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Thanksgiving

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Giving Thanks at EMU

Psalm 107:1 O give thanks to the Lord, for God is good; for God's steadfast love endures forever.

As we move into the Thanksgiving season in the United States, we pause to express gratitude. EMU continues to be a place of service, leadership and transformation. We are thankful for the thousands of people who have been part of the EMU story, and those who will shape it in the future.

We invited students, faculty and staff to share what they are thankful for at this moment in time. Please enjoy their comments in the slideshow below.

I am thankful for spontaneous adventures.

Zach Bauman – Undergrad Sophomore

I am thankful for health, for regular Zoom gatherings with family, friends to talk with and new activities discovered during COVID-19: pickle ball and disc golf!

Jennifer Bauman – Interim Director of Alumni and Parent Engagement

I am thankful for students who care for one another.

Sarah Bixler – Seminary Instructor

I am thankful for music!

Lexi Beard – Undergrad Junior

I am thankful for porch times with friends that care about each other.

Asha Beck – Undergrad Junior

I am grateful for many reminders of the incredible beauty of the mountains after living in the area for most of my life.

Hannah Beck – Undergrad First Year

I am thankful for extra time with family, a campus that seeks peace and justice and support of all, and the ability to still make music safely.

Benjamin Bergey – Assistant Professor of Music

I am thankful that even though COVID-19 stopped a lot of things from happening this year, I have been able to continue my education online with EMU and will still be finished with the LOM program in December 2020. Extremely grateful for EMU and the Adult Degree Program.

Erica Biller – Class of 2020, LOM Adult Degree Program

I am thankful for my family and friends.

Becca Boone – Undergrad Sophomore

I am thankful for making a strong and close relationship with some of the people that I met freshman year!

Zion Boutte – Undergrad Sophomore

I am thankful for our faithful God, extending mercy after mercy even when we fail. Thank You, Lord. We will never deserve Your goodness! I pray that our campus community never loses sight of who You are.

Alyssa Breidigan – Undergrad Sophomore

I am thankful for blue light glasses while I stare at a computer screen all day to student teach virtually.

Megan Breidigan – Undergrad Senior

I am thankful for my cat! My partner and I adopted her at the beginning of this semester. We think she's around 7 years old, but she's already overcome a lot of hardships in her lifetime. This is her third home, she lost one of her legs at the beginning of this year, and she's recently been recovering from Horner's Syndrome. Despite all of this, she is incredibly affectionate and just has so much love to give. She inspires me to persist through my own challenges, and I'm grateful to have her by my side (or on my laptop) every day.

Kaitlyn Bridgeforth – 2nd Year MS in Premedicine Grad Student

I am thankful for the beautiful scenery that surrounds EMU, and for the community here that is committed to learning and living together in a time of COVID uncertainty.

Micah Buckwalter – Undergrad Sophomore

I am thankful for opportunities to serve at the SPCA. Yes, I am even thankful for messy kitty litter!

Barbara Byer – Admin Assistant

I am thankful for having a new pole vaulting coach this year.

Skylar Coffey – Undergrad Sophomore

I am thankful for the friends and family I have made here at EMU and the relationships I've been able to make with my team. I am also thankful for the ability to return to school in person and be able to play sports.

Hollie Creasey – Undergrad First Year

I am thankful for working with a group of colleagues who were able to pivot our programs to new formats with enthusiasm, creativity, and good humor. And a group of students from around the globe who might never get to Harrisonburg in person but will always be part of our family at the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding.

Jayne Docherty – CJP Executive Director

I am thankful for curling up in a blanket with a mug of tea.

Elizabeth Eby – Undergrad Junior

I am thankful for the kind smiles I see everywhere on campus.

Laurel Evans – Undergrad First Year

I am thankful for my family and the friends I have met throughout the years.

Alaina Fiden – Undergrad First Year

I am thankful for my wonderful friends who have supported me through this semester and given me the encouragement I've needed to get through my first year of college.

Zander France – Undergrad First Year

I am thankful for caring, creative, flexible and great colleagues, especially those in my department.

Marci Frederick – Library Director

I am grateful for my job at EMU.

Lori Gant – Facilities Management Administrative Assistant

I am thankful for the opportunity to share my hometown with all of my new friends and make new memories in the places that I've known forever.

Maggie Garber – Undergrad First Year

I am thankful for the friendships I have been able to create through sports, activities, and events that have been on campus. I am thankful to be on campus with friends during the pandemic.

Alyssa Gonzales – Undergrad Junior

I am thankful for my family.

Vincena Good – Lead Custodian

I am thankful for God's unfailing love and generous answers to prayers!

Sara Halteman – Accreditation Specialist

I am thankful for God leading me to attend EMU and all I have learned this semester. It has made me a better person and I am very grateful and humbled to have the opportunity to attend college.

