC, his parents needed to leave Harrisonburg. He could not afford to live in the dorms and, “knowing my situation, God sent Rachel and Robert Stoltzfus into my life.” The couple lived near campus and took him in “with no questions asked.”

“Their home was small, but their hearts were big,” Koshy said. “They gave so much from what little they had. They were rich in spirit and they were generous with it — true agape love.”

Undergraduates Hebron Mekuria and Ariel Morales Bonilla and MA graduate Chidi Ihezuoh offered graduate perspectives.

“Very few things in this world are actually impossible,” Mekuria told the graduates. “Many things can be done. They can be hard, challenging and require lots and lots of work, but they can be done.”

For a longer summary of the Commencement address from Koshy and the graduate perspectives, visit the post below.

President Dr. Susan Schultz Huxman presided over the ceremony, and Provost Tynisha Willingham commissioned the graduates. The commencement was Willingham’s first; she started in the role in July 2023.

Watch a video recording of Commencement here.

Cords of Distinction

Ten graduating seniors are 2024 Cords of Distinction recipients. They were honored in a special ceremony on Friday, May 3, 2024, and wore blue and gold cords signifying their achievement during EMU Commencement.

Check out the Cords of Distinction ceremony photo gallery!

Lavender Graduation

EMU hosted its third Lavender Graduation on Saturday, May 4, 2024, to honor LGBTQ+ graduates and alumni. The annual event recognizes LGBTQ+ students of all races and ethnicities and acknowledges their achievement and contributions to the university.

Check out the Lavender Graduation photo gallery!

Donning of the Kente

EMU held its ninth Donning of the Kente ceremony on Saturday, May 4, 2024, at MainStage Theater. The annual event recognizes and rewards achievement, honors those who contributed to the graduate’s success, connects graduates to their heritage and international roots, and encourages them to continue striving for excellence. 

Check out the Donning of the Kente photo gallery!

Undergraduate Baccalaureate

The undergraduate seniors in the Class of 2024 were honored with a service on Saturday, May 4, 2024, which included a scripture reading, musical selections, an address from Instructor Maria Esther Showalter, senior class salutations and the presentation of the senior class gift. View the ceremony here.

Check out the Undergraduate Baccalaureate photo gallery!

CJP Celebration of Blessings

The Center for Justice and Peacebuilding (CJP) celebrated the 33 graduates from its master’s degree and graduate certificate programs on Sunday, May 5, 2024, with a send-off from faculty and staff and reflections from three 2024 graduates.

Check out the Celebration of Blessings photo gallery!

Read coverage of EMU’s 106th Commencement in the Daily News-Record.

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.

Watch for a recap of the Lancaster ceremony coming soon!

Photos by Macson McGuigan/EMU, Cassidy Walker/EMU and Jon Styer/At Ease Design & Consulting

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