Conrad Grebel University College
140 Westmount Road North
Waterloo, ON, Canada, N2L 3G6
Conrad Grebel Programs
Building Community for a Lifetime of Happiness
Len Ends a Distinguished Career at Grebel
New Testament Professor Brings a Fresh Voice
The Passing of the Baton
Distinguished Alumni Award
Rotarians Tackle Peace
Unearthing Justice: Reflections from Learning in Timmins
Marpeck Award to support Grebel’s Engineering Students
Peace Studies Conference comes to Waterloo
50th Anniversary Will Have Many Stories
July 2013 Progress
There’s a famous Chinese proverb that the University of Waterloo Chancellor, Prem Watsa, tells with gusto to graduates:
“If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap. If you want happiness for a day, go fishing. If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody else.” His explanation of the proverb stresses a value we hold dear at Grebel: community building.
Indeed, the 2012-2013 academic year was marked by building community in every sense of the term. From building up faculty, launching programs and activities, to enlarging a large donor base that literally helped us purchase the brick and mortar for our 22,000 square foot academic expansion project, Grebel has been immersed in building community “to serve church and society.” Together we are passionately committed “to seek wisdom, nurture faith, and pursue peace.”
Here is an update of the community building going on at 140 Westmount Road North this year—block by block!
From the time we broke ground 15 months ago, our much needed $8.7 million dollar multi-purposed academic expansion project has been exciting, challenging, and occupying the expertise and imagination of dozens of people and committees around the clock. When you take a diverse construction plan (enhanced space for Music, new community education rooms, enlarged library & archives, a new welcoming front entrance, and a new 4th floor for the MSCU Centre for Peace Advancement) and tie it to an existing old building with structural issues of its own, all the while working around the hundreds of people in the College during an especially long winter, you’ve got your hands full! This is why, in addition to our two expert construction partners—Nith Valley Construction and Architecture Incorporated, 5 Grebel committees (Building, Furnishings & Finishings, Coping, Campaign Advisory, and CPA Advisory) have worked diligently to provide sound direction on a myriad of decisions—large and small—to our Board of Governors. As Director of Operations, Paul Penner reflects: “Staff and students have been very patient with the noise, dust and confusion brought on by the construction.” We’re over half way done! Look to join us for an Open House in Spring 2014!
Grebel was blessed with a record level of donations from generous Grebel supporters--nearly $3 million dollars mostly for capital, but also for the Grebel Annual Fund! At the end of the fiscal year (April 30), the “Next Chapter Capital Campaign” stood at $6,145,067 in total gifts and pledges. Coupled with budgeted grant revenue, we are now looking for a few additional “capping” gifts to reduce the $1 million mortgage left on our $8.7 project! Director of Development, Fred Martin, notes that the Campaign has created a real sense of ownership among the Grebel faithful. Friends and family have come together to contribute to Library furnishings, Archive digitization, innovative spaces in the Centre for Peace Advancement, Music studios, an art gallery, commissioned sculpture, and special seminar rooms. As one example, after reading in the Fall issue of Grebel NOW about the gift from the Steinmann family to name a Music teaching studio in their parents’ honour, Ervin and Erma, from New Hamburg, two Grebel sisters, Marlene Neufeld and Sharon Johnston, decided to name the remaining practice room for their parents John and Helen Dick from Leamington.
Community building happened in a pronounced way among the Grebel faculty this year. Through a series of high profile retirements, exciting recruits and rewarding promotions, Grebel profoundly reshaped its community of scholars. As Dean Jim Pankratz noted: “We paid tribute to 3 long-standing faculty members who retired at the top of their game as full professors, widely known and respected: Hildi Froese Tiessen,Tom Yoder Neufeld, and Len Enns. Collectively they gave 90 years of service to the College!” We attracted 3 engaging and cutting-edge scholars in Religious Studies, Choral Conducting, and Global Music who begin this July. Reina Neufeld, Assistant Professor of PACS, completed her first year and taught in our newest graduate program—MPACS— launched this fall with a dynamic cohort of 18 students. Marlene Epp, History, was promoted to full professor, and Derek Suderman, Religious Studies, was promoted to associate professor with tenure. I had the distinct pleasure of teaching a course this year in each of our “signature” graduate programs: Theological Studies and MPACS. The Grebel academic program saw 4000 course enrolments this year.