Luke Haynes – Undergrad First Year

I am thankful for my dog.

Tessa Hickman – Undergrad Senior

I am thankful for the opportunity to participate in clinical nursing experiences despite covid. I am also thankful for the endless love and support from my family and friends.

Sophie Hodge – Undergrad Junior

I am thankful for the talented, supportive, and kind people I am so fortunate to learn from and work with!

Connie Honsinger – Adjunct Professor

I am thankful to be part of this community that works toward belongingness where everyone (students, alumni, faculty/staff, donors, and parents) shoulders the responsibility of caring for one another, especially in the midst of such a tumultuous time.

Braydon Hoover – Director of Development & Annual Giving

I am thankful for a group of amazing co-workers.

Joshua Lyons – Web Developer & Analyst

I am thankful for an amazing group of friends.

Amanda Hoover – Undergrad Nursing Student

I am thankful for a job!

Christa Hoover – Prep Music Teacher

The welcoming EMU community and the many opportunities I've been presented with since coming to EMU.

John Jantzen – Undergrad First Year

I am thankful for the great group of friends that I have made on campus and all of the amazing experiences that we have had together.

Abby Kaufman – Undergrad First Year

I am thankful for my family, my friends, my pets, music and skateboarding. I am also grateful for planet earth and that there are good people in this world.

Catherine Kirby – Undergrad First Year

I am thankful for asynchronous 8 AMs.

Lizzy Kirkton – Undergrad First Year

I am thankful for sunny afternoons where I can sit outside and eat with all of my friends.

Sophie Kirkton – Undergrad First Year

I am thankful for our field hockey team who adapted to our situation, found ways to grow, and made this fall semester a success! Thank you to the team and all of our supporters who continue to push us forward!

Stick Kishorn – Head Field Hockey Coach

I am very thankful for the opportunity to teach great students in person at EMU this fall.

Denise Lam – History Adjunct Faculty

I am grateful for the wonderful friends I've shared adventures with and the expertise and guidance of caring teachers!

Hannah Landis – Undergrad First Year

I am thankful for new friends that I have met since being on campus.

Olivia Laubscher – Undergrad First Year

I am thankful for my very patient and thoughtful partner who is always looking for a way to make me smile.

Hannah Leaman – Undergrad Junior

I am thankful for my Savior, Jesus Christ, and for God's word, the Bible. I am grateful for my family and for the great people that I work with.

Ed Lehman – Staff

I am thankful for the opportunity this fall semester to interact with students in two Transitions classes who inspired and reminded me why I love EMU.

Renee Leap – Alumni

I am thankful for my family, for my friends, for my education, the roof over my head, food on the table, a supportive surrounding, and for the beautiful change in seasons.

Malee Longoria – Undergrad First Year

I am thankful to be surrounded by the beauty that is the Shenandoah Valley.

Marianna Lipold – Undergrad Junior

I am thankful for my whole family.

Jasmine Madden – Undergrad Senior

I am thankful for getting married this past June. I'm grateful for my wonderful spouse.

Mikayla McCray – Assistant Director of Restorative Justice and Student Accountability

I am forever grateful for the love and support that I have from family and friends when it comes to furthering my education to support others in the mental health/services field.

Valerie Meza-Cooper – Second Year Grad Student

I am thankful for being able to sit outside with friends and enjoy the sunshine.

Megan Miller – Undergrad First Year

I am thankful for the life I have been given and the people a part of it who make it special.

Nikki Mumaw – Undergrad Junior

I am thankful for the opportunity to work at EMU and support seminary students and current and future church leaders.

Veva Mumaw – Director of Seminary Church Relations & Student Services

I am thankful for my family and my health.

Abbey Nauman – Undergrad First Year

I am thankful for the events and activities I have been able to do here. From a lumberjack contest, to rock climbing twice a week, to going on hikes on the weekends, COVID has pushed the CAC and my friends to come up with new and exciting experiences.

Nathan Oostland – Undergrad First Year

I am thankful for the group of guys on the EMU men's soccer team for sticking through the tough situation and doing our best to put in the work despite uncertainties.

Dallas Organek – Undergrad Sophomore

I am blessed with a family who loves and supports me. I am grateful for my health and my job as a nurse. I get to experience life and all that it has to offer with my friends who also happen to be my family. I am grateful to be blessed with a family who loves and cares about me.

Felicia Plaugher – BSN Student

I am grateful for the passionate, caring, hard-working, driven and dynamic women’s basketball student athletes and coaching staff. Through these tough times, they have not only shed a light on me, but on our campus. I am thankful for them in every way!

Jenny Posey – Women’s Basketball Coach

I am thankful for the support that my family gives me every day. I definitely wouldn't be here without them!

