The administration describes Eastern Mennonite University (EMU), a four-year private liberal arts university in Harrisonburg, Virginia, a “leader among faith-based institutions.” Associated with the Mennonite Church the college is known for its peace and justice programs and its Conflict Transformation Graduate degree.
Professors work as mentors to the students to challenge them in their personal, professional and spiritual life. EMU hopes that upon graduation, students will not only be prepared for a career but grow up to be ethical leaders in whatever path they decide to take, impacting the world and making it a more peaceful place.
The administrators and faculty work hard to teach students the core values at EMU. These core values include working for positive change, peace based on respectful and justice relationships, and peace with creation. These values are intertwine with what students learn academically and reinforced through lectures and guest speakers in the hopes that students will continue to work for justice upon graduation.
EMU came into existence in 1917 when members of the Mennonite church wanted a place to learn; not just basic schooling, but higher education. They wanted this particular institute to not only teach academics but also faith and spirituality.
EMU became a four year college in 1947 and made history the next year when it became one of the first southern colleges to accept an African-American student.
There have been many alumni that went on to do work in social justice throughout the world: Ali Gohar ’02, is the founding director of JustPeace International, Leymah Gbowee ’07 who was a co-honoree of the Nobel Peace Prize for her work to help end civil conflict in Liberia, and the winner of the Millennium Excellence Peace Award in 2005, Emmanuel Bombande of the class of 2002.
On campus there are a lot of things for student to do. They can participate in numerous clubs and organizations such as student government. They can write for the EMU newspaper, Weathervane, or they can grab a coffee at the Common Grounds Coffeehouse. At Common Grounds, students can relax, listen to live music, participate in discussions and dialogues or study. Students can also take a walk through the breathtaking arboretum, or help maintain the greenhouse on campus.
If students are itching to get outside the campus walls, they can take advantage of their surroundings by horseback riding, hunting and skiing at one of the numerous national parks near campus. If students would rather go in town, however, Harrisonburg offers students many distractions. The town is home to nearly 49,000 people and countless shops, restaurants, and activities that students can take advantage of.
EMU also offers numerous Division III athletic programs such as field hockey, baseball, and basketball. EMU athletes have achieved much success throughout the years. EMU’s basketball team had a 25-5 record in 2009-2010 ranking them at #4 according to D3hoops.com. The women’s softball team won the 2010 ODAC Championship, advancing to the Division III National Softball Tournament for the first time in EMU history.
Total expenses for one year at EMU are close to $36,000. The financial aid department works hard to secure funding for all students who are deemed to have financial need. The department is able to give 98% of these students financial aid. Out of these students, 38.5% get their financial needs fully met. Upon graduation, a student at EMU can expect to be less than $20,000 in debt.
The price of tuition may seem daunting, but nearly 90% of graduates at EMU get jobs within a year of graduation. The administrators at school believe it is because of the values that are taught at EMU, the skills they learn, and their desire to make the world a better place.