At the center of the Student Services mission statement is the phrase: “building and celebrating community.” As Mary BrubakerZehr, Director of Student Service says, “The C-word flows easily from the mouths of people here, but the reality of community is experienced when each person gives something of themselves whether by means of a friendly hall greeting, a community supper presentation, participation in service trips, retreats, banquets and talent shows or leading a club.” The mid-week Community supper with Grebel students living on and off campus continues to score very high on exit surveys for creating a welcoming sense of community. The Fall Commencement theme “Under Construction” included signing a steel I-beam as the Act of Community. Six students attended the annual MEDA conference in Niagara Falls with support from the local MEDA chapter; 41 students participated in service learning trips this year to St. Catharines, Timmins, and Kentucky. We welcomed another student refugee, Mustafa Illunga, from Kenya, and Student Council, under the direction of Danny El Aguizi, launched GrebeLife, a creative and colourful student life web presence. One of the highlights in leadership development was the wonderful student production of Anne of Green Gables. Sixty-three students participated, under the direction of Rachel Dyck, Rachel Pauls, Rachel Urban-Shipley and Sarah Brnjas. Over 300 students continue to relate to Grebel student life and the admission cycle just completed for next year was especially robust!
Together, these building blocks, like quilt blocks, beautify, strengthen and comfort us when pieced together. As we conclude our 49th year as a Mennonite College, and look with excitement to celebrating our 50th, may the Grebel community continue to cherish the many ways we invoke the C-word as we go about seeking happiness for a lifetime.
Saturday September 28 at 3:00 pm
The operating budget for 2012-2013 had budgeted expenses over $6.4 million. We ended the fiscal year with a surplus for the 15th year running! Audited statements and full annual report will be available at the AGM. Everyone is welcome at this meeting.
Student Faith Backgrounds
5 Year Donations
Leonard Enns has been a musical pillar at Grebel for 36 years. As the longest serving faculty member to date, Len has been a teacher, conductor, composer, and department chair. Because of the performative nature of his appointment, Len has also been a tremendous ambassador and successful recruiter for Grebel!
While Len has taught a full range of courses including Conducting, Music Theory, Jazz, Composition and Canadian Music, much of his teaching has been as a conductor of all three of Grebel’s choirs: the University Choir, the Chamber Choir, and the Chapel Choir. He founded the Conrad Grebel Chapel Choir in 1977 and directed it for over three decades. The choir produced six recordings between 1995 and 2009. Len’s church and tour engagements with the choir are impressive - he led congregations in worship in nearly 300 church visits!
The connection between Len and his choristers is almost electric. Students have said “He’s so passionate about music—you just have to do what he says!” and “He’s so patient with us—he really helps students improve.” These strong relationships led to the formation of DaCapo Chamber Choir 15 years ago - a choir initially comprised of graduated Chapel Choir members who wanted to continue singing with Len. Reflecting on highlights from his career, Len said “My work with the hundreds of singers in the Chapel Choir remains the single most treasured part of my years at Grebel.”
Not only has Len led a distinguished career as a professor, but he is also a world-renowned composer and has been nominated for a Juno award several times. Just in the past 7 months, many of his new and recent pieces have been premiered: I wonder as I wander (choral arrangement, commissioned by Camerata Nova), Deep Peace, Healing Light (commissioned by the Saskatoon Children’s Choir), Behind the Seen (song cycle, commissioned by Mel Braun), Surge amica mea (commissioned by the Golden Gate Men’s Chorus), and Nun danket all our God (for choir, violin, cello, percussion; commissioned by Camerata Nova). Len also gave the Benjamin Eby Lecture at Grebel in April, answering the question “How can I keep from singing?” And after successfully adjudicating at the Llangollen International Music Eisteddfod in Wales last year, Len was asked to return and will spend his second week of retirement there. The Grebel Board of Governors conferred the honour of Professor Emeritus on Len in his retirement.
