Crossroads Spring 2007 - Alumni Magazine of Eastern Mennonite University

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crossroads eastern mennonite university

Spring 2007

OUr justice, love mercy, walk humbly with God vol. 87, No. 4

crossroads winter 2007, Vol. 87, No. 4

Crossroads is the quarterly magazine of Eastern Mennonite University distributed to 15,000 alumni, students, parents and friends. Our Vision EMU envisions a learning community marked by academic excellence, creative process, professional competence, and passionate Christian faith, offering healing and hope in our diverse world. To this end, we commit ourselves to: do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God. Our Mission EMU educates students to live in a global context. Our Anabaptist Christian community challenges students to pursue their life calling through scholarly inquiry, artistic creation, guided practice, and life-changing cross-cultural encounter. We invite each person to experience Christ and follow His call to: witness faithfully, serve compassionately, and walk boldly in the way of nonviolence and peace. Our Shared Values EMU instills the enduring values of our Anabaptist tradition in each generation: Christian discipleship community, service, and peacebuilding. Together we worship God, seek truth, and care for each other. Board of Trustees: Susan Godshall, chair, Mount Joy, Pa.; J. Harold Bergey, Chesapeake, Va.; John M. Bomberger, Harrisonburg, Va.; Andrew Dula, Lancaster, Pa.; Gilberto Flores, Newton, Kan.; Curtis D. Hartman, Harrisonburg, Va.; Shirley Hochstetler, Kidron, Ohio; Gerald (Gerry) R. Horst, New Holland, Pa.; Linford D. King, Lancaster, Pa.; Herb H. Noll, Lancaster, Pa.; Kathleen (Kay) Nussbaum, Grant, Minn.; Kathy Keener Shantz, Lancaster, Pa.; J. Richard Thomas, Ronks, Pa.; Diane Z. Umble, Lancaster, Pa.; Paul R. Yoder, Jr., Harrisonburg, Va. Associate trustees: Myron E. Blosser, Harrisonburg, Va.; Steve Brenneman, Nappanee, Ind.; Glen A. Guyton, Yorktown, Va.; Robert (Bob) P. Hostetler, Erie, Pa.; Clyde G. Kratz, Broadway, Va.; Amy L. Rush, Harrisonburg, Va.; Dan Garber, Hutchinson, Kan.; Joan King, Telford, Pa.; Carlos Romero, Mennonite Education Agency rep, Goshen, Ind.; Lillis Troyer, Walnut Creek, Ohio; Judith Trumbo, Broadway, Va. Loren Swartzendruber, president; Beryl Brubaker, provost; Kirk Shisler, vice president for advancement; Andrea Wenger, marketing and communications director. Bonnie Price Lofton Editor/writer

Matthew Styer Designer/photographer

Paul T. Yoder Mileposts editors

Jim Bishop Public information officer

Cover photo: Josh Byler at Lacey Springs Elementary School. See page 14. Photo by Matthew Styer. Eastern Mennonite University 1200 Park Road Harrisonburg, VA 22802 (540) 432-4000

| crossroads | spring 2007

Provost Beryl Brubaker and president Loren Swartzendruber

Dear Prospective Students: Able to Go Anywhere?

You Should Still Choose EMU

Like most colleges, EMU can point proudly to its successes: the world-renowned father of the restorative justice movement, the dean of Harvard Medical School, the editor of hymnals used by tens of thousands, the author of a New York Times bestseller, the founder of one of the fastest-growing businesses in the United States, the writer of Ethiopia’s constitution. But almost every university can and does point to similarly accomplished faculty members and alumni. With few exceptions, every university will prepare you in your chosen profesA note from Loren sion and liberate your mind so that you can be My work requires me to be off campus a good citizen. You can be a successful doctor, frequently, meeting with other college leaders teacher, artist, musician, and so forth after on policy matters, offering messages from the pulpit in churches, and staying connected attending almost any accredited institution of with EMU’s nationwide network of supporters. higher learning. EMU does more than this. This is only possible because I am backed You may be expecting me to say that as a by a trusted team on campus, led by provost small, caring university, we go the extra mile. Dr. Beryl Brubaker. In these remarks to EMU’s prospective honors students, Beryl captures Yes, we offer a nurturing environment, treat well “EMU’s difference” and why we should all students holistically and care about students’ care about that difference. personal lives. But this still does not capture the “EMU difference.” It does not explain why students who could go anywhere for their undergraduate studies should still choose EMU. First, let me assure you: graduates of EMU have no trouble getting into well-known graduate schools and being successful there. We do prepare our students well. Moreover, like many small faith-based colleges, we enable our students to deepen values and relationships in a way that simply is not possible at a large state university. But EMU does more than prepare students academically and give them life-long friendships. EMU challenges you to extend yourself to the wider world as Jesus did. Today’s world is facing major threats. Religious conflict. Crushing poverty for millions. Global warming. Biotechnology advances that may change who we are and what we eat, for better or for worse. Addressing these threats will require our best minds: people who have emotional as well as intellectual intelligence; persons whose goals are to serve the world rather than primarily themselves; people who exemplify the vision, mission and shared values that are printed inside the cover of each Crossroads. God has given you wonderful gifts. I believe each of you wants to discover that deep calling inside of you and to use your gifts to address the world’s hurts. EMU will help you to do this in a way that few other universities will. Because that is our mission. – Beryl Brubaker ’64

3 3 Jay B. Landis

After 50 years in the classroom, one of EMU’s most popular teachers is retiring.


In this Issue






7 Diversity

Eastern Mennonite sets precedents in race relations.

12 Desirable Teachers Employers snap up the teachers EMU produces

18 The Paynes

Two educators who started with nothing are now huge benefactors.

22 Adults Seeking Degrees

One-quarter of our graduates aren’t young

25 A Day in the Life

Our provost hardly seems to rest

27 Mileposts

The life journeys, callings and accomplishments of alumni

33 The Book Business The brains behind the sales of millions of books | crossroads |

An Education Where the last can become first

We open this issue with Jay B. Landis, who has taught literally thousands of EMU graduates how to be better thinkers, writers and public speakers in his 50 years in the classroom. Next we look at how diverse the student population of EMU has become, starting with its pioneering decision to be one of the first white institutions in the South to admit blacks in the late 1940s. Prompted by a conversation overheard in a restaurant, we explore the amazing education program at EMU, where 100% of its graduates are offered jobs as soon as they hit the market. Two lifelong educators, James and Marian Payne, explain how they have managed to be among the top donors to EMU, despite retiring early from their classrooms for health reasons. | crossroads | spring 2007

Our Adult Degree Completion Program throws perhaps the widest net on campus, bringing in folks with full-time jobs and family responsibilities one evening a week to pick up the pieces of a college degree never completed. People who hear the call to ministry – or who wonder if they might be hearing the call – get much support in multiple EMU programs that link the theory of pastoral leadership with the reality of it. For two-dozen additional ways that EMU connects theory to practice, learning to actual life, turn to page 11. The stories in this issue will give you a taste of the educational paths opened, the educational journeys taken, at EMU.

Fifty Years of Inspired Teaching Jay Landis on eve of retirement


sked how he met his wife of 46 years, Peggy Heatwole ’61, Jay B. Landis readily says he met her in the first class he ever taught – 12th-grade English at Eastern Mennonite School in 1956. Jay was 23, fresh from graduate school and alternative service at a Cleveland hospital during the Korean War. He had earned a BA from Eastern Mennonite College (EMC) in 1954. Jay recalls Peggy as an A-student. Another A-student in that class, June Bontrager Schrock, today muses that she never noticed sparks between Jay and Peggy. That’s because “there was nothing going on,” Jay states, eager to clarify this point. Jay and Peggy became more than teacher and student the following summer when they worked together on organizing a Mennonite Youth Fellowship conference. They married the month Peggy graduated from college. Anyone who walks past or into a Jay B. Landis class today will see a man bursting with energy – urging, prodding, inspiring his students to do better than they think they can. He speaks with intensity. His shifting facial expressions and choppy body movements are more reminiscent of a squirmy schoolboy than of a 74-year-old sage who has seen about half of EMU’s students in one of his classes over the last 50 years. Jay is sharply articulate. He would be adept at lobbing zingers at people – the way some TV commentators do – but he is too kind to use his smarts that way. Grace Schrock-Hurst, the 18-year-old granddaughter of the Schrock woman in that first high school class, is now taking public speaking from Jay. (For readers outside of the EMU community, it is customary for Mennonites to refer to each other without honorary titles, so Dr. Landis is indeed “Jay B.” or “Jay” to his five decades of students… no disrespect intended.) “Jay B. is energetic and really makes the class at ease,” says Grace. “He tries to get to know each student. By the second class, he knew all of our 25 or something names.” Grace is the third generation in her family to be taught by Jay. Her mother, Carmen, recalls that Jay led her through “Beowulf ” and works by Chaucer. The three women gathered recently in Jay’s current classroom for photographs to accompany this article. “He has this amazing memory,” says June. | crossroads |

Jay mentions playing a recording of ing so). An interdisciplinary “Macbeth” to that class. sequence of courses, known Jay also reminds Carmen that he read all as “IDS” and covering the her journals during 1978-79 when she did scope of civilization, became voluntary service in San Francisco. required for all students. By “You remember those?” Carmen says with the late 1990s, this last requirea chuckle. “I felt guilty that I was letting ment had fallen by the wayside, you down. I went to the city and became replaced by more electives for convicted that I should solve urban poverty freshmen and sophomores. instead of pursuing English.” Carmen ended Jay laments this change. “I up majoring in social work. think it was important that Jay laments the passing of a curriculum the students knew somein which he team-taught “experiencing the thing about civilization from humanities” and “freedom and order” with ancient Egypt through the four other colleagues. Enlightenment to the 20th Cen“I hate to tell you this,” Carmen says with tury.” It was a way of making a smile. “But nobody liked those courses.” sure that every graduate from Jay looks unperturbed. “I know that, but EMU had more than a passing they made you well-rounded.” acquaintance with literature, hisCarmen nods. “You were required to tory, philosophy, music, drama, take them and everyone sat around and and the fine arts. complained, but it got everyone exposed Jay realizes that students and to the basics of art and culture, and a lot of times change, and he doesn’t mind students needed that.” that. He has lived through and Jay got his masters degree in English from undergone many changes himself. Case-Western Reserve in Cleveland, Ohio, “But I still value the idea that every in 1958 and his doctorate in interdisciplinary person needs a common foundation study, specializing in English, from Idaho of general knowledge, before they State University in 1976. specialize. In the 1970s, Jay became the first faculty “I used to hear students say, ‘But I’m member to direct plays at the college level, going to be a nurse. Why do I have to having previously done so at Eastern Menknow about Dante?’ Yet this may be the nonite High School. only time in their lives when they will “Attitudes toward drama were cool be exposed to Dante, Shakespeare and other [meaning ‘unenthusiastic’] when I first came great thinkers and artists. If not while in to EMC,” he said. “You could read plays, college, then when?” but you couldn’t perform them. Few professors today would be willing or “There was the feeling that theater is the ready to teach the range of courses that Jay ‘willing suspension of disbelief,’ and to some does. people that was deceitful.” The bookshelves in Jay’s office are arThen-president Myron Augsburger did ranged so that one full shelf is devoted not agree, said Jay. Augsburger felt that to each of the topics he teaches: writing, humans had a natural urge toward dramatic Shakespeare, modern poetry, literature, expression, and he encouraged Jay to help drama, speech, humanities. students to explore this urge. This year – his last as a full-time profesActive in faculty decision-making, Jay sor – Jay is teaching speech to six classes helped usher in major curriculum changes of sophomores and freshmen (one of the in the early 1980s. Cross-cultural studies few absolute requirements for all EMU became required – EMU was one of the first undergraduates), a Shakespeare class, and an colleges in the nation to institute this reintroduction to drama class. quirement (only now are other colleges doBy reasonable estimate, more than half | crossroads | spring 2007

of EMU’s alumni over the last 50 years has passed through a Jay B. Landis classroom. Above all else Jay taught them to speak and write clearly, as many of EMU’s employees will attest. He’s taught 15 of them. “I was thrilled when I returned to work here – 24 years after graduating with a degree in English – to find that one of my favorite teachers, Jay B. Landis, was still going strong,” says Kirk Shisler ’81, vice president for advancement. “Jay’s great teaching and mentoring have enriched countless students, including me.” ■ Jay b. Landis retires from full-time employment in May 2007. If you wish to send him a message, he can be reached at

In his young adult years, Jay B. Landis wore traditional “plain clothing” (right). Over the years his dress became more contemporary, with the tie optional. Above, Landis is backed by three generations of Schrock women whom he has taught – (from left) Carmen taught in the 1970s, Grace in his classroom today, and June taught in the 1950s. Jay’s wife, Peggy, is below-left. Black and white photos courtesy jay B. landis | crossroads |

Second-generation students in a Mennonite institution: Joe Macon and Basil Marin. Both take speech with Jay B. Landis.

