Kenton Kaylor Brubaker (PhD in Horticulture, Ohio State University) taught a wide spectrum of courses in biology and horticulture at Eastern Mennonite University for over thirty-five years. He also taught at Congo Polytechnic Institution and Free University of Congo under MCC, where he wrote a cell biology text in French. He married Emma Shetler in 1955, and they had four children: Karl, business manager at Hesston College; Kaye, professor of engineering at the University of Maryland; Jane, campus horticulturalist at the University of Oregon; and Annette, elementary teacher in Arlington, MA. Several years after Emma’s death, he married Shirley E. Yoder, a pastor at Park View Mennonite Church in Harrisonburg, VA. During his career, Kenton developed a self-paced text in biochemistry, an international agriculture program, and a campus arboretum. He was active in ecological concerns, recycling, and alternative agriculture and participated in several national Science Foundation summer institutes in radiation biology, ecology, research in plant physiology, and genetic engineering. His principle avocations are watercolor painting, international stamp collecting, and tennis. His travels have taken him to many countries. He remains interested in the integration of science and religion and in a sustainable lifestyle. Currently he volunteers at Booksavers, an MCC program, where he cuts up and recycles books. He is an active, founding member of Shalom Mennonite Congregation.
George R. Brunk III (ThD, Union Theological Seminary in Virginia), named interim president of the Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart, IN, for 2009–2010, is also Professor of New Testament at Eastern Mennonite Seminary, where he has taught since 1974 and has continued teaching part time since reaching retirement age. He was also the dean of the seminary from 1977 to1999. He served as field administrator and pastor in Italy under the Virginia Mennonite Board of Missions from 1964 to 1970. He has been involved in denominational service as a member of the Council of Faith, Life, and Strategy of the General Board of the (old) Mennonite Church and, more recently, of the Interchurch Relations Committee of the Mennonite Church USA. He was moderator of the Mennonite Church General Assembly from 1989 to 1991. He is an ordained Mennonite minister and overseer in the Virginia Mennonite Conference. He was married to Erma Hess (deceased), with whom he had two children, Douglas and Valerie (Hertzler). He is now married to Ruthann Miller, mother of Rachel (Jacobs), Eric, and Lynelle (Clark). George and Ruthann share a total of eleven grandchildren.
Omar Eby (MFA, University of Virginia) is Professor Emeritus of English at Eastern Mennonite University. Born on a farm near Hagerstown, MD, he received a B.A. in English from EMC(U) in 1957. He taught for six years in Africa—Somalia, Tanzania, and Zambia. He taught writing and literature for twenty-seven years at EMU before taking early retirement to pursue his own writing. His one break from the classroom was a three-year stint at MCC, Akron, PA. Eby has published books of fiction, biography, and personal experience, his most recent being Fifty Years, Fifty Stories: the Mennonite Mission in Somalia, 1953–2003, and The Boy and the Old Man: Three Years in Somalia. He also edited his brother-in-law Joseph Shenk’s letters to him and published them as Rafiki: Letters to Omar. Eby married Anna Kathryn Shenk, and they have three children. They live near Harrisonburg, VA, and attend Weavers Mennonite Church.
Ray Elvin Horst (M.A. in span class=ParagraphItalicish, Temple University) has done additional studies in language pedagogy and Hispan class=ParagraphItalicic civilization. He developed tools for looking at economic and political issues as part of the language learning process in first and second year span class=ParagraphItalicish classes. He has led numerous student groups to Spain and Latin America. Three of those visits were semester long programs of Eastern Mennonite University, in which his wife Violet served as co-leader. In 1997 he initiated a two-week visit to Cuba as part of the semester in Central America. Since retiring from EMU in 2003, he has adapted his skills in the span class=ParagraphItalicish classroom to the teaching of English to immigrants in classes meeting two nights each week, and he regularly helps train new tutors under the Skyline Literacy Coalition. Ray and Vi are the parents of Heather and Stephanie Horst and are members of Community Mennonite Church in Harrisonburg, VA, where Ray is involved in the Sunday school and music activities. He also sings in the Shenandoah Valley Choral Society.
Vernon E. Jantzi (PhD in Sociology of Development, Cornell University), named interim dean for 2009–2010 at Eastern Mennonite University, served as professor of sociology at EMU for more than thirty years. As co-founder and former director of the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding, he brought together the fields of peacebuilding, development, and restorative justice. He has worked extensively at the interface of these fields in Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, Southeast Asia, and the South Pacific. In addition to his teaching, he has served as advisor to the Costa Rican government on land reform and the Peruvian ministry of education on span class=ParagraphItalicish-Quechua bilingual education. He has served as a member of the Board and Executive Committee of the Mennonite Central Committee for eleven years. Since his youth he has been an avid student of span class=ParagraphItalicish linguistics and Latin American literature—a significant asset in his relating to Latin American culture and immigration issues in the United States. In his retirement he has concentrated his efforts on creating spaces for interfaith dialogue and interaction. In 1963 he married Dorothy Leaman. They have two children, Terrence, married to Elizabeth Phelps, and Rosanne, plus granddaughter Valerie Lynn.