“Len has so many talents and gifts,” shared Jennie Wiebe (‘99) a former Chapel Choir member and current DaCapo member. “It is a testament to his character that he has chosen to use and share them as he has: teaching, working with and among young adults, training the next generation of conductors, mentoring a new wave of Canadian composers (some highly successful ones at that), championing Canadian composers, and above all, helping all of us let the music sink a little deeper into our souls.”
If you have fond memories of choir practices with Len, you are invited to the Chapel Choir Reunion, as part of the larger 50th Anniversary celebrations at Grebel. All singers from the past 50 years are welcome to join the choir! grebel.ca/50th
One of the things choir members love the most about Len Enns are the wacky, profound, and puzzling phrases he uses during rehearsals. Compiled by Jennie Wiebe using Facebook, Twitter, the Grebel Archives, and conversation, this is just a short list!
Len on musical terms and expression
Sing it “shimmery”
It’s marked fortissimo - right now it’s mezzopiano apologissimo
Crescendo molto… I think you can get one of those at Dairy Queen.
Make it a Micro crescendolette.
Like a little dance, like fat little angels moving along the ballet floor.
The beginning of this piece is like a great big cosmic sneeze.
Len being mad
It would be really cool if you’d just look up. It would make me feel useful.
It kind of sounds like you’re milking cows.
Don’t sing it like you’re delivering pizzas in Altona.
Please write this in blood...or spit...or whatever you do....
Len on theology
If Jesus had been born in Manitoba, you’d be the Northern Lights.
Softly and “tenorly,” Jesus is calling.
Be super-Anglican on this.
Len being Len
Sing the space between the notes.
It has to have the whole universe in your eyes.
If hope sounds like anything, it is this.
Let the music be worthy of the silence that precedes it.
Professor Emeritus, Tom Yoder Neufeld (left), was short-listed for the 2013 Michael Ramsey Prize for theological writing. Theology Professor Jeremy Bergen described the Ramsey Prize as “the most significant prize for a theological book in English. The books nominated for this prize do not propose tidy answers but exhibit rigorous, honest, and patient wrestling with difficult texts and ideas.” Past winners have been a who’s who of cutting edge, yet accessible theological writing. The initiator of the prize, Rowan Williams (pictured with Tom), formerly an Archbishop of Canterbury, is himself among the most significant and influential living theologians.
Arnold Snyder, Professor Emeritus of History, was the keynote speaker at a Bridgefolk conference in Minnesota. A group of Mennonite and Catholic scholars and church leaders gathered to jointly mark the anniversary of Michael and Margaretha Sattler’s martyrdom in 1527. Arnold is the author of the most recent biography of Michael Sattler, and in his address, traced the changing views of Sattler that have appeared over the nearly five centuries since his death.
Jim Pankratz, Grebel’s Dean was given the 2013 Peace and Dialogue Award at the Intercultural Dialogue Institute banquet in April.
Conrad Grebel University College is pleased to welcome Alicia Batten as an Associate Professor of New Testament. Previously Chair of Religious Studies at the University of Sudbury, Alicia has significant teaching and administrative experience.
“Alicia brings many intellectual and relational gifts to us in joining a strong Religious Studies and Theological Studies department at Grebel,” noted Grebel President, Susan Schultz Huxman. “She is a proven and highly regarded leader and mentor, she is exceedingly well published, and has amassed a sterling teaching record from a broad range of courses. She knows, understands and affirms our Mennonite identity, and has a particular affinity for peace and justice issues.”
