Giving Thanks at EMU

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

As we enter a season of Thanksgiving we are reminded that gratitude improves our psychological, social and even physical well-being. See what students, faculty and staff at EMU are thankful for in the two slideshows below.

Listen to Dr. Walter Brueggemann talk about gratitude in podcasts from the 2012 School for Leadership Training. Or listen to "Come, You Thankful People" from The Walking Roots Band.


EMU Students
  • Mauricio Triminio
  • Joel Wheeler
  • Alyssa Eberly
  • Brittany Viands
  • Ariel Barbosa

I am thankful to have God leading my way.

Mauricio Triminio - undergraduate, 2018

Despite all that may seem to be going wrong in our world right now, I am thankful for the love and promise of our Lord and Savior. I am thankful for faith. I am thankful for Grace.

Leigh Geib - graduate student in education, Lancaster, 2016

I am thankful that I am able to further my education. Whenever I'm studying or writing a paper and I feel discouraged, I try to remember how many people would gladly take my place. To be in a community centered on betterment of lives and minds is a blessing.

Joel Wheeler - undergraduate, 2017

I am thankful for my family, my husband, and the opportunity to pursue higher education. I'm thankful that we are healthy and blessed. God is good.

Alyssa Eberly - RN-BSN, Cohort 74, Lancaster

I am thankful for the opportunity to play a collegiate sport and to be in college and study.

Brittany Viands - undergraduate, Community Assistant, 2019

I am thankful for creativity and Jesus.

Ariel Barbosa - undergraduate, 2020

I am thankful for my family and husband, Jim, who is my partner in helping me complete my graduate degree!

Jeannine Uzel - graduate student, MS in Nursing, 2017

I am thankful for an education that has tested, challenged and redefined my idea of love, and what it looks like to truly give and receive love.

Madelyn Gish - undergraduate, 2017

I am thankful that God has chosen me and that He has allowed an opportunity for me to serve Him.

June Tran - Third-year STEP student

I am thankful to be surrounded by faculty that cares deeply about their students and about this campus.

Harrison Horst - undergraduate, 2018

I am extremely thankful for an opportunity that once seemed impossible: to attend seminary at EMU.

DJ Mitchell - Seminary Student, MDiv, 2019

I am thankful for the ways I have seen God move in my life in my first semester of college. I am also thankful for all of the friends I have met here and the time I get to spend with them.

Lydia Haggard - undergraduate, 2020

I am thankful for a God who is patient with me in my journey of healing and the strength given by the Spirit to guide me through.

Charlie Tinsley - seminary student, MDiv, seminary community counsel facilitator, 2017

I am thankful for my grandmother. She's the best thing that has ever happened to me and always will be.

Rose Sanicola - undergraduate, 2019

I am thankful for people who respond to emails in a timely manner; they are the beacons of productivity in a wasteland of procrastination.

Justine Nolt - undergraduate, 2018

I am thankful for my family and friends, my cats, the NFL, the MLB, the NBA, the NHL, the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Washington Nationals, the Miami Heat, the Washington Capitals, Spongebob, Harry Potter, music, and snow!

Carter McNeeley - undergraduate, 2020

I am thankful for the loving, accepting community at EMU. I never knew my college could feel so much like home. I am very grateful for the friends I've made, the professors I've had, and the overall safe and warm environment.

Cait Cain - undergraduate, 2017

I am thankful for friends I have found here that I feel like I can talk about anything with.

Hannah Walker - undergraduate, 2018

I am thankful for all the food that has been prepared for my devouring. Special thanks to the caf, my dad and sister, Panera, Subway, and Emma (she shared Twizzlers with me). You don't know how thankful my body's processes are.

Laurie Serrell - undergraduate, 2019

I am thankful that I have the freedom to be myself and to have my own opinion.

Jack Hummel - undergraduate, 2017

I am thankful for vibrant fall colors, cold mornings, hot coffee, inspiring conversations, and deep friendships.

Andrea Yoder - seminary, MDiv 2017

I am grateful for my best friend who isn't afraid to tell me the truth. She also laughs with me a lot, which really helps keep back stress.

Anastasia Dronov - undergraduate, 2020

I am so thankful for my wonderful friends who make this place a home!

Grace Burkhart - undergraduate, 2019

I am thankful to learn beside kind, supportive classmates who both challenge and encourage me and professors who authentically live out what they teach.

Brianne Ede - graduate student, MA in Conflict Transformation, 2017

The non-violent resistant peace stance and way of life from the Anabaptist-Mennonite tradition, offering a viable way forward in a world that prizes just the opposite.

Phil Yoder - Seminary student, MDiv, 2018


Faculty/Staff
  • Jan Emswiler
  • Donnita Williams
  • Ann Hershberger
  • Vincina Good
  • Barbara Byer

I am thankful that I still have a job and that the presidential election is finally over!

Donnita Williams - Postal Clerk

I am grateful for my family's well-being, and especially that my husband's not in the hospital right now.

Vincina Good - Custodial Staff

I am grateful for the constant, resonant bass line of God’s presence and love anchoring the symphony of life. The notes dancing above that line are sometimes melodious and joyful, sometimes discordant and jarring, but held together by the master musician.

Ann Hershberger - Nursing Department Faculty

I am thankful for spectacular nursing preceptors in the Harrisonburg area that mentor and encourage our nursing students during clinicals!

Jan Emswiler - Nursing Instructor

I am thankful that God is always patient with me.

Barbara Byer - Office Coordinator for Language and Literature

I am thankful for the constant love and support of my family. They have been there to walk with me along my faith journey as well as have been a source of encouragement and support to pursue my dreams.

Leah Risser - Residence Director

I am grateful that an apparent lump on a CT scan turned out to be just a shadow.

Michael Stauffer - Information Systems

I'm thankful for the amazing friends I have made on six cross-cultural trips to Lithuania.

Jerry Holsopple - VACA Professor

I am thankful for a friend who helps me see the positive side of life. This friend has helped me develop into a better person and has offered me unconditional love. I value that God brought us together.

Lori Gant - Administrative Assistant, Facilities Management

I am thankful for my relationship with Jesus Christ. He is a constant reminder that I am worthy and loved! I am also thankful for family, friends, and co-workers. Without a good support system life can be overwhelming and difficult!

Selah Shenk - Accounts Receivable Assistant

I am thankful for God's enduring grace and the human capacity to continually strive to better ourselves and our world.

Travis Pettit - Program Representative, Adult Degree Completion Program, Harrisonburg

I am thankful for a campus spirit that says we'll talk about the hard things in ways that are hopeful and healing.

Marci Frederick - Library Director

I am thankful for the endowments that our department has received from generous donors, like Dr. Lee and Del Snyder, that allow us to bring authors, visiting scholars, and films to campus, as well as to support professional development of our faculty.

Mike Medley - Chair of Language & Literature

I am ever-thankful for the cloud of witnesses (alumni, parents, faculty, etc.) who give joyfully to advance the much-needed mission of EMU. They give such a boost to our students, who will shape our communities of tomorrow.

Tim Swartzendruber - Associate Director of Development

I am thankful for my colleagues in the Academic Success Center, who reach out to students in remarkable ways to encourage academic success.

Linda Gnagey - Academic Success Center

I am thankful for Jesus' unconditional love as our example on how to live day in and day out!

Cheryl Montgomery - Director of Auxiliary Services

I am thankful for my family and friends that touch my life on a daily basis. They make my world go round!

Marcy Dean - Nursing Faculty