50 Years Since Integration Asked to recall the early days of racial integration at EMU, Jay B. Landis points through an east-facing window of his home on the hill above the university toward a blue water tower in the distance. “There used to be a poultry plant there,” he says. And near that plant lived Leroy Buck, who took Spanish with Jay when they were both undergraduates in 1950-51. “Leroy was the first black student in one of my classes.” Leroy was also baptized into the Mennonite church that year, despite the opposition of his family and friends. Another black student, Peggy Webb, had returned to Harrisonburg from Hesston (Kan.) College and joined Jay’s class that year; she would become the first official African-American graduate of EMC in 1954. Peggy’s mother, Roberta, was one of the first from Harrisonburg’s black community to become Mennonite – she did so in early 1943. Today, Jay teaches speech to Joseph “Joe” Macon, the grandson of one of the pioneering black students at a Mennonite college. Joe’s grandmother, Florence Baynard of Philadelphia, attended Goshen (Ind.) College in the late 1940s. Jay B. Landis came to Harrisonburg from a Lancaster (Pa.) County family that worked at planting churches in southern Lancaster County neighborhoods heavily populated by African Americans. Jay not only knew Baynard, he knew Marjorie Thompson, the first African American boarder to come to EMC. She came from a Philadelphia church planted by his parents. Jay waves his hand toward low buildings to the northeast where the mission that became Broad Street Mennonite Church debated whether blacks and whites should share a communion cup in the 1940s. | crossroads | spring 2007

In 1953, Jay won an oratorical contest with a speech entitled “The Test of Being White” in which he pleaded for racial equality. The speech was printed on the front page of the denominational periodical, Gospel Herald, sparking letters to the editor, many in disagreement. “The feeling was, ‘They are equal, but they should stay on their side of the tracks,’” says Jay. A few miles to the south, Rockingham Memorial Hospital had a separate ward for black patients. Jay recalls being part of a quartet in the 1950s that sang for patients in that ward. In the same period, Jay’s future wife Peggy Heatwole studied music under Peggy Webb when Webb was student-teaching as a music education major. “You see the Lucy Simms School?” Jay asks a visitor, as they peer together out his eastern window at the panoramic scene below. “Beside it is Immanuel Mennonite Church. I went to its dedication, where Peggy Webb led the music.” Immanuel is the most racially mixed Mennonite church in Harrisonburg. It is pastored by 46-year-old Basil Marin, MDiv ‘05, a former accountant and an African American from Los Angeles. Marin responded to God’s call to enter the ministry in 1980. In 1995, with the support of wife Diane, Basil moved to Harrisonburg to lead Immanuel and to enroll in Eastern Mennonite Seminary. He earned his degree taking one or two classes at a time for 10 years. This semester, Basil’s son, also called Basil, is a freshman taking speech with Jay. “My current students think the integration of EMU was ancient history,” Jay says. “They have no idea how recent it was. For me, it was only yesterday.”

Checkered Past, Colorful Present EMU Leads Way to Diversity


MU set a new record with its percentage of non-white students in 2006-07, making it one of the few historically white institutions in Virginia whose enrollment approximates the percentage of non-white students in higher education across the nation. “EMU has made its own ‘long walk’ over the last half-century,” says Melody M. Pannell, director of multicultural services at EMU. The enrollment of non-white or ethnic students at EMU this year stands at 22% – almost one in four students on campus – which is 6% more than our large state-supported neighbor, James Madison University. In the 2006 edition of the Ultimate College Guide by U.S. News and World Report, church-affiliated colleges in Virginia averaged 16% minority enrollment. Independent colleges, such as the University of Richmond and Radford, averaged 12% in minority enrollment. The state-supported institutions ranged widely, with universities in urban locations having the largest percentage of non-white students. EMU’s unprecedented non-white or ethnic enrollment may reflect changes in the Mennonite church as a whole, where 25% of the new members come from non-traditional Mennonite backgrounds compared with 6% just five years ago. For the nation as a whole, 22% of students graduating with bachelors degrees are non-white, according to a 2006 report by the American Council on Education. “We’re pleased we’ve come as far as we have,” says President Loren Swarzendruber. “But we will continue to make diversity a high priority. We need to continue fundraising for improved financial aid, so that money is not an issue for students coming from disadvantaged circumstances. We also need to have more diversity among our staff and faculty.” Just 6% of EMU’s employees are non-white. Pannell recalls being one of 70 U.S. students of color when she graduated from EMU in 1997. Had she graduated nine years later – in 2006 – she would have been one of 148. In less than 10 years EMU doubled its graduating class of U.S. non-whites, while the number of international students stayed steady, hovering at around 8%. “We need a critical mass for support, to feel good about being here,” said Pannell, who was raised as a non-traditional Mennonite in the Harlem district of New York City. Her father is African American, who in his teens converted to a Mennonite church in Coatsville, Pa. Her mother is white from Elizabethtown, Pa., with Swiss-German Roberta Webb, one of Harrisonburg’s first African-American Mennonites, surrounded by her daughters, Nancy, Peggy and Ada in the mid-1940s | crossroads |

black and white photos from emu historical library

Ada Webb, front left, at Eastern Mennonite in 1949

Mennonite familial roots. Her parents met at 7th Avenue Mennonite Church in New York City, where her father, Richard W. Pannell, was a pastor doing service as a conscientious objector and her mother, Ethel Zeager, was doing voluntary service. Pannell points to two ways that EMU has grown more accessible in recent years: (1) by offering grants to AHANA (African, Hispanic, Asian, and Native American) students and (2) by embracing cultural expressions of worship, socializing and celebrating that feel good and familiar to people who weren’t raised in the Swiss-German culture of traditional Mennonites. Nobody wants to come to a university where they feel they must lose their culture and assimilate in order to be accepted and successful, Pannell explains.

First Admission of Blacks

E astern Mennonite – known as “EMC” from 1948 to mid-1994 – was one of the first two white institutions of higher education in the former Confederate states to admit an African American in the late 1940s, as far as Crossroads can determine. The other was the University of Arkansas, which admitted a black male to its law school in January, 1948, followed by a black female to its medical school in the fall of 1948. (This data is from the 1952 Negro Year Book by scholars at the Tuskegee Institute.)

| crossroads | spring 2007

Prior to the “Jim Crow” segregation years from the late 1800s to 1950, just one southern institution educated blacks alongside whites: Berea College in Kentucky. It was founded in the 1850s by a white Christian abolitionist named John G. Fee, who led his college to enrolling an equal number of black and white students by 1892. Yet by the early 1900s John Fee’s egalitarian vision for Berea had disappeared. Berea became all-white and remained so for 50 years. The disappearance stemmed from an 1896 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that blacks could receive an “equal” education in institutions separate from whites (the Plessy v. Ferguson case). Southern states and racist white citizens seized on this ruling to eliminate any possibility of a black receiving an education in a school where whites were present. Vigilantes attacked anyone who advocated integration, including Berea. Fee’s successor at Berea did not stand up to the attacks. In 1904, Kentucky passed a law aimed directly at Berea in which black and white students were forbidden to be educated in the same school. The law was finally repealed in 1950. After this, Berea again admitted African American students, followed by many other southern white universities in the 1950s. While the founder of Berea saw his expansive Christian ideals undergo contrac-

tion, the founders of Eastern Mennonite were moving in the other direction, toward more openness – at least in one sense. Eastern Mennonite School (EMS) opened in 1917 after a lengthy debate over whether Mennonites should be educated beyond grade 8 and receive theological instruction beyond the usual worship services. The founders of EMS argued that a Bible college would help anchor the Mennonite church for future generations. If there was any discussion at all about casting a wider net, it was not over whether to include non-white students – there were virtually no non-white Mennonites from 1917 through the 1920s. It was over whether and how much Mennonite women should be educated. Reminiscing in 2004 with Margaret Martin Gehman ’42, the late Gladys Shank Baer ’45 recalled that she had never intended to get a college degree when she came to EMS for a high school Bible class. “I think I just wanted to get away from home for a while and get some schooling. Maybe I would meet someone I’d like to marry,” she said with a laugh. “And that happened.” Baer became the second female to earn a bachelor in theology degree from EMS. “Women couldn’t be ordained,” she said. “We used our education mainly to be mission workers or to help our husbands.”

Local mission: Mildred Pellman ‘37 in white above;

same or “close the mission and quit playing Behind the names and dates one senses church.” pain. Under enormous social pressure and Local African Americans nurtured in that with inadequate earlier schooling, Johnson congregation naturally sought to pursue flunked his Bible course. He moved to New God’s word through higher education. In York City, where he attended the 7th Avenue 1940, a local black man applied for admisMennonite Church in Harlem dressed sion to EMS, but the faculty told him he would need to take Bible courses by correspondence. They Opening to the World said that “opposition EMS’s Young People’s Christian Association initiated jail visitation in the 1920s and, (was) likely to arise in the 1930s, began to do occasional “cottage between the attitudes of northern and southprayer meetings” in the homes of African ern students” and that Americans living in Harrisonburg. This led to opening a mission that served “the State of Virginia (had) ruled against the both blacks and whites in a downtown attendance of whites neighborhood. Both racial groups briefly and blacks at the same attended the same meetings and worship public school.” services before community pressure caused In 1945 the board of the mission board to ask for services in EMS took this action sequence, with morning services for whites on the question of and afternoon services for blacks. Margaret Gehman and Gladys Baer in 2004 (Gladys died Feb. integration: The superintendent of this mission, “…the matter of opening Ernest Swartzentruber, who finished two the EMS. to colored students was considyears at Eastern Mennonite in 1934 and then in traditional plain Mennonite clothing. ered at length and decided that whereas completed his BS in 1963, disagreed with Johnson died in a city hospital after he was there are implications in the race question holding separate services and, worse, with found severely injured – apparently the that have been long in forming and deeply not admitting blacks to full membership in victim of a mugging – on a NYC street in set in the values of the inhabitants of this the church, including shared communion. the early 1960s. state and community of which we are a He said the congregation should treat all the Ada Webb succeeded in becoming a nurse, small minority and therefore unable to but not at Eastern Mennonite. She had to change at once, we feel that at this time it go away to a Mennonite nursing program would be unwise to admit such students in Colorado. Webb’s older sister, Peggy, apinto the co-educational institution. Howplied before Ada to Eastern Mennonite, was ever we express our heartfelt sympathy for denied admission, and ended up at Hesston, our colored brethren and sisters with their a two-year Mennonite college in Kansas. education problems and are ready to open Peggy later returned to Eastern Mennonite up such measures of opportunity for them and earned a degree in education, becoming as such opportunities are expedient and the first official African-American graduate possible.” of EMC in 1954. (More on Peggy Webb in In 1946 and 1947, a Russian man livthe Jay B. Landis article on page 6.) ing in Belgium and a Chinese brother and Marjorie Thompson’s grades were poor. sister became the first international students Again, it takes little imagination to see her admitted to the college. as the only black student at EMC – a firstyear student with poor foundational schoolBlack Pioneers Struggled ing, far from her home in Pennsylvania, In the fall of 1948 came Willis Johnson, without a support network in a city where a local African American, followed in the the water fountains were labeled “colored” spring of 1949 by Ada Louise Webb, an and “white.” African American woman who attended the Mennonite mission church in downtown Acquiescing to State Laws Harrisonburg. In the spring of 1950, MarHarrisonburg’s Mennonites – though jorie Thompson of Christiana, Pa., became opposed to slavery in the 1800s and cognithe first African American to live in the zant that the Scriptures taught Jesus’ equal EMC dormitory. She left after the semester. love for all – were ambivalent about going Ernest Swartentruber at right was head, 1938-45.

bonnie price lofton photo

Baer said her father would not have wanted her to go to a public high school – it was EMS or no further schooling – because he did not want her to be “too much in the world,” meaning the non-Mennonite world. So Eastern Mennonite in its first 25 years was viewed as a quiet enclave by many – intentionally set apart from the rest of the world. But… not all saw the school this way.

21) | crossroads |

‘You need EMU but EMU needs you, too’

Melody Pannell listens intently to one of her student assistants.

against the prevailing mores of Harrisonthe hospitality that Africans showed to their him, ‘You can make a difference here. You burg concerning integration. white visitors, recalls daughter Grace. Later, can use your gifts and talents here. You need “The typically nonpolitical Mennonite when an African from one of those missions EMU but EMU needs you, too.’” church especially refrained from taking visited here, Mumaw was embarrassed and Today, Mennonites from non-white, nonracial action, even when many members beappalled when a local restaurant refused to European cultures “bring their culture into lieved change should take place,” wrote Paul serve Mumaw and his African guest in the their worship,” says Pannell. “I think Willis J. Yoder in “Virginia Mennonites and the main dining room. When Mumaw articuJohnson would be excited being here – you Question of Race: A History of Trial and lated his feelings, the restaurant manager can’t walk on campus and not see all kinds Progress” (10-15-2003 paper filed in EMU placed the two in a private dining area. of diversity.” historical library). The younger generation proved to be In 2005, Pannell organized the first In October 1924, when two mixed-race more open to change. As a high school reunion of EMU’s Black Student Union, girls asked to be baptized at a Virginia Men- sophomore at Eastern Mennonite in 1945. welcoming 25 alumni back to campus. nonite Conference church, the conference Grace tells of going to hear a black gospel Evangelical events run by multicultural waffled, wondering how to “adjust ourselves chorus from Washington D.C. sing at a services – staffed this year by eight workto present state laws with applicants for nearby school for African American chilstudy students (five of international origin membership who are of …color.” (After a dren, the Lucy Simms School. “About half and three African American, including Joe year of postponing a decision, hoping the the audience was white, and almost all of us Macon, pictured on page 6) – have attracted girls would change their minds, the two were Mennonites,” she says. as many as 300 participants. were baptized.) EMC’s role in being one of the first white “Now if we can just get to the point,” says Dr. Paul T. Yoder, a current EMU staffer colleges in the south to admit black stuPannell, “that you sit in your class and look who studied at EMC from 1943 to 1951, said dents should not be underestimated. Once a at an African-American professor, attend he was not aware of the debates surrounding few institutions such as EMC opened their a Gospel chapel every week, or take your the admission of blacks to EMS, but it is doors and proved that whites’ fears were un- concerns to a Hispanic administrator.” now obvious to him that “we gave into our founded, a floodgate opened. By the end of Pannell is hoping that some of the stufears at the time.” 1952-53, more than 2,000 African American dents of color now at EMU will go on to get John R. Mumaw, acting president of EMS students were studying at 45 to 50 majoritygraduate degrees and then feel feel called to from 1948 to 1950 (and then president until white institutions in the south, according to return to join the EMU faculty. ■ – By BPL 1965), caused rumblings in the Virginia a 1954 issue of The Journal of Negro EducaMennonite Conference when he decided tion. Yet Virginia’s public schools lagged beKey Sources: to admit Willis Johnson and Ada Webb. hind – they remained segregated for 10 years Eastern Mennonite College, 1917-1967: A Mumaw was born and raised in Holmes after EMC enrolled its first black student. History, by Hubert R. Pellman, 1967. County, Ohio, and married a Lancaster Lindale’s Song: A Century of Harmony, County girl. Like other northerners at EMC, Making a Difference Growth and Fellowship, by James O. Mumaw did not like the foot-dragging he Listening to the stories of EMC’s first Lehman, 1998. saw in regard to treating blacks equally. African Americans in the late 1940s, Melody “The History of Broad Street Mennonite In 1952 Mumaw visited Mennonite misPannell says she wishes Willis Johnson could Church, 1936-1971,” by John Weber, 1971. sions in Africa, where he was humbled by attend EMU now. “I would be able to say to (On file in the EMU historical library.) 10 | crossroads | spring 2007

