Third-generation EMU student Julie Weaver ’24 is a senior biology major from Harrisonburg, Virginia. When she's not studying her coursework, Weaver can be spotted behind the counter at Common Grounds Coffeehouse and at worship services as a student chaplain. She’s also working on her Spanish fluency and wants to be able to converse with patients in Spanish someday. (Photo by Macson McGuigan/EMU)

Why they LovEMU: Julie Weaver ’24 says professors at EMU ‘really care about you’

Editor’s Note: This profile is the fourth of six about students and alumni leading up to LovEMU Giving Day on April 10. For more information about the day and to donate, visit  

Harrisonburg, Virginia, native Julie Weaver ’24 has Royal blue in her blood.

Her grandfather, Samuel O. Weaver, graduated from Eastern Mennonite College and led Eastern Mennonite High School as its principal for more than a decade. Her grandmother graduated from EMHS and attended EMC. Her parents are EMC alumni. When it was her turn to attend college, the EMHS grad wasn’t so sure she wanted to follow in their footsteps. 

“I really liked EMU,” Weaver said, “but I thought, ‘Do I want to go to a school on the same block I’ve been on for the past four years?’”

After visiting several colleges, including four trips to EMU, she had no doubt about it — she belonged here.

“At EMU, people took an interest in me. They wanted to get to know me,” said Weaver, who recalled forging new friendships during an overnight visit, even while brushing her teeth. “At other colleges I visited, the only one who talked to me was the person hosting me in the dorms.”

The senior biology major said EMU’s small class sizes allow for personalized support from faculty, which was helpful for her more demanding STEM courses.

“The professors really care about you,” Weaver said. “I had trouble understanding a concept and my professor spent 45 minutes with me after class explaining it in different ways on the whiteboard until I understood it.”

Another benefit of attending EMU is the wealth of scholarships and financial aid available to students. Weaver is in the honors program and is the recipient of numerous awards, including the highly selective President’s Scholarship

“It pays for a hefty portion of my tuition, which has been a huge blessing,” she said. “Having the support of scholarships means a lot when I’ll be going into tens of thousands of dollars, if not over $100,000 in debt for my doctorate.”

After graduating in May, she’s headed to Richmond where she’ll be earning a doctorate in physical therapy from Virginia Commonwealth University. She’s heard the three-year program can be a grind, but is confident EMU has prepared her well. The lessons learned in her advanced anatomy class and in the campus cadaver lab will prove especially invaluable for the seven straight weeks of anatomy class ahead of her this summer. 

“It’s been a journey,” Weaver said. “One chapter is ending, but the next one is starting.”

Your generous support helps students like Weaver pursue a quality college education without financial barriers. Join us for the 8th annual LovEMU Giving Day and contribute to the scholarships that empower future EMU students. Let’s build EMU “Stronger Together.”

Read the previous profiles in our Why they LovEMU series:

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