“One of the reasons why I was attracted to Conrad Grebel is its commitment to justice and peace,” explained Alicia. “Social justice has been at the heart of my own theological development. These values have motivated much of my scholarship, teaching and service, and I welcome an environment in which I can continue to pursue them in a range of ways, such as possible teaching in the Peace and Conflict Studies and MTS programs, through working with student groups, and involvement in university, community and church organizations.”
Conrad Grebel Board of Governors member, Fred Redekop is “impressed with Alicia’s commitment to a biblically-based approach to peace and the Gospel. Her academic focus has been on the book of James, a book that reflects the challenge of Word and Deed for us as Mennonites. She brings a strong academic presence, but also a strong teaching record in her previous positions that I believe to be extremely important. I believe that Alicia will continue the great tradition of biblical scholarship and teaching that Grebel has been known for in its history.”
During the past 15 years, Alicia has taught at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota, Pacific Lutheran University (PLU) in Washington, and in Sudbury. She has demonstrated creativity and competence in teaching a great range of undergraduate biblical courses including surveys, book studies, thematic courses, and hermeneutics. Her books and articles have been primarily on the Letter of James, the teachings of Jesus, wealth, poverty, clothing and adornment in the early Church.
Huxman adds, “Alicia’s proven track record in community-building will make her a strong leader in strengthening ties with colleagues at the University of Waterloo and in offering a refreshing voice in the community for advancing faith and learning from an Anabaptist perspective.”
“Alicia will not only serve students and our community well,” commented Jim Pankratz, Grebel’s Dean, “but, she will also be a great resource to our faculty and programs. We are delighted to welcome her as teacher, scholar, community educator, advocate for peace and justice, and colleague.”
Mark Vuorinen is Grebel’s newest faculty member in Choral Music. He is well-known in the Kitchener-Waterloo music community and beyond. Mark was the Music Director of the Toronto Chamber Choir and the Toronto Choral Artists, and George Black Fellow in Sacred Music at the Church of the Redeemer in Toronto. He will continue his role as Artistic Director and Conductor of the Grand Philharmonic Choir when he assumes his faculty role at Grebel.
“Besides superb experience and expertise,” President Susan Schultz Huxman noted, “Mark brings energy, poise, collegiality, and eagerness to engage our many music students at Waterloo, the K-W community, and the wider Mennonite church.”
Community building and choral excellence are hallmarks of Conrad Grebel. Jim Pankratz, Grebel’s Dean added, “Mark will inherit a distinguished tradition of choral excellence in the Music program at Conrad Grebel and the University of Waterloo. We are confident that he will build on and enrich that tradition just as he has with the Grand Philharmonic Choir in this community.”
Laura Gray, Chair of the Music Department said, “We are delighted by Mark’s appointment! He brings not only considerable talent and expertise, but also warmth, enthusiasm, and energy as a colleague and teacher. We are excited about the possibilities of forging more tangible links with the community through Mark’s leadership of the Grand Philharmonic and the buzz his appointment will make among students at uWaterloo.” Mark will direct the 40-voice Chamber Choir, oversee the College’s choral program, and teach conducting, choral literature, and other areas of music.
“I am thrilled to be joining the faculty at Conrad Grebel and look forward to contributing to the very fine choral traditions that are such an important part of the college’s life,” remarked Vuorinen. “One of the wonderful things about Grebel is the intersection of religious studies, peace studies, and music. I am particularly pleased by the prospect of working and teaching in this multi-disciplinary environment.”
Mark Vuorinen replaces Leonard Enns who built a strong choral program and distinguished himself as an award winning composer and conductor.
Convocation at Grebel is a celebration of the hard work and dedication that students have shown in their studies. This year’s convocation ceremony was a joyous occasion. Two students graduated with Master of Theological Studies degrees, and more than 80 undergraduates who were residents, music students, and peace and conflict studies students were recognized.