Anesthetize turtles and other things EMU students do for their education:

Test the water in Black’s Run in the Shenandoah Valley for pollution.1Tara L. Kishbaugh, chemistry2Go as part of a nursing department effort to disaster sites, such as to the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina, to participate in relief efforts 1Donald L. Tyson, nursing2Do ministry in two hospitals, the local fire department, two retirement

communities, and five congregations1Kenton T. Derstine, clinical pastoral education2Provide daily documentary video coverage of national Mennonite events, as well as make documentaries on burning issues, such as the troubles faced by Kurdish immigrants in Harrisonburg1Jerry Holsopple, visual and communication arts2Analyze daily news articles to better grasp economic principles1Jim Leaman, economics2Interview conscientious objectors, write their stories, and lodge these for posterity in the Library of Congress1Martha “Marti” Eads, language and literature2Enrich Bible study by handling 2,500 year old pottery pieces from the Holy Land1Jim Engle, Bible and religion2Manage the business operations, services and events of the campus coffeehouse1Douglas Wandersee, student life 2Preach and videotape sermons in the home congregation for listener feedback and professional review1Mark Wenger, seminary2 Are teachers themselves. Jeff From, for example, has taught me the value and use of “image theater” in teaching about the dynamics of encounters between victim and offender1Howard Zehr, Center for Justice and Peacebuilding2In a class on adventure leadership, navigate themselves out of an unfamiliar remote location in the nATIONAL FOREST and do a mock backcountry rescue and evacuation1Lester R. Zook, physical education and recreation2Visit a mOSQUE, a Hindu temple, and a Buddhist monastery to learn from people of other religions1Lawrence M. Yoder, seminary2Participate in inmate-led nonviolence training in a maximum-security prison1Earl Zimmerman, Bible and religion2Connect with Iranian and Vietnamese youth by sharing online coursework, films, and a three-part cross cultural that begins in Tehran, continues in Hanoi, and ends in Harrisonburg1Dan Wessner, international and political studies2Work with high school students to address community issues through the bilingual theater projects of Teatro Chirmol1Deanna Durham, Community Learning2Use anesthetized turtles to measure in vivo cardiac responses to various drugs1Roman J. Miller, biology2During a lecture on Erasmus, the great Christian humanist of the Renaissance, look at an actual 1527 edition of his New Testament with Greek, Vulgate Latin and corrected Latin, from the Menno Simon Historical Library’s rare book collection1Mary S. Sprunger, history2After interviewing community members, incorporate their words about poignant events in their lives into the storyline of a MUSICAL THEATER production1Jennifer A. Cooper, music2Join faculty members in taking music to some of the marginalized people of society – to those who reside in prisons, nursing homes, and residential schools, such as the Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind.1Joan Griffing, music2Study a specific organization’s culture, structure, environment and leadership and make recommendations to improve organizational health1David Brubaker, Center for Justice and Peacebuilding2Travel to camps for apple-pickers to provide basic English lessons to migrant workers1Derrick Charles, Community Learning 2Visit entrepreneurs, tour their businesses, obtain their stories on how they began and grew their businesses and, finally, evaluate the businesses on the basis of theory studied1Allon Lefever, business2Create and evaluate “a conversation across generations” by connecting students with elders through 1Judy H. Mullet, psychology2Process and hand-beat raw kozo (Asian mulberry plant) to make pulp and then paper for a study on Asian papermaking1Barbara Fast, visual and communication arts 2 Facilitate campus discussion on topics of tension, including the current topic of identity conflicts1Gloria Rhodes, justice, peace, and conflict studies 2Visit and discuss a bill with state legislators in Richmond as part of a senior nursing class. Students also attend a dinner with local legislators and nurses1Arlene G. Wiens, nursing 2Stage fashion show out of castoff materials, linking art, ecology, and identity1Cyndi Gusler, visual and communication arts2Visit a Trappist monastery to observe lives of community, silence, prayer and singing the PSALMS1Byron J. Peachey, campus ministries2 | crossroads | 11

Schools Snap Up EMU-Trained Teachers They’re always asking, “How can I do better?”


his Crossroads issue on preparing have an EMU student teacher. Five months What do the administrators of Harrisonteachers at EMU began in a booth later, Lofton and EMU photographer Matt burg-area schools think of EMU’s education early last fall at the Thomas House Styer visited Armentrout’s class to watch program? (See page 17.) Restaurant in Dayton, a few miles south of EMU student-teacher Joshua “Josh” Byler What is distinctive about EMU’s apHarrisonburg. in action. proach to education? Crossroads editor Bonnie Price Lofton What we saw in Armentrout’s school sat with her back to a pair of women in a led us to ask more questions and journey Like Fish in Water neighboring booth. One began to speak further into EMU’s unique role in higher Debbie Armentrout thought her visitors of why she likes EMU student teachers so education: from Crossroads were coming to her class on much. “EMU students have earned Tuesday. The visitors thought they being my first choice,” she said. were scheduled to come on WednesLofton perked up and scribbled day. notes on a napkin. When the So when writer Lofton and woman and her companion got up Styer appeared unexpectedly in her to leave, Lofton confessed she had classroom doorway, was Armentrout been eavesdropping and explained flustered or irritated? her connection to EMU. “One of us didn’t get the days The woman was Debbie Armenstraight?” Armentrout said with a trout, veteran third-grade teacher broad smile. “That’s fine. Come right at a school in Lacey Spring, Va., in!” and Virginia Tech grad. She had Student teacher, 21-year-old “Josh” been talking with her daughter, a Byler, stood at the front wearing a junior at James Madison Univerneatly pressed dress shirt and tie. sity, the local state university. “Who can tell me what today is?” he Armentrout invited Lofton to asked the class. visit her classroom in the coming Almost all the children chorus semester, when Armentrout would “Wednesday.” Debbie Armentrout explains her preference for EMU students. 12 | crossroads | spring 2007

Emily Hahn ’03 with her kindergarten class.

“And what was last night’s homework?” A few children chimed back, “Study for the quiz.” “Remember the activities we did in class yesterday…” Byler and a classroom assistant, Maria “Mai” Olsen ’92, began to hand out a quiz. Olsen’s 9-year-old daughter, Katelyn, is in this class, which is why Olsen is pleased to be able to work as a math tutor here. Some children look worried. Armentrout assured them. “Just put down what you know and do your best. Some of these are hard. You’ll get another chance to do those.” The three adults circulated like fish in the classroom, weaving among the students and each other smoothly, pausing to help a child and then moving to another one. The quiz was short. While the children were occupied, Byler conferred with Armentrout about the next lesson and asked for feedback on something he did before the visitors arrived. Within 20 minutes, Byler had moved the class into a math lesson, using three-dimensional shapes – “manipulatives” – to show how their edges help determine their ultimate

form as cylinders, pyramids or whatever. “Does anyone have a question?” A boy raised his hand. “Yes, sir,” said Byler, as if talking respectfully to the superintendent of the school system. Caleb didn’t understand how to find an edge on a cylinder. “Caleb has a good question.” Byler told the class, adding gently, “Do I have everyone’s attention? You need to hear this answer.” They gave him their attention and everyone set to work. Byler went desk-to-desk, squatting to get at eye-level, answering questions and encouraging them. Even with two drop-in visitors – one constantly taking photos – these third-graders focused on their work with an air of quiet confidence. Later, when Byler took the group to the computer lab, Armentrout remained behind to explain why she appreciates Byler. “Three out of my last five student teachers have been from EMU, counting Josh,” she said. She called the EMU students “reflective.” “With every lesson they ask themselves, ‘How could I have done better?’” Armentrout said. “They come to me saying, ‘If I have a

weak area, tell me. I want to improve.’” When asked if Byler has a weak area, Armentrout smiled and then answered gently, as if offering a remedial lesson. “We all have weak areas. What is important is whether we are willing to work on our weak areas.” Armentrout also praised EMU students for being prepared to deal with each student individually – working with that student’s learning style – and for quickly assessing whether a lesson is working and adjusting it if necessary. For instance, Armentrout and Byler decided yesterday to “break down” the usual single lesson on edges and corners on three-dimensional objects into two lessons – one today on edges, another tomorrow on corners. “This particular class would have been overwhelmed if we had done it in one lesson,” said Armentrout. Armentrout said EMU students arrive with the attitude that “all children can be successful – it is my responsibility to find ways for them to succeed.” EMU students also seem to expect and honor the diversity of the children in the classroom, rather than viewing it as a potential problem, she added. | crossroads | 13

My Journey to Teaching Joshua “Josh” D. Byler came to EMU from Belleville in central Pennsylvania. Most EMU education graduates are not Mennonite, but Byler happens to be. He belongs to Locust Grove Mennonite Church near Lancaster, Pa. He is among a growing minority of male students from EMU who choose to work with elementary-age children. At 6”5” Byler towers over even the adults in most classrooms, not to mention the children. But the kids seem to adore him, perhaps because he spends much of his day crouching or leaning to look them in the eye and interact with them at their level. Can you date your desire to be a teacher to a particular time or influence? I was not one of these people who knew what they wanted to major in throughout high school. Several people in my extended family are teachers. They encouraged me to think about becoming a teacher. They felt that I had some qualities that applied. I decided to take “Exploring Teaching” during my first semester at EMU. This class was really the 14 | crossroads | spring 2007

reason I decided to continue as an elementary education major. I could tell immediately that EMU had a great teaching program. This was due in part to (faculty members) Sandy Brownscombe and Cathy Smeltzer Erb, who displayed an incredible excitement towards education. What did you learn at EMU that you find particularly useful in the classroom? The professors at EMU stress not only what you teach, but also how to teach effectively. I have learned that children respond to positive reinforcement and the inclusion of their own experiences. When material is related to the students, they become excited and engaged in the learning process. How does Christianity inform the way you teach (or why you teach)? I think that Christianity, coupled with EMU’s program, has helped me to be a nurturing and caring professional in the classroom. My goal in the classroom has been

to make the environment as child friendly as possible. I attribute this to the environment that I have experienced, both at home and in my educational experience. I firmly believe that children will learn only after their needs have been met and they feel comfortable expressing themselves positively in the classroom. Would you recommend EMU to high school students interested in becoming teachers? If so, why? Absolutely. When I got into the schools in this area, I discovered that EMU has a great reputation for their education program. This program provides many opportunities for classroom experience (practicums) long before student teaching. EMU stresses real experience out in the field and this has been incredibly helpful to me now, as a student teacher. This is in addition, of course, to the grounding that EMU gives you in educational theory, assessment, and analysis.

Alumni-Teachers Honored Two alumni teachers in the Chesapeake region of Virginia won “teacher of the year” this year in their respective schools: computer education specialist Gerry Miller ’72 at Landstown Middle School in Virginia Beach and James Bergey ’05, grade 7 teacher at Azalea Gardens Middle School in Norfolk. Miller specialized in math education at EMU. In 1988 he earned a masters in computer education at Old Dominion University. In 2005, Bergey was one of three senior education students at EMU recognized by the state as being a “teacher of promise.” A third alumna, Holly Showalter ‘04, was one of 48 teachers named this winter as “most excellent foreign teacher” in Sichuan province in China.

Mosaic of English Students

Student teacher Josh Byler

While Armentrout was being interviewed, Byler kept his attention on the children, though he did offer to talk when he was off work (see the sidebar “My Journey to Teaching”). In passing, he said his first few weeks as a student teacher had been “awesome… there are new situations every day. There are things you learn here that you just can’t get from a text book.” Across the hall from Byler was another EMU student teacher, Jodi Beller of Carthage, N.Y. Two of the newest teachers at Lacey Springs started as student teachers there: Emily Hahn ’03 who teaches kindergarten, and Steve Halterman ’06, who teaches grade 4. In both cases, the supervising teacher at Lacey Springs recommended that the EMU graduate become a permanent staff member.

