Homecoming 2011: Reunions, Music, Theater and More
In 2011 EMU celebrated the lives of two peace activists; embraced music and theater performances; enjoyed fellowship with alumni and donors; and cheered on the Royals during Homecoming and Family Weekend 2011.
Following university chapel on Friday, Nobel Prize Laureate Leymah Gbowee discussed her memoir, “Mighty Be Our Powers,” life in Liberia and other topics at a press conference hosted by EMU President Loren Swartzendruber.
Alumni, parents and the Harrisonburg community were welcomed to Homecoming and Family Weekend with a vibrant rendition of “When the Saints Come Marching In,” by EMU Jazz and Swing Sisters, who had an all-time reunion. Many arrived on campus to celebrate with fellow classmates at class reunions.
A classic theater masterpiece that revolved around a case of “manufactured” mistaken identity gave the Homecoming audience a chance to enjoy the latest EMU theater production, “The Importance of Being Earnest.”
Four unique shows and artists openings and talks during the weekend festivities:
- Consumed, a trash portrait show is a project by three EMU seniors that used trash, recyclables and coffee grounds to create a large scale portrait. Learn more about the project
- Familial Colors is displayed in the Margaret Martin Gehman Gallery and is produced by Washington, D.C., artists and sisters Jill and Susan Finsen. Both Finsens are known for their relentless evolution in media and styles. See photos and learn more about their project.
- MacroCosmos opened earlier this year. Susan Alexander, a senior digital media and art major described her senior show, MacroCosmos, as a “happy accident.” The show takes images from different gardens and transposes them onto windows using gel. Learn more about her show
- Roots, a project produced by EMU alum Mark Fenton ’10, is a repurposed piano that now resides in a form several times reincarnated and embedded in the south lawn of the Art Center. An earlier version of Fenton’s work, titled “Oliver,” can be found on YouTube.
Peacebuilding events and honors
EMU’s Center for Justice and Peacebuilding hosted alumni and friends for several special events, including an alumni reunion, a symposium on societies in transition, and a book signing with Leymah Gbowee, 2011 Nobel Peace Laureate, and 2007 EMU alum! Eager readers began forming the book signing line hours before the event began.
The Harrisonburg community packed out Yoder Arena for a viewing of the award-winning film “Pray the Devil Back to Hell” featuring Leymah, who was honored with the EMU “Alumna of the Year” award.
Glen Lapp was honored posthumously with the “Distinguished Service Award” for his years of service work in the Middle East. Glen, a nurse, was killed during a Christian relief trip to Afghanistan. The two were celebrated during Sunday worship service, showcasing EMU’s mission to serve and lead in a global context.
The Loyal Royals also inducted three graduates into the Hall of Honor during the Saturday morning breakfast. New Hall of Honor members are:
- Mike Gale (’01) – Baseball
- Sara Nissley (01) – Field Hockey
- Danielle Conser Siembida (’99) – Women’s Volleyball
Homecoming sports breakdown:
- Wind and Mud Slow Down Women
- Men Finish Strong at Muddy Gettysburg Invite
- Chico’s Blast and Timely Defense Breaks 15-Game Streak
- Field Hockey Women Take Key ODAC Win From Generals
- Lady Royals Start Homecoming The Right Way
Don’t forget to save the date for coming Homecoming and Family Weekend celebrations!