Jay B. Landis (D.A., Idaho State University) is Professor Emeritus of English at Eastern Mennonite University. Beginning at Eastern Mennonite High School in 1956, he transitioned after twelve years to Eastern Mennonite College/University’s English department, completing fifty years of teaching in 2007. His decades of classroom experience, shading finally into three generations of students, have been the source of renewed inspiration. A native of Lancaster, PA, he received degrees in English from EMC, Case-Western Reserve University, and Idaho State University. He is married to Peggy Heatwole of Harrisonburg, VA, and they are the parents of two daughters, Ann Landis of Tallahassee, FL, and Jill Landis Snider of Broadway, VA, and the grandparents of Rebecca, Nathaniel, and Timothy Snider. Close residents of the university, he and Peggy are involved in the congregational life and mission of the Park View Mennonite Church. He continues a bit of connection with EMU’s Adult Degree Completion Program, volunteers in community agencies, sings in the Shenandoah Valley Choral Society, and enjoys growing roses.
John A. Lapp (PhD, University of Pennsylvania) wrote his PhD dissertation on The Mennonite Church in India 1897–1962 (published in 1972). Recently he has written essays about the history of Mennonite World Conference and the Mennonite scene in the year 2000, both articles appearing in the Mennonite Quarterly Review. He taught history at EMC and served as dean, provost, and professor of history at Goshen College. Before becoming the executive secretary of MCC (1985–1996), he was the executive secretary of the MCC peace section and represented the Mennonite Church on the MCC executive committee. In retirement Lapp has been an occasional teacher, speaker, and writer. He is also the coordinator of the Global Mennonite History Project for Mennonite World Conference. Currently he is chair of the Lititz Mennonite Church and the Lancaster Interchurch Peace Witness. He has partnered with Alice Weber Lapp for fifty-four years, and together they are the parents of three and grandparents of six.
(PhD in the Study of
Religion, Harvard University)—after serving in Europe and Korea under
MCC, attending Goshen Biblical Seminary, and then serving in Japan
under MBM—decided to go back to school in order to understand more
fully the world, in particular China, Japan, and himself. Twenty-two
years later, after studying, teaching, and doing research in the U.S.,
he returned to Japan to serve seventeen years under the Mennonite
Mission Network (formerly MBM). In Japan he taught at Tokyo Biblical
Seminary, directing its Asia Graduate School of Theology and its Tokyo
Mission Research Institute programs, and also worked closely with both
Japanese and North American Mennonites. During his seminary years, he
met and married Nancy Burkholder, who went with him to Japan, where
their three children were born: Steven, now a research scientist at
MIT’s Lincoln Laboratories; Suelyn, a church resource development
coordinator in Madison, WI, and graphic designer of both volumes of the
ACRS memoirs; and Robert (Bobby), a professor of medieval British
literature at Indiana University South Bend. In
James O. Lehman’s (MLS, Kent State University) early interest in reading nudged him toward teaching and a being a librarian in Ohio and then moving into a professional library career for nearly four decades at Harrisonburg, VA. He served twenty-three years as the library director at Eastern Mennonite College/University in the early years of the revolutionary transformation of library automation and digitization of information availability. Thereafter he turned to archiving Virginia Mennonite materials. Love of local history led to a major book on his Kidron, Ohio, home community. Then followed an avocation of researching/writing eight congregational histories, one on Mennonite tent evangelism, and the 2007 Johns Hopkins University publication, Mennonites, Amish, and the American Civil War, which he coauthored with Steven M. Nolt. Now partially retired, he and Dorothy enjoy their family of five children, eight grandchildren, and one great grandchild. They have participated at Lindale Mennonite Church over nearly four decades, and he has served on regional and national historical committees.
Elmer S. Miller (PhD in Anthropology, University of Pittsburgh) and his wife, Anna Lois Longenecker, married since 1953, have two daughters and four grandchildren. From 1956 to 1963 they served in the Argentine Chaco under the Mennonite Board of Missions. Elmer taught anthropology at Temple University from 1966–1996, where he became full professor in 1980. In anthropology, his avocation since his studies at Hartford in 1956, his focus has been on the social transformation of belief systems in cross-cultural perspective. In addition to a textbook and more than twenty articles in professional journals, he wrote the book Nurturing Doubt about his personal experiences in questioning dogma in both theology and anthropology. His book, Armonia y Disonancia en una Sociedad: Los Tobas Argentinos, read widely in Latin America, is out of print, but The Human Relations Area Files at Yale University published his dissertation and the two-volume A Critically Annotated Bibliography of the Gran Chaco Toba. Since retiring in 1996, he and Lois have become active members of Germantown Mennonite Church. They also attend Covenant Mennonite Fellowship in Sarasota during the winter months.