100% Placement

The enthusiasm of host schools for EMU’s student teachers may explain why, in 2006, EMU’s teacher-placement rate was 100%. In recent memory, the placement rate has never dropped below 95% – and the tiny percentage who don’t go immediately to work in a school generally have personal reasons for not wishing to work immediately, said

Dr. Don Steiner, director of the education program at EMU. Most EMU-educated teachers serve in public schools, but a significant chunk (16% at the bachelors degree level and about 10% at the masters level) serve in Mennonite schools. “We opened our masters program at Lancaster in 1997 as part of our commitment to preparing teachers for Mennonite service,” Steiner says. A report issued in 2006 by the Education Schools Project in Washington D.C. (www. recommended that education schools “be transformed into professional schools focused on classroom practices.” This was not news to EMU. In fact, EMU has been “field-based” for more than 30 years, from the time of Don Steiner’s predecessor, Jessie T. Byler, through Steiner’s 24 years at the helm. From the first year in the EMU program, students go in and out of the classroom, often with EMU professors by their sides in local classrooms. (See “School Leaders Give EMU High Marks”)

Sifting for True Teachers

Steiner said from the first year, the EMU program guides students to “make a wonderful connection between theory and

Students from 14 countries are enrolled in the spring ’07 semester of the Intensive English Program (IEP) at EMU: Bosnia, Colombia , El Salvador (2), Dominican Republic (3), Guatemala (2), Iran, Japan, Kazakstan, South Korea, Mexico (9), Nepal, Peru, Ukraine, and Venezuela. IEP is an on-campus program to teach English as a second language. IEP prepares individuals of all ages for admission to college, to succeed at graduate or seminary studies, or for career advancement. They also learn cross-cultural skills that will help them to be successful in North America. This summer IEP is offering two residential language programs for middle- and high-school youths, combining the fun of a summer camp with Englishlanguage study. The dates are July 16-Aug. 3 and July 23-Aug. 17. For more information on any of the IEP programs, visit

Foreign-Language Helpers EMU is one of a handful of U.S. college and universities that bring in native-speaking college-age students to spend an academic year simply talking one-on-one with foreign language students. The program allows young people from other countries to experience life in the United States while living with host families. The program also allows EMU students to be exposed to people with authentic accents, language expressions and life experiences in other cultures. Last fall, four conversation partners – Leonardo Chavarria of Honduras, Rachel Hannebicque of France, Jakob Kneisler of Germany, and Rolando Urquizo of Bolivia – met with 143 students twice each week to practice Spanish, German and French. Mennonite Central Committee identifies and sponsors the foreign-language conversation partners. | crossroads | 15

‘Some call it discipleship.We call it caring’

Don Steiner has directed EMU’s education program for 24 years.

practice” while enabling them to answer the question “Shall I teach and, if so, what shall I teach?” The second year, the question becomes: “How do students best learn?” The third year: “How do we organize for teaching?” Finally, the fourth year: “Why do we teach?” As students work their way through these broad questions, about 50% decide that being a teacher is not for them, a statistic which pleases Steiner. It signifies that some students have discovered that teaching is not their vocation long before they reach the stage of managing a classroom. They will be more effective in another vocation. “It is not enough to know the content well; someone must have the disposition to teach it,” Steiner said. “The relationship between teacher and student is of equal or more importance when all is said and done. Some call it ‘discipleship.’ We call it ‘caring.’ “Students will remember how you treated them long after they have forgotten the 16 | crossroads | spring 2007

content of the course.” Steiner said flexible, creative people thrive in the EMU program. “Teaching is not just a bag of tricks. You can’t just follow a recipe in the teacher’s manual. We give our students some teaching tools, but they have to figure out their own tools too – we help them to feel comfortable assessing and reassessing what they are doing to make their outcomes better.” EMU also seeks to produce teachers who are “agents of change” and who “advocate for children and youth,” according to its mission statement.

Highest Accreditation

EMU’s education program – at the undergraduate and graduate level – meets or surpasses the highest accreditation standards in the United States. In 2005, the program was examined by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education and was re-accredited without qualification for seven years, an accomplishment achieved by only 70% of all teaching programs in the

nation. (Steiner is one of 31 members on the national board of this accrediting council. Needless to say, it would have been a surprise and an embarrassment if EMU had failed to meet to the standards that Steiner promotes on a national level.) The program is also fully accredited by the Virginia Department of Education. EMU graduates about an equal number of teachers from its four-year undergraduate program and from its two-year masters program – approximately 40 from each annually. The masters program centers around evening and summer study and is often underwritten by the employer of the teacher who is seeking to upgrade his or her credentials.■ For more information on EMU’s education program – which includes an MA program in Lancaster, Pa. – check the websites (undergrad) or (masters level).

School Leaders Give EMU High Marks

Don Ford

Vermell Belton Grant

I would give a “5” (out of 5) to the graduates of EMU that we have hired in Harrisonburg. The faculty is talented and in touch with what the students need to both know and do to be successful teachers. Further, having graduated from a small college, I know that there are distinct advantages in being educated in a school like EMU that offers small class sizes, high expectations, and a family-like atmosphere.

I majored in elementary education at EMU, graduating in 1973. I felt well-equipped when I first entered the classroom and solidly prepared for graduate school later. As I meet other education graduates from EMU, I’ve become assured that EMU continues to provide exceptional preparation, with a well-refined mix of pedagogy, course content, and field-based practice. The first cohort of Waynesboro City teachers will graduate from EMU this spring after earning an MA in education, with an emphasis in reading. The results of this partnership experience will strengthen our K-12 instructional program in many aspects for years to come.

Sarah Armstrong

Bill Sprinkel

In conversations with principals who interview candidates for prospective teaching positions, EMU graduates rank as a “5” (out of 5) in preparation and attitude. The EMU program is distinctive in its emphasis on teaching students, rather than covering content. We have used EMU instructors because they encourage teachers and prospective teachers to look through lenses that consider the whole child and ask questions such as “What does the child know now? What are barriers to this child’s success? How can we develop learning experiences that help this student be successful?” These powerful questions ask teachers to put the learner first – not the test.

EMU’s education program is particularly effective for a couple of reasons: The culture that pervades the education department instills in its students that teaching is more than a job. It becomes a “mission of serving” in a teacher’s life. Secondly, the program is set up so that students who do not acquire beginning level teaching skills or professional attributes do not make it through the program and are counseled toward another avenue of life’s calling. During my 35 years as a teacher and school administrator, I have found teachers from EMU’s program to be among the best prepared and most dedicated.

Superintendent Harrisonburg City Schools

Assistant Superintendent Staunton City Schools

Assistant Superintendent Waynesboro City Schools

General Supervisor of Instruction Rockingham County Public Schools | crossroads | 17

‘Best Investment We Ever Made’

If you hear of a donor who pledges more than $1 million to charity… Do you think of a woman who, as a missionary’s wife in Ethiopia, lent money to her parents to build themselves a home? Do you think of someone who dropped out of high school to be a farm laborer to help support his family? Do you think of people who told their five children: We will educate you through university level. We will make sure that you have the down payment for your first house. You have been enabled to stand on your own feet and any more would diminish you. We are giving the rest to charity.


enerous donors who started with nothing do exist: James and Marian Yoder Payne of Richmond, Virginia, originally of Big Valley, Pennsylvania. In the early 1990s, the Paynes contributed to a named scholarship fund at our seminary. EMU development officer Sam Weaver ’66 contacted the couple to thank them. Learning that they had a particular interest in peace, Weaver told them there were folks at EMU dreaming of a study center for peacebuilders. The Paynes met with John Paul Lederach and Ron Kraybill, two of the handful of people seeking ways to start such a center, and quickly decided that this was a vision they wished to embrace. They offered to stand behind the first-year operating budget – putting $30,000 of their personal funds on the line – to launch what would become the Conflict Transformation Program. It was an offer the

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EMU Board of Trustees couldn’t refuse. This program has grown into the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding (CJP), encompassing 3,000 alumni and trainees working in more than 80 countries. 2 “It has been the best investment we ever made,” says James Payne, referring to contributions totaling more than $500,000 by the

end of 2007. “We have lived to see a dream come true. People trained at CJP are indeed making a difference in the world, gradually seeding the concepts of peacebuilding, restorative justice, conflict transformation, and trauma healing in places that we never dreamed of in the beginning,” explains Marian. “The concepts are seeping into schools, the criminal justice system, negotiations between war leaders, the recovery of survivors of natural disasters. It has been amazing to watch!” If you met the Paynes and chatted with them casually, you would have no idea they are capable of taking advantage of current breaks in the tax code to withdraw $150,000 from their IRAs and pass it to their favorite charity. They did it in 2006 and will do so again in 2007, when the tax break is scheduled to expire. (For more information, see “Have an IRA? At least 70½?”on page 20) Marian Payne in front of ‘home’ at EMC

Marian and James Payne will celebrate their 50th anniversary on June 1.

The Paynes live in a three-bedroom retirement townhouse, where the living room and dining room are one, and the yard is shared with their neighbors. They drive one car. They rarely eat out. They live on one income and bank or give away the rest. And, pretty much, this is how they’ve always lived. Few frills and no waste. Marian and James met when both were teaching at Belleville Mennonite School in Pennsylvania in 1956-57. They married at the end of that school year, treating the 350 people who attended their wedding to the best food they could then afford – potato chips, wedding cake and ice cream cubes. As newlyweds, they moved to Harrisonburg to enable James to finish his bachelor’s degree at Easten Mennonite College. (James did three stints at EMC – fall of 1949, 1955-56 and finally 1957-58 - before earning his bachelor’s degree. Lack of finances, academic preparation, and confidence all came into play, breaking up his academic journey.) Married students were expected to provide their own housing, so the Paynes bought a dilapidated trailer – one that had no bathroom – in a trailer court on the edge of EMC. By the late winter, Marian was pregnant and needed to make frequent trips

to the communal wash house of the trailer court. In the night she would wake up James to accompany her. After James graduated that summer, they moved to Howard County, Maryland, where James taught for a year. Responding to a request from the Quakertown Christian Day School, James served there as principal and 7th and 8th grade teacher. With a growing family (two children in two years) supported by James’ meager pay, Marian and James sought extra sources of income. For two years, they were custodians at the Rocky Ridge Mennonite Church. In 1961, they answered a call by the Lancaster County Mission Board to serve in Ethiopia. It was James’ second stint. During his first tour in 1952, James fell from the roof of a house he was building. He sustained a brain concussion that proved to have a life-long impact. To this day, James suffers from constant, sometimes incapacitating, headaches. Overseas in 1961-62, James’ problems with his head worsened, and the family – now encompassing two daughters and a son – had to return to the United States after one year. For the next five years, James taught sixth grade at a public school in central Pennsylvania. Then he got a chance to do graduate

work with funding from a soon-to-be-discontinued fellowship. James jumped at the chance and the family headed to Penn State. There the Paynes learned to live on even less. In an attempt to supplement James’ meager teaching salary, Marian tried selling World Book Encyclopedias door to door. She hated it. “I suggested she have her credits reviewed and apply to work on her degree,” said James. (Marian had attended EMC for the 1954-55 school year, but having no family financial support for her studies, she left EMC to teach at Belleville.) Marian began to attend undergraduate classes at Penn State. Often they would trade off child care, with Marian handing James the children as he was finishing class and she was heading into one. James did the grocery shopping, often hitting four stores to catch the best sale prices for each item on his list. “Working together – I doing the shopping and cooking, and she doing the laundry and care for the house, as well as my typing – we both completed our degrees at Penn State,” said James. He would earn a doctorate in education from Penn and Marian eventually would earn two masters degrees – in reading and in administration – at Shippensburg University. Marian recalls that when James received | crossroads | 19

For EMU’s Future

James and Marian Payne aren’t leaving a cent to their five kids… Read why in the adjacent article.

If you haven’t reviewed your will recently – or, worse, if you don’t have a will at all - perhaps it’s time to give the matter your attention. Many experts recommend reviewing your will every two to five years. Your life and priorities change. A will can be affected by changes like these: •New job •Baby or grandchild •Death of a parent •Death of a spouse •Retirement •Illness • New interest, attitudes and causes Including EMU in your estate plans will enable EMU eventually to accept everyone who is qualified and who seeks an Anabaptist education, regardless of their ability to pay. In short, bequests are permanent investments in the long-term soundness of EMU and its accessibility to all. When you look at your will, consider EMU.

Have an IRA? At Least 70½? Here’s a way to get more from your IRA without paying more to the IRS Thanks to new federal legislation in force through Dec. 31 of this year, donors aged 70½ or older can roll over gifts from their IRAs to Eastern Mennonite University (or other non-profit charities) on any amount up to $100,000 without claiming increased income or paying increased tax. James and Marian Payne did this in 2006 and plan to do so again in 2007.

Contact EMU planned giving expert Art Borden or any other EMU development official – Phil Helmuth, Phoebe Kilby, Karen Moshier-Shenk, Kirk Shisler, Tim Swartzendruber or Sam Weaver – at… 1-800-368-3383 1200 Park Rd. Harrisonburg, VA 22802

20 | crossroads | spring 2007

his doctorate in education in 1970, she suggested to their five children that the family go out to eat to celebrate. “They had been out to eat so rarely, the only restaurant they could suggest was McDonald’s….So we celebrated at McDonald’s!” At the peak of their earning ability in the 1970s and 1980s, James taught a graduate course in curriculum, math pedagogy in the education department of Shippensburg University, and served as the university’s expert on giftedness. Marian was the reading supervisor for the Shippensburg school district. But Marian had bouts of health problems, stemming from a rare disease that was not correctly diagnosed until 1993. Worried about her continued earning ability, the

Paynes decided to put as much money into saving for the future as possible. They heavily invested in tax-deferred annuities, using James’ salary as the sole support for the family of seven. The Paynes did manage to get themselves a cabin in the mountains as a retreat. Not by purchasing it. They and their children built it themselves. The family remains content to use the cabin without modern conveniences, such as running water and electricity. “When we were thinking about what charity to support, we decided that it would not be one that would support the kinds of undergraduate students who drove past me for years while I walked to campus or who James Payne holds his diary from the 1950s.

black and white photos coutesy the paynes

Marian and James Payne at their 1957 wedding reception and today.

frequented fast-food establishments while we ate frugally at home,” says James, only halfjoking. “They seemed to have plenty of money while we were counting our pennies.” Both James and Marian stopped earning salaries in their late 50s. The doctors weren’t sure what was causing Marian’s health problems – which included a heart attack, large calcium deposits on her extremities, and extremely high cholesterol levels – but “they told me the probability of her living to old age was very slim,” said James. James decided that he wanted to spend Marian’s little remaining time with her, enjoying her company. So they both retired – she at age 56 on social security disability and he at age 58 on early retirement. But Marian’s health didn’t worsen. She found her way

to the National Institutes of Health where she continues to receive experimental medicines and help in understanding how to handle her rare disease – sitosterolemia. She makes a point of eating right and walking to keep fit. Meanwhile the five Payne children went on to finish their degrees and establish themselves professionally. The eldest is a physician; the second and third are engineers; the fourth, a computer specialist who is now retooling herself to be a school counselor; and the fifth, who earned a doctorate of law, works for the State Department, serving as consul general at U.S. embassies around the world, including in Iraq. Seeking to write their will, the Paynes wanted a worthy cause that would last long after they were gone. With the help

of Sam Weaver, their thoughts decision, sometimes giving their turned back to the college they own gifts to the Center in honor had left 40 years ago – to a colof their parents. lege from which Marian did not James never tires of saying, graduate and in which James “Best investment we’ve ever hardly had smooth sailing. Both made.” had earned degrees and worked Once, when his physicianat better-known institutions. Yet daughter Barbara Swan heard only the Mennonites seemed to her father, she shot back in be “putting their money where mock horror: “Dad, I thought their mouth was” in terms of we kids were your best investshowing the world alternatives ment!” (Barbara and her husto violence and war. band David, another physician, Today, the Paynes not only are also major CJP supporters.) give lump sums to EMU on James looked sheepish and an annual basis – sometimes agreed. “You are, but I just want sweetening the pot by offering other donors to know that we’ve to match the dollars of new donever regretted the investnors – they have allocated every ment we first made in 1995 and dime from anything remaincontinue to make now. It’s the ing in their estate to the same second-best investment we ever cause: the Center for Justice and made.” Peacebuilding. “It’s okay, Dad. You can say it’s Their children, four of whom the best.”■ have visited the Center with their parents, fully support this | crossroads | 21

Photographs By: David Troyer

Degree Seekers Cross Mountains ‘Coming back to school means taking risks’


t is an icy-cold Monday evening in early February. The day’s high was 21 degrees F, the low 8 degrees. With a harsh wind whipping around campus, it feels like we’re below the low. It’s the kind of evening where few leave the comforts of home without good reason. Inside a large classroom of the EMU campus center, “cohort #50” of the Adult Degree Completion Program (ADCP) is meeting for the first time. Before introductions are made, they appear to be people with little in common. A Swedish-blond coed looks like she belongs among the usual 18- to 22-year-old undergrads who populate the campus during the day. Several women look old enough to be her mother. The woman in that corner looks Hispanic. The three sitting in this row – could be mother, father and son – seem to be African American. Nobody looks particularly at ease. Well, almost nobody. The woman at the podium in the front has a big smile and is speaking with enthusiasm. At the back a row of women wearing EMU nametags also seem relaxed.