This year’s guest speaker was celebrated broadcaster and alumnus Eric Friesen (‘67) who described music as the one area of study that is both intellectual and emotional, as he spoke on the topic of “Music: The Heavenly Dance.” Eric explained that “music has been there to express our greatest joys, to console us in our deepest sorrows. It has been one of our most moving and satisfying ways to praise God. It has brought us together as people, has given us friends. Music has and continues to express who it is we are, each in our own glorious individuality. Above all, music has made us human, has made us ALIVE and glad to be so.” He concluded, “At your very core - whether you’re an engineer or an arts grad or in computer science or in peace and conflict studies, music is now a part of you for life - and may it grow and deepen and change in the years to come.”
Valedictorian Caleb Redekop shared that his “educational experience was a transformational one.” He reminded the graduating class that regardless of what type of Grebel student you are, there are so many ways in which Grebel is a lot like home - as an academic and social foundation, and as a place of comfort and challenge. He encouraged the graduating class to “give back to the world, just as Grebel gave to us. Let us take the lessons, embrace the struggle, and know that we have learned that there are blessings in the end.”
President Susan Schultz Huxman wished many blessings upon the class of 2013, “as we celebrate community and release our precious gifts to the world.”
Photos from left to right, top down.
1. Jim Pankratz hoods MTS graduate Dawne Driedger
2. 2013 Peace and Conflict Studies grads
3. 2013 Music grads
4. Eric Friesen
Mariam Abdelkhalek, Karissa Alcox, Matthew Amodeo, Matthew Attard, Jacqui Baerg, Cassandra Bangay, Luke Becker, Erin Brooks, Chrissy Brown, Sara Brubacher, Jody Brus, Dylan Campion, Julia Chernushevich, Bethany Cressman, Blaine Cressman, Erica de la Cruz, Richard DeVries, Michelle Donaldson, Tim Dresser, Alex Driedger, Dan Duivesteyn, Sean Dy, Rebecca Dyck, Lindsay Elzinga, Stephanie Epp, Andrea Fankhauser, Ben Fankhauser, Cris Fox, Emma Gard, Vicki Groh, Aaron Gross, Rylan Halteman, Kalem Hammermueller, Meghan Harder, Olivia Henrich, Nadine Hiemstra, Ivie Iyamu, Daniel King, Brent Komer, Jessikah Kumordzie, Charlie Le, Jessica Lounsbury, Michael Maiolo, Sam Mason, Laura McConachie, Callum McGregor, Michelle Metzger, Melissa Murchison, Bethany Noordegraaf, Ellery Penner, Sarah Penner, Tomas Pollard, Eric Postma, Jeremie Raimbault, Joshua Rasera, Carlos Recalde, Brigitte Reda, Caleb Redekop, Alina Rehkopf, Lori Reimer, Donelda Romagnoli, Cameron Rush, Katie Schreiner, Alison Scott, Cody Scott, Michael Shantz, Kerry Smith, Michelle Spiers, Neil Thomas, Quentin Toderick, Marcel Van Helden, Kyle VanderMeer, Victoria Walker, Lindsay Ward, Dan Weber, Sophia Werden Abrams, Jessica White, Audra Wickens, Matthew Wiebenga, Benjamin Winokur, Ruth Wright-Gedcke, Chelsea Young
The Alumni Committee of Conrad Grebel University College is pleased to announce the selection of Andrew Reesor-McDowell (‘76) as this year’s recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Service Award.
Andrew majored in Sociology at the University of Waterloo with a strong interest in Religious Studies. He roomed with Gary Leis (‘74). Decades before Mennonite Church integration, these two young men spearheaded joint youth events that included the Western Ontario Mennonite Conference, from Gary’s background, and the larger Mennonite Conference of Ontario, where Andrew’s father Emerson, was a pastor. Soon these events included Mennonite Youth of Ontario (MYO) from the United Mennonite conference. During this time, Andrew and Gary also participated in a unique Mennonite Voluntary Service experience, travelling to the southern US in a music group called “Cherchez Vivre.” Andrew negotiated with President Winfield Fretz to arrange an Independent Study credit for this experience.
