Suter West Campaign
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Suter WEST Campaign Into Final Stretch

In recent weeks, fundraising efforts to support the second and final phase of renovations to Suter Science Center reached another milestone: we crossed the $10.3 million mark against the total goal of $11.3 million!

"We cannot let up now," says Kirk Shisler '81, vice president for advancement. "In order to fully fund the renovations planned for the western half of Suter Science Center, we must raise the final $1 million by December 31. It's urgent that we achieve this goal to bring new Engineering labs online by the fall 2018 and to make other critical improvements to the lower and upper levels of Suter Science Center."

The campaign received a welcome boost last spring when an alumni couple committed a $500,000 challenge gift to match all contributions through December 31, 2017. Over $200,000 of new gifts and commitments have been received toward the challenge gift.

In EMU's Centennial year in which we celebrate EMU's legacy in many areas, including our outstanding impact in the sciences, all alumni and friends are invited to support this campaign. Click here to make your gift today!

The Suter West Renovation

Both lower and upper levels of Suter West must be updated to bring the center into full and productive service. This phase of the campaign will provide new labs to support a new engineering major; renovation of S- 106 lecture hall in honor of President Loren and Pat Swartzendruber; updated HVAC and sprinkler systems; an expanded entrance to include a school bus pick-up and drop-off area; and refurbished classrooms with interactive projection technology.

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Our Engineering Major

EMU launched a general engineering program in fall 2016, building on its pre-engineering track, offered since 1980. The new bachelor of science in engineering offers concentrations in mechanical engineering and computer engineering. The program will seek ABT accreditation.

The new major will attract at least 10 new students per year, with an anticipated total program enrollment of 30 students within the first four years. Ultimately, we expect to grow to as much as twice that number with 60 engineering students across the four years.

The strengths of EMU’s undergraduate curriculum – rigorous academics with a concern for the common good, a focus on environmental and social sustainability, and a long tradition of crosscultural engagement – will shape the new engineering program.

The former psychology department (Suter West, lower level) will be converted to new engineering labs to support the engineering program with:

  • a rapid prototyping lab with 3-D printers;
  • a computer design lab with computer-based design and engineering stations;
  • an engineering support lab; and
  • spaces for faculty-student collaboration and group study.
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A New Day for Iconic S-106 Lecture Hall

S-106 has been a prominent classroom and lecture hall since it opened in 1968. Alumni from the 1970s and early 80s will recall that “IDS” (Interdisciplinary Studies) classes were featured there, along with the ever popular Suter Science lecture series. To this day S-106 is in constant demand to house large classes, lectures and special events including movies hosted by the Campus Activities Council.

S-106 also happens to be the place where President Loren Swartzendruber took his first class when he was a student at EMU in 1968! To celebrate and honor President Loren and Pat Swartzendruber’s 13 years of service to EMU, the Board of Trustees has announced that upon the completion of the Suter West renovation, S-106 will be named in honor of the Swartzendrubers.

As is the case with all the spaces in Suter West, S-106 is in need of a complete renovation to address poor lighting, worn seating (that dates to 1968), and to upgrade the technology to achieve high quality audio and visual elements for enhanced teaching and learning. The approximate cost of this renovation is $500,000.

Donors of $10,000 or more to the Suter West campaign will have the option of being named among Friends of President Loren and Pat Swartzendruber in making the renovation of S-106 and Suter West possible.

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The Suter East Campaign is Complete!

Visit a virtual tour of the Suter East renovation!

Suter Science Center, which opened in 1968, has launched more than 3,500 science and math alumni into professions that embody EMU’s mission to “bring healing and hope to a diverse world.”

The late Dr. Daniel B. Suter and exemplary science faculty who followed him have built a solid foundation for holistic science at EMU. Rooted in Anabaptist-Mennonite values of sustainability, social justice and service to others, the program has produced ethically minded, highly prepared and globally aware graduates who serve with distinction in their respective fields.

In 2013, EMU concluded a $7.3 million campaign – launched in 2007 – to fund the renovation of Suter East, or Phase I of the campaign. The result: transformation of well-worn labs into bright, high tech, state-of-the art facilities commensurate with the needs and expectations of EMU’s outstanding faculty and students. Fall of 2015 marks its use to full capacity.

View the Suter East wing and labs dedication photo gallery.

Support the Suter West Campaign!

Learn more – contact us at 540-432-4203 or at to learn more about the Suter West Campaign and request a case for support.

Become an advocate – voice your support with community and business leaders; encourage others to join the conversation; offer your prayerful support for this project and for EMU students, faculty and staff.

Pledge your support – consider a multi-year commitment to achieve a gift of significance; consider a gift of appreciated securities to leverage your impact for this campaign. To discuss your commitment, contact Kirk Shisler, vice president for advancement at 540-432-4203 or at

Make a one-time gift – contact us at 540-432-4203 or visit our giving page at Checks to support the campaign can be sent to:

Eastern Mennonite University
Office of Development
1200 Park Road
Harrisonburg VA 22802

A variety of naming opportunities are available, and can be used to honor a loved one, a family, or a beloved professor. For more information, contact Kirk Shisler, vice president for advancement at 540-432-4203 or at