22 | crossroads | spring 2007

Beryl Brubaker, EMU provost, addresses the group: “Coming back to school means taking risks. The future is unknown and will most certainly require a great deal from you. “There will be new challenges. You may be wondering if you can succeed. This most likely means you are feeling anxious.” In the next few minutes, Brubaker assures her audience that “you can succeed in completing this program.” Their mission is to pick up the shards of past college studies and to finish what they started, even if long ago, earning a bachelors degree from EMU in one of two subjects: (1) management and organizational development, as the students in cohort #50 plan to do, or (2) nursing. This cohort of 17 persons will meet one evening a week, 6 to 10, for 15 months straight. (An ADCP program for nurses, taking them from R.N. to B.S.N., takes a bit longer – about 18 months – and is offered at EMU’s Lancaster, Pa., site in addition to Harrisonburg.) Brubaker stresses that ADCP is designed to enable them to succeed: with “a cohort of supporters in seats around you…these people will help you stay the course when you feel like quitting”; and with course

content that draws upon their own life experiences. This class will be “less telling, more doing; less lecture, more discussion; less teacherdriven, more student-driven,” Brubaker says. The African-American woman in the second row turns out to be Jo Carpenter, present tonight with her “support system,” husband Roscoe and 18-year-old son Roscoe Jr., a freshman at EMU. “I need to advance in what I’m doing,” says Jo, a family service worker with Head Start. “I always put my family first. I wanted Roscoe Jr. to succeed. But now it’s my turn.” Darlene Mitchell, standing nearby, nods understandingly. “It wasn’t required to have a degree when I started working, but now I need that paper. I have a 2-year-old and a 14year-old. I sat out 10 years with my kids. “Then I tried to go back to school at [another university], but it wasn’t convenient. I was in class with kids and the classes were scheduled at inconvenient times. Even parking was a problem. I don’t have time to spend walking from a parking lot over here to a class way over there.” For Mitchell, ADCP is almost a last-ditch attempt to get her bachelor’s degree after

Adult Degree Completion Program students, from left: Jo Carpenter, Ginger Estes, Ben Harmon and Darlene Mitchell.

dropping out of Virginia State University Another Rappahannock person along for in 1989. “moral support,” Edie Clark, likes what she Carpenter’s experience wasn’t too different heard this evening so much, she walks out – she had tried getting a degree at a women’s with an application packet in her hands. college but “I was so much older. I was in “I think we may see her in next week’s class with girls that could be my children. class,” Cockley says with a smile. Don’t get me wrong – I love young people… Indeed, the next week Clark is there, they can teach me a lot. But I also wanted making the cohort settle at 13 women and 5 to be around some folks like me.” men, aged 24 to 59. Program director Sue Cockley says 93% of In recent years, about 25% of EMU’s those who start ADCP finish it. Graduates bachelor-degree graduates earned their have ranged from 25 to 70 years. Fewer than degrees through ADCP. ■ 10% have been Mennonite. To call these students motivated is an unFor more information about EMU’s derstatement. On this freezing day, Ginger Adult Degree Completion Program: Estes spent more than an hour driving to this class from her home in rural RappaToll free: 888-EMU-ADCP hannock County, crossing two mountain Phone: (540) 432-4983 ranges. She will need to rise by 5:30 the Fax: (540) 432-4444 next morning to drive a school bus before E-mail: spending the day in a high school classroom as an aide. For information on the ADCP nursing Estes came because she knows three other program in Lancaster, Pa.: women from Rappahannock who finished the program and because her supervisor, Toll free: (866) EMU-LANC Karen Alexander, urged Estes to “go for it.” Phone: (717) 397-5190. In fact, Alexander drove with Estes tonight for moral support.

ADCP Prof Starts Scholarship Fund E & M Auto Paint & Supply of Harrisonburg, Va., recently established an endowed scholarship fund for Adult Degree Completion Program students in memory of Richard M. Whitmore, who died at age 51 in 1999. Whitmore family members, who own E & M, have committed $20,000 to the fund and are trying to raise $30,000 more to meet the minimum of $50,000 required for an endowed scholarship fund at EMU. Richard was the brother of Terry L. Whitmore, ADCP professor and one of the founders of the program. “My younger brother is someone who would have benefited from ADCP,” wrote Terry in an appeal to join his family in contributing to the fund. “Because of choices he made early in life about family, business and community service – and because of a generous spirit and commitment to serve others – he missed an opportunity to complete his own education. He never completed college.” Terry is hoping that the Richard M. Whitmore Endowed Scholarship Fund will enable individuals who are strongly motivated to complete their degrees though they lack the funds to do so.

To contribute or for information on starting an endowed scholarship fund, contact a development officer via 1-800-368-3383 or www. | crossroads | 23

Growing in, Exploring, the Call to Ministry


magine moving from agricultural sales sales and construction into ministry because and construction to a job where, on a “I was sensing a real call,” he said. regular basis, you must deliver spirituLast year Martin became the first fullally uplifting messages and counsel people time pastor in Weaverland Mennonite’s facing major life transitions. 284-year history. That’s what happened to Brian Martin, “The most valuable part of the STEP 43, of East Earl, Pa. As a leader in a largely program is that what we are being taught is entrepreneurial congregation, Martin’s sales relevant and real in our lives,” said Martin. job had taught him much. He knew how to “I spend much of my time doing pastoral be organized, communicate well, and keep care in the congregation.” When people are careful accounting records. dealing with traumatic issues, “I used to go But three years ago Martin found himself into these settings feeling like I needed to with increasing responsibility as a deacon be the answer-man, even when I didn’t have in a 620-member Mennonite congregation. any answers. He was willing to respond to the call, but he “I have learned to rest in the mystery of had no pastoral ministry training. God working through me, even when I He sought help in STEP – the Study and don’t have answers. I have learned that God Training for Effective Pastoral Ministry Pro- is always present – it is my job to make him gram – at Eastern Mennonite University’s visible.” Lancaster site. The STEP program runs on a cohort “I wanted to continue to grow and nurture model. A group of students begins together my own knowledge and understanding of and meets one Saturday a month for nine pastoral ministry and I had a desire to serve months a year until they complete the prothe church,” said Martin. gram over three years. STEP is designed for pastors and church “Students reach a deep level of familiarleaders who, like Martin, do not have an ity and trust with each other,” said Mark undergraduate degree. Martin, a father of Wenger, director of the STEP program. four who loves hunting, reading, and bike“They give feedback to each other’s preachriding, decided to move from his 20 years in ing, teaching and pastoral care case stud-

ies. They disagree with each other and pray together about life experiences. The cohort model helps to turn the classroom into a learning community.” (For another EMU program that uses the cohort model, read about the Adult Degree Completion Program on page 22.) STEP operates in partnership between Lancaster Mennonite Conference and EMU. For more information, visit lancaster/seminary/step. – Laura Lehman Amstutz, MDiv ‘06

Undergrads Taste Church Leadership Role Last summer under the Ministry Inquiry Program and this semester as part of a “church leadership” class, pastors in Mennonite congregations are taking undergraduates under their wings, serving as mentors for these students. The summer program involved pastors as widely dispersed as those at First Mennonite Church in Denver, Colo., and Whitestone Mennonite in Hesston, Kan. Five EMU students spent 11 weeks undertaking such church duties as preaching, helping with vacation Bible school, leading youth activities and visiting elderly members of the congregation. “An essential part of the church’s ministry is encouraging and equipping people to discern and respond to God’s call to ministry,” said Mark Schloneger ’05, pastor at Springdale Mennonite in 24 | crossroads | spring 2007

Waynesboro, Va. “In a congregational setting, this means providing a space for those who are exploring the call to ministry.” A spring ‘07 program, organized by Bible and religion professor Heidi Miller Yoder, involves linking 17 students, divided into small groups, with four Harrisonburg-area church leaders. The students are shadowing their mentors, observing them in their church settings, and meeting with them on a regular basis. After her first meeting with four students from the church leadership class, Shalom Mennonite pastor Emily North noted that her group was all female and “they seemed curious about what it was like to be a woman in a leadership role in a Mennonite church. “Some of them are clearly thinking about what it might mean for them to be called to be in ministry.”

8:07 am

A Day in the Life

Of Provost Beryl Brubaker

10:15 am

11:42 am

As provost, Dr. Beryl Brubaker runs EMU on a day-to-day basis. To give readers a taste of her work, Crossroads followed Brubaker through a randomly selected day: Wed., Feb. 7. 5:00 am. Rising at her regular time and discovering Harrisonburg covered with a blanket of snow, Beryl checks with physical plant staff and makes the call to keep EMU open.

6:22 am After devotionals and exercise, light breakfast at home.

8:07 am With husband Mark, joins Phil Helmuth, EMU executive director of development, at a local coffee shop to listen to ways that the Brubakers can plan their estate to benefit EMU.

9:00 am Meeting with vice president of

3:35 pm

student life Ken L. Nafziger.

10:15 am: Singing with Ken in Chapel. 11:42 am: At Strite Auditorium with director of physical plant Eldon Kurtz and others, looking at possible renovation plans

12:05 pm Lunch while working at desk. 1:32 pm One-to-one with director of MA in counseling Dave Glanzer.

3:35 pm: Committee meeting with undergraduate academic dean Marie Morris and five other administrators, discussing “institutional effectiveness.�

4:03 pm Meeting with Wayne Hostetter, visiting pastor, in the Snack Shop.

5:12 pm Private time. Gets massage in EMU Wellness Center.

6:19 pm Dinner with husband Mark in EMU dining hall.

8:08 pm With students in student-run coffee house to discuss possible curriculum changes.

10:20 pm Packing for departure on workrelated trip at 5 a.m. the next day.

11:11 pm Bedtime.

5:12 pm

6:19 pm

8:08 pm | crossroads | 25

Demand High for Peace Institute


he Summer Peacebuilding Institute (SPI) continues to thrive, despite the hurdles that international students must cross to get to the United States. “Getting a visa to come to the United States can take up to three months these days,” says SPI director Pat Hostetter Martin. “And some very qualified applicants are being refused visas for no apparent reason. We have noticed that applicants from certain countries, such as Uganda and Pakistan, have a particularly hard time getting visas, even if they have excellent records as peace workers.” Despite such difficulties, Martin noted this “invigorating diversity” among the 195 people who attended SPI 2006: • Two Zambians sponsored by Prison Fellowship International to do victimoffender mediation work in prisons • Four people from the Middle East who have worked for Seeds of Peace • Five EMU alumni - all holding masters degrees in conflict transformation - returning to take additional courses • A Nepalese attorney who works in his government's peace secretariat • First participant from Tajikistan, sponsored by the United Nations Development Programme • First two participants from Laos, sponsored by Mennonite Central Committee • From Africa University in Zimbabwe, the associate director of the Institute of Peace, Leadership and Governance

• General secretary of the Ethiopian Religions represented included Bahai, Evangelical Church Mehane Yesus Buddhist, Hare Krishna, Hindu, Jewish, (Lutheran affiliated) Mormon, Muslim, Unitarian-Universalist, • A Christian Science chaplain in the and Christians from many streams in adU.S. Air Force dition to Mennonite - Anglican, Apostolic, • A professor of law from Howard UniCatholic, Christian Scientist, Episcopalian, versity Jehovah's Witness, Lutheran, Orthodox, • Director of communications for the Pentecostal, Presbyterian, Quaker, United Washington D.C.-based organization Church of Christ. Search for Common Ground "We are at capacity," says Martin. "Until • Person working with United Religions EMU has additional classroom space, SPI Initiative in India will not be able to serve many more people. • Mennonites from: Christian Council of “Fortunately, other options exist,” she says. Tanzania; Franconia Mennonite Con“There are a growing number of peacebuildference; Mennonite Church USA Peace ing institutes around the world modeled on Committee; Frazer Region Community SPI, many of them started by our alumni.” Justice Program; British ColumbiaSPI alumni have launched institutes in Mennonite Church; MCC Great Lakes. Ghana, Zambia, Mozambique, and two locations in the Philippines. Institutes in South Korea and Fiji in the South Pacific are in the planning stage. “Nevertheless, many people still want to come to SPI at EMU, perhaps because we are able to offer a greater range of courses and more advanced courses for graduatelevel credit." Last year SPI was able to give tuition assistance to 24 students. who would not otherwise have been able to study here.

