Category: 1942

Centennial worship offers thanks for 100 years of blessings and a call to listen

October 15, 1917, was the first day of classes at the new Eastern Mennonite School located in a rented hotel near Harrisonburg, Virginia. One hundred years later to the day, the school — now known as Eastern Mennonite University — concluded a special Centennial Homecoming and Family Weekend with worship  in a near-capacity Lehman Auditorium. … More

Bibliophiles Delight: 100 Years of EMU Library History

From one book (Virgil’s Aeneid) to more than 500,000 items today, the library has always been a source of knowledge, wisdom and social life at first Eastern Mennonite School, then Eastern Mennonite College and now Eastern Mennonite University. Sadie A. Hartzler Library Director Marci Frederick combed carefully through the reports of previous directors to find … More

EMU Athletics timeline

1921 – Daniel (D.W.) Lehman becomes the school’s first athletic director and conducts weekly physical education classes for dormitory students. 1925 – Students are required to walk, do physical labor, or hike for a minimum of two hours per week. 1926 – Upon observing students playing ball, President A.D. Wenger notes that students need to … More

Centennial Award recipients Chester and Sara Jane Wenger honored for ‘rich lives of service, leadership and faith’

When Chester Wenger ’36 became acquainted with Sara Jane Weaver ’42, he found her “so beautiful and lovable I couldn’t resist,” he said with a twinkle in his eye. Something else beguiled Chester. “It impressed me to see a young woman stand up there teaching the Bible to a whole roomful of children,” holding their rapt attention. A … More

Planetarium on Vesper Heights and in Suter Science Center exposes generations to starry skies

The planetarium at Eastern Mennonite University – for many of those whose history with the school predates 2007, the words bring up many emotions and fond memories, whether those memories are of the original building on Vesper Heights (also known as “The Hill”) or the M.T. Brackbill Planetarium in the Suter Science Center. In the … More

A timeline of YPCA/Y-Serve’s Christian ministry and service at EMU from 1922 to the present

 If asked to identify the most influential student organization in Eastern Mennonite University’s 100-year history, the answer is easy: the Young People’s Christian Association, known popularly as YPCA or the Y. For many years, the student body and YPCA were one and the same: if you were a student at what was then called Eastern … More

EMU’s oldest and influential student organization YPCA, now Y-serve, brings ministry into communities

If asked to identify the most influential student organization in Eastern Mennonite University’s 100-year history, the answer is easy: the Young People’s Christian Association, known popularly as YPCA or the Y. For many years, the student body and YPCA were one and the same: if you were a student at what was then called Eastern … More

Margaret Gehman

Margaret Gehman was a Art and Physical Education professor at Eastern Mennonite College from 1944-1987.  She remembers her nickname “Speedy”  and her education at Eastern Mennonite School.  During her tenure as a faculty member, Margaret recalls the tough conditions of teaching in a building with no heat in the winter and the relationships she built … More

A museum treasure comes to light: Professor D. Ralph Hostetter’s love of ‘God in nature’ and the Carolina Junco

While preparing exhibit items in the D. Ralph Hostetter Natural History Museum at Eastern Mennonite University for upcoming renovations, senior biochemistry major Eli Wenger found something that “made my hair stand on end.” Wenger knew some names that live large in the university’s annals as movers and shapers of an academic legacy. Professor D. Ralph … More

PAX service program, predecessor to the Peace Corps, recognized by Mahatma Gandhi Center for Global Nonviolence

In 1951, Jay “Junior” Lehman, then a 21-year-old farm boy from Ohio, sailed by freighter to Antwerp, Belgium. He was among the first wave of conscientious objectors to participate in a new alternative service program called Pax. Reaching their eventual destination in Germany, Lehman and about 20 draft-age men labored to turn Nazi poison-gas bunkers … More

Join the meal: Part I of EMU’s Dining Hall Saga: 1917 to 1970s, site of fellowship, gentility and cultural skirmishes

Herewith is presented a somewhat exhaustive chronology of Eastern Mennonite College/Eastern Mennonite University’s dining services. Consume as much as you’d like and return for seconds. Or simply begin reading in the era of your choosing. We try to please all tastes. Your two cooks are Brenna Cowardin, summer intern, who handled the prep work with … More

Why EMU has a heart for mental healthcare

The first night at Western State Hospital in Staunton, Virginia, was horribly memorable. Emory Layman, assigned by Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) to work as an attendant at the mental hospital during World War II, was shown to a bed in a cramped office, just off the noisy ward full of patients, many of them shackled … More