Phoenix Rash – Undergrad First Year

I am thankful for my mom. I feel like sometimes I take her for granted because I don’t help out around the house like I should but she truly is my best friend and does anything she can to help me. She’s always there when I need her (and sometimes even when I don’t). I would be lost without her. I’m also thankful for my step dad. He stepped up when he didn’t have to and I’ll never be able to repay him for that.

Kara Reed – Undergrad First Year

I am thankful for family and another day on this beautiful earth.

Brenlee Reedy – Undergrad Senior

I am thankful for colleagues that support me and build me up.

Sarah Regan – Auxiliary Services Staff

I am grateful for the beautiful weather throughout this fall which has allowed us to enjoy being together outside as a community; a cup of Common Grounds coffee; going for long runs on Sunday mornings; my work community which includes inspiring leaders among student and professional colleagues; and last, but not least, my loving family!

Rachel Roth Sawatzky – Director of Student Programs and Orientation/Title IX Coordinator

I am thankful for health - both my own but my family's. I am thankful to work at a place like EMU in which I feel supported and enjoy the team that I work with and enjoy being around. I am thankful for lingering warmer weather. I am thankful for hope!

Matt Ruth – Director of Admissions

I am thankful for good health, family together time, and loving co-workers. Support, acceptance and love are wonderful things to have these days.

Selah Shenk – Accounts Receivable Assistant

I am thankful for my students - immigrants, refugees, and international students - who are eagerly working to improve their English language skills.

Steve Shenk – Instructor in Intensive English Program

I am thankful for roommates, more like close friends, who are willing to sing karaoke and dance in all hours of the night, forgetting about all of the assignments due the next day.

Zach Shifflett – Undergrad Senior

During these chaotic times, I am especially thankful for the faith-informed resilience of the EMU community.

Kirk Shisler – Vice President for Advancement

Hard-working, dedicated people that have kept EMU open and humming in the most challenging year to date!

Marybeth Showalter – Director of Human Resources

I am amazed at how resilient and respectful our students have been this semester despite all the mental health struggles, challenges, disappointments, and frustrations!

Daniel Showalter – Math/CS Professor

I am so thankful that God placed me in a family when I accepted Jesus' free and costly gift of forgiveness and salvation. I am stretched, encouraged and propelled to take risky steps of faith, walk in boldness and love deeply in more ways than I thought possible by the people God has placed in my life. Praise God!

Hannah Shultz – Alumni

I am thankful for being able to learn even in the amidst of a pandemic.

Samuel Soste-Taffur – Undergrad Sophomore

I am thankful for EMU's counseling program. It has given me a wonderful insight into understanding people (including myself) and learning how to be with people in their deepest times of need. The program has been especially helpful for me during this time of covid because of the supportive faculty and my great cohort which I know is always there for me. Despite the uncertainty with covid right now, I am grateful spending my time reading, learning, writing, and furthering my education in a subject area that will allow me to help a lot of people.

Ellie Spaulding Hershberger – MA in Counseling Graduate Student

I am thankful for the ability to continue to play sports even through the pandemic.

May Wadman – Undergrad Junior

During these past COVID-19 months (spring, summer, fall), I have been very grateful for my small deck, a lovely place which is just large enough for "socially-distanced" outdoor meals with family and friends.

Dorothy Jean Weaver – Class '72; New Testament Professor 1984-2018

I am so thankful for family - my 3 children, 3 grands, 4 sisters, mom, and countless extended nieces/nephews scattered across 5 states. Technology has given me the ability to visit with them via Alexa once a week and still feel as if we are connected.

Barbara Wheatley – Assistant Professor

I am thankful for my friends who share a passion for hiking with me and make an effort to go on explorations with me on the weekends!

Luke Wheeler – Undergrad Sophomore

I am grateful for the intentionality that this year has brought. COVID-19 has put a lot of things on hold but I've loved seeing all the ways friends, staff, CAC, sports teams, clubs, and other organizations around campus have been intentional about still finding ways to stay socially connected and physically distanced.

Lindsey White – Undergrad Sophomore

Working from home has been hard and having a 5th grader doing virtual school is not ideal. I am thankful for our lunchtime walk that we do everyday after his virtual school is over. Sometimes we walk in silence. Other times we have lots to say. These walks I will remember forever.

Alex Yoder – Assistant Director of Financial Aid

I am thankful that I live in a beautiful place. I'm thankful we had so many clear fall days and could see the mountains in view while going about our work and daily activities.

Mary Ann Zehr – Adjunct Faculty

Next Back

Several podcasts of Dr. Walter Brueggemann on gratitude from a past School for Leadership Training at Eastern Mennonite Seminary may be of interest. 

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