Dr. Alharith Hussan is center. sitting behind his wife Maysa Jaber, at EMU in 2004.

For more information on SPI, visit www. To make a donation toward scholarships for SPI participants, visit

Iraqi Peace Worker Killed An Iraqi-Muslim advocate for peace and reconciliation, who thousands in this tragic war, is a great loss to Iraq and to the human received training at EMU for his work with traumatized people, was community as a whole.” assassinated this winter. At his death Hassan was director-general of the psychological Dr. Alharith Abdulhameed Hassan, 56-year-old professor of research center at the University of Baghdad. Hassan’s resume lists psychiatry at the University of Baghdad, was shot while traveling to degrees for medicine, surgery and psychiatry from universities in work on Dec. 6, according to an e-mail sent in mid-January by his Baghdad, London, Dublin, and Edinburgh. bereaved widow, Maysa Hussam Jaber, to friends at EMU. Jaber wrote that she does not know who her husband’s killers Both Hassan and Jaber attended trainings under EMU’s Center were or why they targeted him. He was well-known to be moderate, for Justice and Peacebuilding (CJP) in the summer of 2004. They “working for the good of Iraq with no ethnic or religious bias,” she were selected and sponsored by Mennonite Central Committee, said. Jaber added: “Please, my friends, remember Alharith in your with additional support from Church World Service. prayers as a man of love,” who continuously called for “love, peace, Jan Jenner, a member of CJP’s leadership team who knew the forgiveness and the power of knowledge.” couple, said: “Dr. Alharith Hassan was a man who cared passionAbout a year earlier, another CJP-taught person, Christian Peaceately about the people of Iraq. His death, among thousands and maker Team member Tom Fox, gave his life for peace in Iraq. 26 | crossroads | spring 2007


Roger Mast ‘85, men’s soccer coach and professor of physical education, is now “Dr. Mast.” He is one of two collegiate soccer coaches in Virginia to hold a doctorate. See his story at


Betty Weber HS ’35 Springer recently moved to the Greencroft retirement facility, Goshen, Ind.

Nathan ’49 and Arlene Landis ’46 Hege, Willow Street, Pa., received the Elam W. Stauffer Pioneer Mission Award at the Nov. 3 Eastern Mennonite Missions (EMM) banquet in recognition of their missionary service in Ethiopia, 1950 -1974. Nathan was editor of the Missionary Messenger and a member of the EMM staff for 18 years. Don Jacobs ’49, Landisville, Pa., assisted Richard K. MacMaster in writing A Gentle Wind of God: The Influence of the East Africa Revival, published by Herald Press in 2006.

ogy in context. In previous summers he taught New Testament ecclesiology and apocalyptic literature.


Elmer ’60 MDiv ’85 and Eileen’60 Lehman were featured in the May 2002 issue of Brotherhood Beacon, a monthly publication of the Conservative Mennonite Conference (CMC) under the heading, “Forty Years and Counting.” The Lehmans spent more than two decades in missionary endeavors in Costa Rica. They have been involved in other CMC activities. Elmer teaches on an irregular basis at Rosedale Bible College and serves half-time with Rosedale Mennonite Missions.

John M. Drescher ’51 ThB ’53 began as campus pastor in September for Quakertown Mennonite School, Quakertown, Pa.

Truman H. Jr,’64, MDiv ’69, and his wife Betty Shenk ’69 Brunk, Harrisonburg, Va., have become members of a transition team at Landisville Mennonite Church, Landisville, Pa. They will be employed part-time. Truman will be interim lead pastor and Betty will do pastoral care ministry.

John M. Miller ’57, BD ’62, spent a third summer teaching at Meserete Kristos College, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Last summer he taught theology of mission, intercultural mission, theology in the African context, and doing theol-

Susan Weaver ’65 Godshall, who chairs the EMU board of trustees, was licensed as chaplain for special ministry at Lancaster General Hospital, Lancaster, Pa., Sept. 1, by Lancaster Mennonite Conference.


Bob ’68 and Betty Lou Umble ’90 Buckwalter moved to Alaska in 2004. Bob is doing pesticide regulatory work with the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation. Betty Lou volunteers at the Alaska Food Bank and at Catholic Social Services as an ESL teacher. Rhoda Nolt ’68, Ephrata, Pa., retired November 2006 after 41 years of nursing, 37 of those years at Lancaster General Hospital, Lancaster, Pa. She works as a volunteer at Landis Homes and at Ten Thousand Villages. Mary Helen Weaver ’68 Heinbaugh, Hartville, Ohio, taught first grade at Lake Center Christian School for 30 years, beginning in 1977. Parents of Heinbaugh’s class honored her with a surprise party in November for her three decades of teaching.


Tom Beachy ’70 accepted the position of communication director of RMM, Irwin, Ohio, after serving 16 years as pastor of Pigeon River Mennonite Church, Pigeon, Mich. Dorinne Clark ’70 Peratalo, Nashwauk, Minn., moved to Minnesota in 1976 to be closer to her family. Since 1978, she

has worked as a medical technologist in Grand Rapids, Minn. She married Leonard Peratalo in 1995 and was widowed in 2000. Harry Mast ’72, Broadway, Va., retired five years ago after teaching 4th grade for 30 years in Timberville, Va. He enjoys substituting in grades 1-8. He has participated five times in Bike Shenandoah, a 100-mile fundraiser for missions. In 2006, he completed 3,000 miles of bike riding. This year he anticipates riding the Blueridge Parkway to the Smokies, along with Bike Virginia. He and his wife, Flo, enjoy traveling, camping and spending time with their three grandchildren. James Rhodes ’72, Eric Kouns MDiv ’85, and Les Horning ’86, MDiv ’98, participated in the symposium “True Evangelical Faith: Evangelical Anabaptism in Action,” sponsored by Rosedale Bible College in November. Rhodes, a pastor and adjunct professor at Rosedale and EMU, spoke on being a pro-life Mennonite. He appealed to his listeners to be “active pro-life peacemakers.” Kouns closed the symposium by sharing how his journey from Baptist preacher’s boy to evangelical Anabaptist serves as a metaphor for the quest of evangelical Anabaptism to balance knowing Christ with following Christ. | crossroads | 27

Sharecropper’s Son Goes Far

In the late 1960s, Joe Hamlett left his family homeplace in rural Alton, Va., where his father was a sharecropper. “Joe had no financial resources for college. He found his way to Eastern Mennonite College because of the values instilled in him by his parents and the support of the college staff,” says his wife Jackie Hamlett. Jackie and Joe, both class of ‘73, met at EMC in 1970 and married in 1972. At the time of his retirement from the State of Illinois last spring, Joe was bureau chief of home services in the division of Joe, Brian and Jackie Hamlett vocational rehabilitation services. Today he consults for the agency from which he retired. Joe has won two state-wide awards, including the 1998 “Spirit of Life Award” from the City of Chicago, for his career-long commitment to working on behalf of people with disabilities. Before retiring, Joe met elected officials to advocate for his program. “Who would have ever thought the son of a sharecropper would have the opportunity to meet with three of the governors of Illinois and several senators, including Barack Obama?” says Joe. “We absolutely loved EMC and feel that it was the best educational experience we could have obtained,” wrote Jackie in a February e-mail to Crossroads. “It has affected our whole lives and still does everyday.” Jackie teaches adult education and family literacy at the College of Lake County, a community college near their home in Beach Park, Il. They have one son, Brian, 26, who teaches history and sociology and coaches football and track at a local high school.

OurFaith Editor Retires

Eugene Souder ‘51, is retiring as editor of OurFaith, a tabloidstyle journal issued each March, August and November to 50,000 households. Souder, 79, helped found the journal six years ago to promote a Mennonite perspective on faith, family and mission. He previously worked as director of print publications for the weekly radio program “The Mennonite Hour.” He also edited Together, a quarterly tabloid for Mennonite churches in 20 states, and Living, another Mennonite magazine. Other EMU alums active in OurFaith are Paul M. Schrock ‘58, board chair, Gerald Brunk ‘59, vice chair, John Bomberger ’77, MAR ’92, and Myron Augsburger ’55, ThB ‘58, a founder of OurFaith. A search is underway for Souder’s successor.

28 | crossroads | spring 2007

Esther Steckle ’73, Bedford, Ohio, retired in September from Hillcrest Hospital, Cleveland Health Care System, where she was a nurse educator. Jill Gehman ’75, Philadelphia, Pa., is assistant nurse manager for the cardio-thoracic intensive care unit at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. David Kraybill ’75 has been appointed director of the center for African studies at Ohio State University, where he is a professor in the department of agricultural, environmental, and development economics. Tim Detweiler ’76 and his wife, Carol Bachman ’76, live in Washington, Iowa. Tim is the conference minister, eastern region, of the Central Plains Mennonite Conference, Mennonite Church USA. Carol is a nurse. Joyce Neuenschwander ’77 Taylor and Deb Yoder ’83 Dutcher collaborated in developing the “peace mat” at Central Christian School (CCS), Kidron, Ohio. CCS was recognized by the Orville, Ohio, Chamber of Commerce for its use of the “peace mat” as a strategy tool for conflict resolution between students. Richard A. Moyer ’78, MAM ’89, Green Lane, Pa., retired Jan. 31, after more than 27 years as treasurer of Franconia Mennonite Conference and several years as administrative assistant. Rhoda Byler ’78 Yoder, Jackson, Miss., graduated with a masters in educational administration from Jackson State University. Janet Keller ’79 Blosser, Harrisonburg, Va., was ordained Nov. 19 as associate pastor for children and families at Weavers Mennonite Church. Kathy Dwyer ’79 Yoder is interim associate pastor of Christian formation at Landisville Mennonite Church, Landisville, Pa.


Shana Peachey ’85 Boshart is the Conference Youth Minister for Central Plains Mennonite Conference, MC USA. She also serves on MC USA’s Youth Ministry Leadership Team and the Youth Convention Planning Committee. Her husband, Dave ’86, MAR ’87, has begun his 11th year as pastor of West Union Mennonite Church, Parnell, Iowa. He is enrolled in a doctoral program in leadership studies at Andrews University. Margo Maust ’85 Jantzi is a challenge teacher in Rockingham County Schools system. She has become a National Board Certified teacher. National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) certification is an intensive program requiring peer review.

Sonya Stauffer ’85 and her husband, Roger Kurtz ’85, Rochester, N.Y., spent the fall semester in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Sonya taught Anabaptist history and thought at Meserete Kristos College under the auspices of Mennonite Central Committee. She is a graduate student in theology at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School. Roger had a Fulbright Scholarship and did research on East African literature. Their sons, ages 7 and 11, were with them. Allison McGlaughlin ’85 Flanders, York, Pa., is a substitute teacher in her local area. She is the field hockey coach at Christian School of York. She is one of several youth leaders in their local congregation. John Wenger ’85 has been a family physician, in private practice, for eight years, since moving with his wife, Sandy, and their four children, to Bellefontaine, Ohio, in 1998. In July 2006, he became the assistant program director for Mad River Family Practice, a rural residency program with Ohio State University. John Wilson ’86 has been named director of business development at Cornerstone Foundations, Harrisonburg, Va. He will be responsible for developing sales and assisting in customer support for the company, a company that specializes in poured walls. Linda Heatwole ’87, a nurse at Rockingham Memorial Hospital, Harrisonburg, Va., has been appointed to the governor’s Commission on Sexual Violence. Linda is a member of the local Citizens Against Sexual Assault board and a member of a committee to establish the Harrisonburg-Rockingham County Child Advocacy Center. Can Ngoc Le, MAM ’89 and Xuan Houng (Lisa) Pham MAM ’89, Birmingham, Ala., were pastors for a number of years of the Vietnamese Mennonite Church which met at the Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Falls Church, Va. They currently serve as pastors at a Vietnamese Baptist congregation in Birmingham. Lisa is a translation consultant with the American Bible Society. Todd ’89 and DeAnn Miller moved to London, Ohio, when Todd was appointed director, SEND Department (short-term missions known as Service, Evangelism, Nurture and Discipleship), at Rosedale Mennonite Missions. Previously, Todd was a member of the pastoral team at Maple City Chapel in Goshen, Ind. Kristine Platt ’89 Griswold, Falls Church, Va., earned an MEd in school counseling from George Mason University in May 2005. She is employed as an elementary school counselor with Fairfax County Public Schools. Her husband Greg works as a network administrator

for the federal government. They have four children Wendy Lou Silvious ’89 Zachmeyer, San Antonio, Texas, is the assistant chief financial officer at Catholic Charities, archdiocese of San Antonio. The archdiocese is involved in approximately 20 programs.


W. Kent Hartzler, ’90, Manheim, Pa., has been named president and CEO of Mennonite Mutual Aid, Goshen, Ind. by Mennonite Financial’s board of directors. He succeeds Larry Miller. Hartzler has been with Mennonite Financial for nine years, most recently serving as vicepresident for lending and business development. Previously he was the credit union’s director of marketing. Hartzler and his wife, Stephanie, are the parents of three daughters. They are members of Mountville Mennonite Church. Harry Jarrett ’90, MDiv ’06, Lancaster, Pa., was installed as lead pastor of Neffsville Mennonite Church, Lancaster, Pa., Sept. 24. Simultaneously, his wife, Beth Jarrett MDiv ’06, was licensed as associate pastor of the congregation.

