Statement from Conrad Grebel University College Concerning Frank H. Epp

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Today, Mennonite Church Eastern Canada (MCEC) and Mennonite Central Committee Canada (MCC) announced a finding of sexual misconduct against Frank H. Epp (1929-1986) following an investigation by the two organizations. 

Epp served as Grebel’s president from 1973 to 1979 and remained a faculty member until his death in 1986. He was an ordained minister  who pastored a number of Mennonite congregations, and served in many leadership positions within the Mennonite community in Canada, including at Mennonite Central Committee and what is now Mennonite Church Canada.   

This news is very difficult for the Grebel community, and for the wider Mennonite world. Our hearts go out to the survivor and to the survivor’s family, who have borne the weight of this harm for decades. I commend MCEC and MCC for their commitment to investigate complaints of sexual misconduct.  My hope is that bringing this to light will provide a measure of justice and peace to everyone involved. 

I also acknowledge how wrenching this finding will be for the Epp family, and I extend concern and care to them on behalf of the College.  

Since this misconduct occurred outside the scope of Epp’s employment at Grebel, the College was not a party to the investigation.  Although the misconduct did not happen in the context of Epp’s service here, I am very concerned about this serious finding against our former faculty member and president.       

One of our responses will be to conduct a third-party search of our archival files to determine whether Grebel is in possession of any information relevant to this matter.  

Additionally, in light of this finding, the College will formally review the use of Frank Epp’s name on spaces and programs named for him. 

In their respective statements, MCEC and MCC invite anyone with further information to come forward, and each have provided confidential pathways for disclosure.   

In addition to those resources, University of Waterloo’s Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Office is available to provide confidential advice concerning any incidents of sexual misconduct that involve the College, past or present. Meaghan Ross, the Sexual Violence Response Co-ordinator, can be reached at 519-888-4567 ext. 40025, or by email at m23ross@uwaterloo.ca

Grebel is firmly committed to being a place that is free from all forms of sexual harassment, misconduct or violence. Although it is painful for us to learn of sexual misconduct committed by one of our leaders, we resolve to learn from this experience, and to apply what we learn to make Grebel a better and safer place now and in the future.   

Sincerely, 
Marcus Shantz 
President, Conrad Grebel University College


General Inquiries  
Jen Konkle  
Marketing and Communications Manager  
grebel@uwaterloo.ca   
226-339-6830   

Alumni Inquiries  
Fred Martin  
Director of Advancement  
fwmartin@uwaterloo.ca
519-572-7704   

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