Andrew spent a summer working on a sociology project with Dr. Winfield Fretz and a summer helping to lead a coffee house program at Grand Bend under the leadership of John and Louise Miller. “Grebel was a formative period in my life,” remembers Andrew. “It was a time of intense interest in the studies, the community life and the professors. The extent of interest and involvement from the president and professors in the life of the student community was outstanding.”
In his career, Andrew has been a leader in children’s mental health, working for over 30 years at the Hincks-Dellcrest Treatment Centre in Toronto. Here he served as a family worker, program supervisor, and program director. Since 1988, as a Senior Manager, he had responsibilities that have included open custody services for youth and children’s mental health prevention and early intervention services. He was also the Director of the Hincks-Dellcrest Institute which provided mental health training for professionals.
Leadership in the church and church related ministries has been a focus of Andrew’s volunteer service. He was at the helm of the denomination during some difficult times after integration. He served as Moderator of Mennonite Church Eastern Canada, of Mennonite Church Canada, and served six years on the Grebel Board, 3 years as Chair. Andrew also served as a consultant with Associates Resourcing the Church and assisted with congregations as they examined their unique missions and structures. Andrew served as a consultant to the Grebel Board in 2006 as they worked to shape a strategic plan.
Andrew says that “Grebel has done an outstanding job of supporting students, and providing thoughtful theological leadership to the church. It is gratifying to see how Grebel has developed over the past 50 years and how much the church has benefitted from the vision”.
The Distinguished Alumni Service Award recognizes alumni who have made a significant and unique contribution to the church, community, nation, or world. “Grebel graduates need to see alumni who follow their passions and volunteer their time in important social issues and for furthering God’s kingdom in the Church,” said Wendy Cressman Zehr, who chairs the alumni committee.
Rotary Clubs in the KW area have pledged $54,000 for 2 years for the Rotary Peace Scholarship award for an international MPACS student ($23,000) and for a PACS certificate recipient ($4,000). Ernie Ginsler, Assistant Governor (Kitchener-Waterloo Cluster) of Rotary International signed the gift agreement in April.
The Award is to support and promote training of graduate students and community leaders from areas of conflict around the world in theories and practical methods of conflict management and peace advancement. Funds will be used to offset costs of tuition for students from areas of conflict while they are enrolled in the Master of Peace and Conflict Studies (MPACS) at Conrad Grebel University College. Funds will also be used to make the Conflict Management Certificate program more accessible to participants from domestic communities who require training to manage conflict in professional and community settings.
Rotarians have been known for their successful role in the campaign to eradicate polio. Focusing their energy and fundraising capacity on the issue of peace is next on their list!
Acting Director of Peace and Conflict Studies, Nathan Funk said, “We feel honoured to collaborate with local Rotarians in the advancement of international understanding and peace. We are thrilled to be able to offer generous support for distinguished international students in our growing MPACS program.”
Photo: Susan Schultz Huxman and Ernie Ginsler sign the gift agreement.
Just as spring was finally making itself known in southwestern Ontario, a group of 8 Grebel students with Student Services staff member, Tamara Shantz (‘03), headed north to Timmins for a learning experience entitled “Unearthing Justice: Exploring Indigenous Perspectives on Land”. Through the work and hospitality of Mennonite Central Committee Ontario’s Aboriginal Neighbours program, the group spent one week learning from First Nations people and communities in the north, and engaging the complex conversation around land and resource extraction. “Our learning was rich,” reflected Tamara, “at times surprising, and always interesting.”
by Rachel Dyck, 3rd year English
The trip was heavy on listening, reflecting and discussing. We were not running physical marathons, but we did seem to cover a lot of mental ground, which was important and exhausting all at the same time.