Dave Hockman-Wert ’91, Corvallis, Ore., has been employed by the United States Geological Survey for four years. As a biologist/GIS analyst, he works at modeling forest landscapes and tracking fish movement. He is also on the board of First Alternative Natural Foods Co-op and is moderator-elect for the Pacific Northwest Mennonite Conference. Bob ’91 and Linda Knouse ’91 Hartz and family moved to Tel Hai Camp and Retreat in Honey Brook, Pa., in December. Bob is camp administrator. He had been employed at Camp Men-O-Lan, Quakertown, Pa., as program director for 14 years. Bob and Linda have four children, ages 13, 10, 4, and 2, who are homeschooled. Tracy Smith ’94 and Jennifer Lehman ’93 Smith have moved to Charlottesville, Va., after 10 years in Denver. Tracy is the manager of data services at the University of Virginia. Jennifer is homeschooling their five boys (Levi, Jeremiah, Aaron, Daniel, and Joshua). Kenneth R. Landis ’94, MDiv ’04, Croghan, N.Y., was ordained as pastor of First Mennonite Church of New Bremen, Lowville, N.Y., Oct. 29. Brad Glick ’95 is in his second year as a Woodruff Scholar in a four-year joint law/seminary program at Emory Law School and Candler School of Theology in Atlanta. Stephanie Helmuth ’95 Heinemann has lived and worked in Germany since graduation. She married Jens

Heinemann in December 1998. They have three children. Stephanie works for the Department of General Practice and Family Medicine, Gottingen, as a research assistant. In this capacity, she participates in primary care research on several disease entities for the German Ministry of Education and Research. Sara Norman ’95, Bridgewater, Va., had been working in the office of student affairs at Bridgewater College. She has been promoted to director of residence life and judicial affairs. She also directs the outdoor program. Chan Gingerich ’98 recently received certification as a Life Underwriter Training Council Fellow by the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors. Chan is one of 67,000 insurance professionals who have earned this certification since its introduction in 1984. He is employed by Mennonite Mutual Aid in Harrisonburg, Va.. Anje Ackerman ’99, ’02 Cassel, Newport News, Va., is employed by Sentara Surgical Oncology Associates as clinical research coordinator, She recently had an article published in Cicada Magazine. Her husband, Philip Cassel ’02, is employed by Ziegler Plumbing, Newport News, Va. Monte Layman ’99, Luray, Va., completed the professional master of banking program from the Executive Banking Institute in Scottsdale, Ariz. Layman is president of Page Valley Bank, which has branches in Luray, Shenandoah and McGaheysville. The banking program, developed by Sheshunoff Management Services and Louisiana State University, focuses on technology, business strategy and customer service. A graduate of EMU and Louisiana State University, Layman has more than three decades experience in the banking industry.


Moises Angustia ’01, a volunteer co-pastor and youth leader, has been appointed as director of Mennonite Voluntary Service (MVS), effective Feb. 1, 2007. He will provide guidance for the 63-year-old program and work with local leaders to oversee individual MVS units. Jason Gerlach ’01 MDiv ’06, Harrisonburg, Va., was ordained as youth minister at Community Mennonite Church Jan. 14,. Jason joined its pastoral team in 2004. He and his wife, Wendy Houser ’02, were youth sponsors for two years at Community Mennonite. Wendy worked as a social worker with Harrisonburg Department of Social Services for five years. She is currently enrolled in the school counseling program at EMU.

Suter Sent Hundreds Into Health Careers

Daniel B. Suter, PhD, professor emeritus of biology and developer of EMU’s pre-medical program, died Dec. 24 at age 86. Suter joined the science department at EMU in 1948 and eventually became head of the biology department and pre-med advisor. He retired in 1985. The Science Center, completed in 1967 and now in need of renovation, was named after Suter “in recognition of his leadership in the development of the school’s science/pre-medical program and his influence among students during his teaching years.” During his tenure, EMU students had an acceptance rate of more than 85% into medical, dental and veterinary schools, well above the national average of 40-50%. Suter was ordained a minister in Virginia Mennonite Conference in 1951 and served as pastor of Gospel Hill Mennonite Church and later Weavers Mennonite Church in Rockingham County. He was secretary of Virginia Mennonite Board of Missions and a board member of both Mennonite Broadcasts, Inc. (now Mennonite Media) and VMRC. Suter was a graduate of Eastern Mennonite High School, Eastern Mennonite College, Bridgewater College, Vanderbilt University and the Medical College of Virginia, where he received a PhD in neuroanatomy in 1963. EMU President Loren Swartzendruber noted that Suter was offered a faculty position at the University of Virginia at three times the salary that EMU paid him. Suter chose to work at EMU because “I believed that’s where the Lord wanted me to be.” Suter estimated he had written more than 300 letters of recommendation for admission to medical or dental schools. Almost all of those recommended went on to have significant careers in health care. Crossroads will further explore Suter’s influence on EMU in an issue next year on health care professions.

Cooper Inspires ‘Go-DIVA’ EMU voice teacher Jennifer Anne Cooper helped raise $28,000 to support “women in transition” last fall by starring in an Oct. 14 dinnertheater production of “Go-DIVA” in La Plata. Md. The show, a multimedia event based on Cooper’s earlier adult life as a rising opera star, was a benefit for the Southern Maryland Compassion Center. The center serves mothers and children with such needs as shelter, clothing, and household items. Cooper, who received a standing ovation in that venue, will repeat the show in EMU’s Lehman Auditorium, March 16, with a portion of ticket Jennifer Cooper in costume sales going to the music department student scholarship fund. An April 21 performance is also planned as a fundraiser for the local Boys and Girls Club. | crossroads | 29

Susan Hill Girdner MA ’02 has been certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. This certification is an intensive program requiring peer review. Achieving this distinction is considered a significant professional status. John R Huff ’02 is in a new job, supply chain technical specialist with Hollister Company, Stuarts Draft, Va.

Ella May Miller and Ruth Brunk Stoltzfus

Pioneer Women Broadcasters Honored

Two women who were likely the first in the Mennonite Church to have their own syndicated radio broadcast, called “Heart to Heart,” were honored for their pioneer work at a Jan. 17 banquet. Ruth Brunk Stoltzfus ’37, and Ella May Miller, both of Harrisonburg, Va., received plaques and letters of commendation as part of the annual School for Leadership Training at EMU. Stoltzfus “was probably the first Mennonite woman on the airwaves with a regular program. This was truly amazing, considering what society was like in the 1950s for women, technology, and the Mennonite Church,” said Melodie Miller Davis ‘75, writer-producer with Mennonite Media in Harrisonburg. The show began in June 1950 in Scottsdale, Pa., later moving to a Mennonite-run facility in Harrisonburg, Va. At its height, it was carried on 261 stations in the U.S. and Canada in 15-minute weekly and 5-minute daily versions. Ella May Miller became the “Heart to Heart” broadcaster in 1958, followed by Margaret Foth anchoring a show called “Your Time” from 1976 to 1986. After leaving the broadcast, Stoltzfus continued in church ministry, pastoring Mennonite congregations in Ohio and Virginia. She was the first woman to be ordained in Virginia Mennonite Conference in 1989 at the age of 74 and received the “distinguished service award” from EMU that same year.

Baseball Bats on Auction

EMU will auction off two signed Major League Baseball bats starting May 1 on, with proceeds going directly to help the baseball team finance improvements to the baseball complex. The bidding will end May 8. Each bat is MLB regulation size and features one signature on the barrel. One bat is signed by Ryan Howard, National League Most Valuable Player and Philadelphia Phillies first baseman, while the other bat is signed by All-Star second baseman and Phillies teammate, Chase Utley. The bats are gifts from Philadelphia Phillies manager Charlie Manuel. Manuel, along with Toronto Blue Jays minor leaguer Erik Kratz ’03, participated in a benefit dinner Jan. 13 that helped to raise $3,000 for the installation of new infield grass and dugout renovation on the EMU baseball field. “I hope EMU’s supporters, especially those in the Philadelphia area, will enthusiastically participate in the bidding on eBay,” said athletics director Dave King. “The funds raised will be used to upgrade EMU’s baseball fields to the current standards of Division III baseball.” 30 | crossroads | spring 2007

Rachel Bucher ’03 is working in Krems, Austria, through the Fulbright Association since September 2006, teaching English in two secondary schools and one elementary school. Jae-Young Lee MA ’03 of Seoul, Korea, the peace program coordinator of the Korea Anabaptist Center (KAC), says he is trying to ”love neighbors who do bad things to you” – presumably referring to North Korea – by laying the groundwork for a Peace Institute in his country, modeled after EMU’s Summer Peacebuilding Institute. Sara Joy Neuenschwander ’03 is serving as a nurse at Faith Alive, a free clinic specializing in HIV/AIDS treatment in Jos, Nigeria. Joel Shenk ’04, Pasadena, Calif., is program director of L.A. Urban Corps, an urban learning and service program for young adults, sponsored by Shalom Ministries, the parent organization for the Center for Anabaptist Leadership. Opening of the center had been delayed for a time. With the opening of the program, Joel remarked, “Upon reaching this decision, we recognized God’s discerning spirit at work through Shalom Ministries board members.” Michael Dezort ’06 played the role of a menacing hired hand in “Oklahoma” in a performance of the College Light Opera Company at Highfield Theater, Falmouth, Mass., in July.


Elaine See ’75 to Ronald Dellinger, Oct. 14. Neil R. Reinford ’88 to Donna Jean Harnish, June 24. Sherri Kurtz ’93 to Gary Peters, May 14.

Julianne Stutzman ’95 to Hai En Mai, Sept. 9. Simone Bourdon ’03 to Daniel Bergey, July 22. Andrea M. Good ’03 to Joshua B. Leaman, Sept. 16. Jen Hunter ‘04 to Tim Raybould, Aug. 5. . Tara Kreider ’05 to Danny Yoder ’06, July 8.


Meg Mason ’88 and John Hahn, Hagerstown, Md., Kathryn Marie, Nov. 27. Kristine Platt ’89 and Greg Griswold, Falls Church, Va., Jeffrey Truman, Oct.30.

Janelle Guntz ’92 and Kent Yoder, Glendale, Ariz., Noah, June 8. Karen Longacher ’93 and Matt Minatelli, Alexandria, Va., Elina Marie, Aug.14. Sherri Kurtz ’93 and Gary Peters, Alexandria, Va., Ashlyn Kurtz, Sept. 29. Elaine Shenk ’94 and Ken ’92 Beidler, Iowa City, Iowa, Ezra Lucas, Oct. 24. Jacqui Wiens ’94 and Chris Gauthier, Brandon, Miss., Madeline Elise, May 31. Stephanie Helmuth ’95 and Jens Heinemann, Göttingen, Germany, Rebecca Ann, Nov. 25. Hildie Froese ’97 and Lloyd Peters, Ayr, Ontario, Isaiah Jacob, Nov. 4. Robin Mongold ’98 and Mark Catron, Stanley, Va., Kahlynn Alyssa, Jan. 9. Ryan ’98 and Maria ’98 Linder-Hess, Lancaster, Pa, Lena, Nov.10. Andrea E. Stoner ’98 and Mark C. Leaman, Jerusalem (Israel), Henry Stoner, Dec. 30. Kevin W. ’00 and Jennifer Glass ’01 Eagle, Staunton, Va., Lleyton Campbell May 2. Laura Hess ’00 and Zachary (Zack) King, Lancaster, Pa., Adelyn Elizabeth, Dec. 12. Nevin ’00 and Christina Smith ’00 Mast, Chesapeake, Va., Caia Ann, Oct. 7. Kevin ’00 and Sara Struck ’00 Nafziger, Harrisonburg, Va., Joshua William, Dec. 3. Zach ’01 and Kara Souder ’01 Derstine, Telford, Pa., Stellan Christian, Nov. 6. Sarah Troyer ’01 and Erik Kratz ’02, Harrisonburg, Va., Brayden Roger, Nov. 22. Philip ’02 and Anje Ackerman Cassel ’99, ‘02, Newport News, Va., Everett James, May 16. Andy ’02 and Lisa Gascho ’03 Hershberger, Harrisonburg, Va., Caleb Andrew, Feb. 4. Gregory ’03 and April Gonzol ’04 Sachs, Harrisonburg, Va., Isaac Emory, Dec. 31.

Jennie Varner ’03 and Lincoln Nafziger, Archbold, Ohio, Tessa Rose, Dec 5. Nelson MDiv ’03 and Jessica Lawrence ’01 Okanya, Greenbelt, Md., Barak Nelson, Dec. 22. Shawn Hunter ’05 to Lydia Ramer ’05, Feb. 24.


Everett ’53, ThB ’56 and Margaret Glick ’55 Metzler, Goshen, Ind., 50th, married June 21, 1956.

James ’62 and Rachel Gehman ’63 Metzler, Remlap, Ala., 50th, married Jan. 1, 1957. Jason S. ’59 and Mary Baer ’56 Martin, Goshen, Ind., 50th, married Dec. 25, 1956.


Minnie Rhodes HS ’33 Carr, 90, Harrisonburg, Va., died Nov. 22.

Edgar M. Clemens ’51, 80, New Holland Pa., died Sept. 3. Edgar is survived by his spouse, Rhoda Hostetter ’63 Clemens. Ruby Miley HS ’35, 87, Belleville, Pa., died Sept. 24. She is survived by her husband, Jonathan, two daughters and four grandchildren. Gladys Shank Baer ’45, 87, died Feb. 21. She is survived by her 6 children (4 who attended EMU), 18 grandchildren (4 attending EMU), and 6 great-grandchildren. Verna Kauffman ’51, 77, Strasburg, Pa., died July 1. Esther Ressler ’56 Houdeshel, 78, Denver, Colo., died Nov. 10. Scott Minbiole MA ’06, 29, Stephens City, Va., died Jan. 22. He is survived by his wife, Stephanie, and daughter, Kristen. Thomas P. Bowers ’08, 22, Harrisonburg, Va. died Feb. 14.

Degree Key

BD - bachelor of divinity MAM - master of arts in church ministries MAR - master of arts in religion MDiv - master of divinity ThB - bachelor of theology As Crossroads goes to press, the EMU community mourns the March 2 crash of a bus carrying the baseball team of our sister Mennonite institution, Bluffton University in Ohio.