Catherine R. Mumaw (PhD, Pennsylvania State University) is Professor Emerita of Human Development and Family Sciences at Oregon State University. She taught at Lancaster Mennonite School, Eastern Mennonite College, Goshen College, and Oregon State University and worked at Kathmandu University’s School of Education in Nepal before retiring in Oregon. She was active in national and state professional organizations for fifty years, supported the International Federation for Home Economics for forty years, and was an Executive Committee member and/or external advisor to two World Congresses. She directed student programs in Jamaica and participated in scholar exchanges in Malawi and India. Her honors include the 1985 Indiana HEA Leader Award, 1994 Distinguished Faculty Award by the OSU Home Economics Alumni Association, 2002 Oregon Association of Family and Consumer Sciences Community Service Award, and EMU’s 2006 Alumna of the Year. She served on the Board of Directors for Mennonite Community Association, Mennonite Mutual Aid Association, and Mennonite Economic Development Associates. Currently she is on the Steering Committee for ACRS. She has nurtured the hobbies of choral singing, amateur photography, and international travel. In 2005 she married Clair L. Basinger. They moved to Harrisonburg, VA, in 2007 and attend Harrisonburg Mennonite Church.
Laban Peachey (EdD, George Washington University), born in 1927 to Shem and Saloma (Bender) Peachey in Springs, PA, is the sixth of ten children. He and Helen Mumaw, whom he married in 1953, had four children; and the family now includes eleven grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Following his time in Civilian Public Service, Laban enrolled at Eastern Mennonite College in 1949. From 1953 to 1968 Laban taught psychology and was dean of students at EMC. He served as president of Hesston College in Hesston, KS, from 1968 to 1980. In the 1980s Laban and Helen made their home in Goshen, IN, where he was the vice-president of marketing at Mennonite Mutual Aid. Since 1990 Laban has held part time assignments at EMU and in various congregations as interim pastor. He was also involved in the beginning of the Casselman Historians in Grantsville, MD, and of The Valley Brethren-Mennonite Heritage Center in Harrisonburg, VA. Laban and Helen and their children were part of Mennonite congregations in the several communities where they lived. Upon returning to the Shenandoah Valley, they became members of the Lindale congregation, which Helen had attended as she was growing up. Helen was buried in the Lindale cemetery after her death in December of 2000.
Hubert R. Pellman (PhD, University of Pennsylvania) came to Eastern Mennonite School in 1936 as a student and in 1941 as a teacher. He retired in 1984 after forty years of teaching English and literature at the college. In those many years of teaching he had great satisfaction in relating to students and faculty. The Pellman Language and Literature Endowed Chair was established at his retirement when he was named Professor Emeritus of English. In 1964–65 while on sabbatical at Westmont College, CA, he was asked to consider writing a history of EMS/EMC. After his several years of research and writing, this history was published in 1967 for the fifty-year celebration of the school’s founding. He was pastor of a small church near Grottoes, VA, for seventeen years. Hubert and his wife, Mildred, have wide-ranging friendships, local and international, and take pleasure in visits with family and friends in their retirement home in Harrisonburg, VA.
Lee Snyder (PhD, University of Oregon) has spent most of her career in Mennonite higher education. Growing up on a rye grass farm in Oregon and meeting her future husband, Delbert, at Western Mennonite School, Lee was determined to pursue further education. Choosing between science and literature was difficult, but inspired by a high school English teacher, she eventually chose literature. Looking back, she says, “Having no idea what I would do with my life, I discovered that English was the best choice I could have made.” She served as president of Bluffton University (1996–2006), following a number of roles at Eastern Mennonite University (1974–1996), including being the vice president and academic dean (1984–1996). Lee, Del and their two daughters spent three years in Nigeria in a teaching assignment under Mennonite Missions Associates, an experience that shaped Snyder’s international interests and Mennonite Church commitments. Currently she is serving as interim provost at Eastern Mennonite University (2008–09) and continues active in leadership development and board involvements.
A. Grace Wenger (M.A., University of Pennsylvania) is Professor Emeritus of Millersville University. Her teaching career of thirty-nine years ranged from a one-room elementary school through two Mennonite high schools—Eastern Mennonite School and Lancaster Mennonite School—to an associate professorship at Millersville State College (now Millersville University). She also served as the dean of women at EMC and as the faculty advisor of Scriblerus, the creative writing society there. Most of her writing has been in response to assignments from Mennonite organizations. One of these led to her book, Frontiers of Faithfulness: The Story of the Groffdale Mennonite Church, published in 1992. A member of this church, she has been active in Sunday school, summer Bible school, and sewing circle. Among her most significant accomplishments are helping underprivileged students succeed in college and working for fair housing for families facing discrimination. Because of the success of the program she developed for low-performing students, she received a Certificate of Excellence in Teaching from the Pennsylvania Department of Education and was awarded a Commonwealth Distinguished Chair for the academic year of 1976–1977. Now in an apartment at Landis Homes Retirement Community, she enjoys reading, volunteering, and developing new friendships. She attributes her cheerful attitude toward life to a happy childhood on a farm with supportive parents and four older sisters.
(PhD, University of
Iowa) is Professor Emeritus of French at Eastern Mennonite University.
The oldest of five brothers on an Iowa farm, he attended Iowa Mennonite
School and later Eastern Mennonite College (now EMU), majoring in
English and history. After language study in Brussels following
graduation from EMU, he served two years with MCC’s new Teachers Abroad
Program in the Congo. That
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