Boston Baritone Praises Bach Festival

After the 2006 Bach Festival, President Loren Swartzendruber received this written message from one of the featured singers, a baritone soloist named Thomas Jones: “I teach voice through The Office for the Arts at Harvard University and encounter college students and that collegiate environment on a daily basis. It was refreshing to be on your gracious campus. I have told many about this wonderful university and this gem of a summer music festival set in the splendid scenery of western Virginia.” This year’s Bach Festival is June 10-17, 2007, the 15th year of this “extraordinary” event. You’ll be able to meet Thomas Jones in person – he is returning as a featured soloist. Details at www.

Thomas Jones

Stewardship Book Goes Global

Stewardship for All?, subtitled Two Believers – One From a Poor Country, One From a Rich – Speak From Their Settings, is the 2006 selection for the “global Anabaptist-Mennonite shelf of literature” by Mennonite World Conference. Bedru Hussein, MDiv ’00, of Ethiopia and Lynn Miller of the United States wrote the bulk of the book. Hussein explains how the Ethiopian Mennonite (Meserete Kristos) Church sustained itself and grew into one of the biggest Mennonite communities in the world after the government-forced departure of North American missionaries. Stewardship for All? is available from the EMU bookstore or from the publisher at

Looking for These Alumni

If you can help us locate these alumni to notify them of class reunions, please contact or phone Donna Souder at (540) 432-4204. Class of 1952 Ruth Gehman Class of 1962 Shirley Allen John Clemmer Anna Leatherman Merle Stoltzfus Robert Wenger Carl Wenger Jean Goshorn Leo Yoder Carol Delisle Robert Dean Eunice Jones Charity Martin Class of 1972 Michael Akers Dawn Bontrager Allen Bontrager Rosanne Breneman Jeanette Bueno Virginia Chandler Charles Clifton Jr Margaret Conrad Rachel Derstein Thomas Evans III Arthur Gachugi Mary Hartzler Verlin Hochstetler Victoria Iromunga

Charles Kaufman Martha Keener Mary Koshy Ruth Morris Emily Overholt Joyce Quackenbos Tuomah Sahawneh M Alice Strickler Carolyn VanDyck Rebecca VanHook E Paul Williams Doris Yoder Class of 1982 Javier Arellano Saba Ayalew Ruby Baldwin Linda Beiler Jeff Brubacher Jody Carter Diane Deviers Les Erb Catherine Faber-Corlett Mark Farrington Kevin Frank Elsie Gingerich Ann Good Jackie Green Sandra Grimes Meronica Hague Melinda Hoffmeyer Mary-Esther Hooley

Sherry Huffer Susan Jones Dawn Lantz Gail Lehman Florie Maclver Tim Martin Nancy Martin Paul McMullan Kathy Miller Johnnie Paige Joseph Presley Becky Raines Eric Rittenhouse Peter Rohman Travis Sanders Kathi Sechler Dennis Simonetti Jakuua Tjirare Deniese Weaver Tom Wenger Holly Young Class of 1992 Desiree Anderson Tim Arrington Brian Brubaker Kendra Campbell Carmen Conley Laura Costanzo Pam Frey Scott Frost Kellee Gorham

Kim Hauser Kathy Horn-Maxwell Julia Hulse Ranita Hurst Philip Jessup J.T. Johnson Tammy Johnson Tina Kimble Archie Knight Rick Kratz Jen Kreider Josh Maendel Loren Martin Amy Meadows Erin Osinkosky Raouf Rezk-Alla Ron Sala Chad Shiflett Nancy Speigle Class of 2002 Lauren Adels Ryan Beachy Chris Burkhart Matthew Clemmer Carrie Dengler Daniel D’Oleo Daniel Embree Andrew Garner Kurt Holsopple Amy Hooke Sugako Kawai

Lynda Kennedy Sarah Lantz Becky Lehman Duo Lei Amy Livingston Mary Ann Martin Sally Massien Thaddaeus May Christine Mellinger Susan Murray Nathanael Overly Nicole Parks Allan Reesor-McDowell Lara Ressler Sheldon Rice Lorendia Schmidt Jennifer Smith Ryan Smoker Laura Souder Ted Spangler Daniel Staskel Curtis Stilley Jr Sarah Tate James Thoman Devryck Weaver Daneika Whiting Laura Yoder Annette Yoder | crossroads | 31

Paul M. Schrock ‘58

In 1954 This Farm Boy Had No Money for College P aul M. Schrock ‘58 wrote this as a sent me away three weeks later family letter, but we are offering it to with his blessing. He paid my way Crossroads readers because it feels like to Virginia in a carload of five the kind of story many of us like to freshman students (three days and hear from our grandparents’ lips. nights, 100-plus degree heat day My parents hoped that as the oldest son and night all the way). In addition in a preacher’s family of eight, I would he gave me an electric shaver and choose on my 18th birthday on Aug. 4, 1954, a wristwatch. Mom prepared and to stay home and help on the farm. (I was packed my clothes and some food. followed in order by four capable younger With their letter-a-week routine I sisters at two-year intervals, then by 8-yearnever doubted their love. old Jason, 4-year-old Julia, and babe-in-arms I arrived at EMC without worked on the railroad and expressed “awkJohn.) money or arrangements for tuition ward” feelings about labor and management Pop and Mom had already sacrificed to or room and board. Pop and Mom helped and unions and strikes. send me to Western Mennonite School as a me tap a few kinfolk sources for small loans I opened the small envelope and found dorm student (at home weekends) for four and I worked part-time at a tire shop for a a simple letter. It informed me that Oliver years. That only whetted my appetite for buck an hour. I began to accumulate school had confidence in me, that he believed more adventure and more education. Mom debts which were not completely paid for a in Christian education, and that he had wondered aloud how I would ever make a decade or two. enclosed a check. He wrote that I need living if I kept my nose in a book. Pop came Meanwhile, the glamour of college began never pay the money back, but if I was ever up with a plan which he hoped both he and to fade. I did quite well at goofing off, but I would consider a win-win proposal. really was not challenged in my studies. The able and wanted to do so I should pass the amount along to another needy student. If I I wanted to head to Eastern Mennonite money problems began to get me down. recall correctly, the amount was at least College (EMC) in the faraway ShenanI did not have the money to purchase 10,000 times the price of the threedoah Valley before the end of August. cent stamp ($300)! It may have been Pop told me that if I chose to stay a first-class three-cent stamp. more – enough in those days to pay home and work on the farm he would for half a year of tuition, room, and board at begin paying me wages (plus room and Finally, one day I wrote a letter to Pop and EMC, I think. board, of course) on Aug. 4 and would buy Mom. In my mind, God clearly was speaking me a car. Wow! But I did not hesitate. I told I told them that college was not going and providing through Oliver (whatever him that my choice still was to go to college. well, that I was discouraged, that I was shortcomings he may have had in other In spite of his great disappointment, he broke, and that I was ready to accept the areas of his life—don’t we all?). So I stayed offer (if it still stood) to return to the family in college, became involved in student farm. I would come, I told them, if they publications – which I greatly enjoyed, bought a bus ticket for me to re-cross the made the basketball team, courted and marlong miles from the Valley here to the Wilried June, was discovered by Scottdale and lamette Valley there. One problem remained. I was flat broke – worked there for 41 years until Jan. 1, 2000, so flat that I did not have the money to pur- had Carmen (Schrock-Hurst ’81), Brent, and Andrea (Wenger ’86) along the way, secured chase a first-class three-cent stamp. I could my master’s degree in religious journalism have borrowed one (or the three pennies) of from Syracuse University in 1963, took a course, but I wasn’t quite ready to drop that letter into the mail. During this time, I went leave of absence to teach at EMC and work for Mennonite Hour in 1970-1972, and to my student mailbox one day and saw an have come full-circle in retirement back to unusual envelope. It was addressed to me in the place where I received Oliver’s vote of a penciled handwritten scrawl. The return confidence half a century ago. address said, “Oliver Zehr.” Oliver died Jan. 11, 2005. May he rest in I had known Oliver as a fellow member at peace. He profoundly and permanently he the traditional Tangent church. Neither of changed my life 61 years ago when I was 19 us fit in very well. My young independent years old. thoughts headed me in another direction. At EMC in 1956 Oliver, instead of the usual ryegrass farmer, 32 | crossroads | spring 2007

Successes in Book Business

Get Free Recipes! See below...

John Bomberger ’77, MA ’92

Phyllis Pellman Good (class of ’70) is shown in a New York studio in January, taping a four-hour satellite “media tour.” The tour put Phyllis on the airwaves of 15 TV news outlets from Pittsburgh to Tuscon, Ariz., and gave her a taped spot for the CNN Airport Network. Phyllis and her husband, Merle ’69, own Good Books, publisher of hundreds of books, with Phyllis’ cookbooks topping their bestseller list at 9 million sold. The New York Times and USA Today published major articles in 2006 on the success of these cookbooks. Recipes from Phyllis’ latest book, Fix It and Forget-It 5-Ingredient Favorites, are being offered to fellow alumni and friends of EMU who return the coupon below. Good Books also publishes The Little Book of Justice and Peacebuilding, with The Little Book of Restorative Justice by Howard Zehr, EMU professor of restorative justice and editor of the series, topping the sales list.

• EMU trustee • CEO of Choice Books • over 5 million books sold in 2006 • largest distributor of Christian books sold via kiosks in supermarkets, hotels, airports, drugstores, and other stand-alone display sites • of the top 10 bestselling books, seven are Biblically-based • has sold 443,426 copies of the Fix It and Forget It Cookbook • employs 25 EMU alumni – 17 in the business end and eight as volunteer book reviewers – plus three alumni serve as board members

Visit for more on Good Books or Choice Books. tear here

Fill out this coupon for free recipes from Phyllis! Phyllis Pellman Good invites you to return this coupon in a stamped envelope to: Development Office, Eastern Mennonite University, 1200 Park Road, Harrisonburg, VA 22802. As her thank-you, you will receive three personal favorite recipes from her latest book, Fix-it and Forget It 5-Ingredient Favorites. If you become a new “associate partner” of EMU with a gift of $500 or more, you will receive an inscribed and autographed copy of her latest cookbook. Yes No write a note or comments on the reverse side of this coupon. ® ® I know a young person who should receive information on the benefits of attending EMU -- contact me and I will help you get in touch with this student. ® ® I am interested in attending class reunions, homecoming and/or other EMU functions and am pleased to receive information on such events. ® ® Knowing that the long-term viability of EMU depends on having endowment income, I am interested in talking with someone about ways I might help. ® ® Stories like Paul M. Schrock’s (facing page) and Joe Hamlett’s (p. 29) are inspiring; I am interested in contributing to financial aid. ® ® I have news about myself that I would like to be included in the Mileposts section of Crossroads. (Write it in on the reverse, enclose a separate note, or e-mail it to ® ® I want to talk to an EMU representative on the topic of (write on reverse):

Name(s) __________________________________________________________ Address_ _________________________________________________________ City__________________________________State__________Zip___________ E-mail ____________________________________________________________ Main phone number________________________________________________ I would like to contribute $___________________________________________ ___ Check enclosed, payable to EMU ____I’m giving via ___I am giving by credit card, using (check one) ® Visa or ® MasterCard Card # ______________________________________ Exp date____________ Signature________________________________________________________ | crossroads | 33

on the calendar

April 10

April 22

Info: or (540) 432-4225.

Info: or (540) 432-4225.

Wind Ensemble Concert

Chamber Singers Concert Cross-Cultural Chapel

On April 23, the Latin America group; on April 25, the India group

April 27

May 19

Golf with the president for a good cause. It’s the annual fundraiser for the Loren and Pat Swartzendruber Endowed Scholarship, which provides need-based aid to undergraduate and graduate students. Info: devoffice@emu. edu or (540) 432-4200.

A “Hope for Peace” day featuring workshops and activities with renowned peacebuilding educators and practicing peacebuilders. Offered to the public for only $30, including food. Info: or (540) 432-4581.

April 27

June 10-17

April 23 and 25

Suter Science Seminar, “Supporting Resource Management Worldwide with Geospatial Technologies,” with Dr. Conrad Heatwole

of Virginia Tech. Info:

April 16-20

Trauma Seminar

STAR – Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience – teaches individual and community trauma recovery. Registration open to public; 25 professional CE’s offered. Info:;; (540) 432-4691

April 20

Michael Card Concert

President’s Golf Tournament

Seminary Baccalaureate In Martin Chapel.

April 28

In his 25-year career, Michael Card has recorded over 20 albums and 19 No. 1 hits, with sales surpassing 4 million. He has authored or co-authored more than 14 books, Info: or (540) 432-4582.

58th Seminary Commencement

April 21

In Lehman Auditorium


EMU voice teacher Jennifer Cooper stars in this autobiographical show written and directed by L.B. Hamilton. This performance is a fundraiser for the local Boys and Girls Club. Info: e-mail

12th Annual Summer Peacebuilding Institute

Almost two dozen 7-day classes attracting peacebuilders from around the world. Lastminute class openings may be available. Info:, or phone (540) 432-4672.

April 13

Global Resource Management

May 7-June 19

In Lehman Auditorium, recital hall

April 28


April 29

89th Annual Commencement On the lawn, weather permitting, with Dr. Lee Snyder, president emeritus of Bluffton University, as keynote speaker.

Mini Peacebuilding Institute

Bach Festival

Under acclaimed director Ken J. Nafziger, this year’s festival “Bach and Some Admirers” reflects Bach’s influence on other composers. Enjoy pianist Janina Fialkowska, soloists Sharla Nafziger and Thomas Jones, choral rehearsal director and organist Marvin Mills, festival choir and orchestra. Info: (540) 4324652 or

The public is welcome at all events listed. For detailed information visit at any time. You may also call the EMU activities line at (540) 432-4362.

tear here

EASTERN MENNONITE UNIVERSITY Harrisonburg, VA 22802-2462 Parents: If this is addressed to your son or daughter who has established a separate residence, please give us the new address. Call (540) 432-4294 or e-mail


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