For me, the trip was an opportunity to cultivate deep thinking and understanding that went beyond the initial guilt and hostility I am used to feeling when thinking about First Nations issues in Canada. Rather than watching chaos unfold on the TV screen, we sat in company with people who are working towards healing in difficult yet beautiful situations. Listening to people for several days, I felt I was able to hear what they were actually saying rather than what I was expecting to hear. Whether on the mine tour or in conversation with First Nations people, I realized I was going to have to set my pre-conceived ideas aside if I wanted to understand the people I was meeting and the people with whom I was travelling.
I am grateful for the opportunity we had to connect with people in a new and rather intense way. Our hosts were gracious and we definitely learned a lot, especially how to listen and wonder.
Assumptions and Contradictions
by Robert Gooding-Townsend, 4th year Knowledge Integration and Applied Math
As a learning trip, our trip was about the journey and the landscape it went through. It was not only about the destination, or even the path along the way, but also the rock underneath that path, the sky above it, the obstacles it swerved to avoid, and the paths of those who had come before.
As a learning trip, our trip was about assumptions we had about First Nations, about ourselves, and about Canada.
There was the assumption that we were going to help. The assumption that unscrupulous business practices don’t happen in Canada. The assumption that mining companies are out to get away with everything they can and repay nothing. The assumption that Canadians are not racist. The assumption that the government has no interest in respecting First Nations’ traditional land. The assumption that you have to go to another country for an eye-opening global experience. The assumption that First Nations are bad at navigating the business world. Assumptions about others’ spirituality.
These assumptions, their contradictions, and the sparks that started them were revealed on our trip, resolving into swaths of the blurry watercolour of reality.
As a learning trip, our trip was about stories. Stories of dreamcatcher earrings, drawing shame and ridicule only to come back as a source of quiet pride and deep personal faith. Stories of communities torn apart by the calculated abuses of residential schools. Stories of tedium, deceit and everyday heroism wrapped up in fine print. Stories of a woman who trained in mine ventilation because there was nothing else to do in the town her husband moved to to work on the huge underground highways of uranium mines. The story of a moose who wandered down, down, down the spiralling ramp of an open-pit mine. How we add these stories to our stories.
Thank you to Lyndsay and Lucie, our hosts who shared so much of themselves, and to the all others who guided us along the way. Meegwetch.
Annual Peace Speeches: Grebel students delivered some very inspiring and thought-provoking speeches as part of the C. Henry Smith Oratorical Contest. Jacob Winter (middle) won the top prize with his speech entitled “What’s your problem?” and Hannah Enns (right) was runner up with her speech called “Dinner Time.” Jacob will go on to represent Grebel in this bi-national contest among other Mennonite and Brethren in Christ colleges and universities. (l-r) Ryan Martens spoke on “Valuing Unity and Diversity,” David Siebert spoke on “Geoffrey’s Sense of the Whole,” and Sarah MacKeil discussed “When Differences Threaten to Tear Us Apart: Faith, Hope and Grace in Lebanon.” You can watch Jacob’s presentation at youtube.com/ConradGrebelUC
Christina Edmiston (‘11) (left), Master of Theological Studies grad, spoke about her experience in Grebel’s Theological Studies program at the Lebold Fundraising Banquet last month. Thanks to generous support, the event raised $12,261 for the Ralph and Eileen Lebold (pictured on right) Endowment for Leadership Training. This endowment supports the Applied Studies option of the Master of Theological Studies program, equipping students for ministry, and offering courses in Practical Theology, Ministry Formation, and Supervised Internships. Listen to Christina’s reflections at youtube.com/ConradGrebelUC
Music Library Donation
Barrie (left) and Sheri Cabena graciously donated the entire “Neue Bach Ausgabe” to the Milton Good Library. These musical scores are the second complete edition of the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. “This will be a valuable resource to the Music Department,” noted Professor Ken Hull (right).
Conrad Grebel was pleased to receive a $5,000 grant from the Waterloo Region’s Community Environmental Fund for its new electric vehicle charging station. As another one of the College’s green initiatives, Grebel will implement a charging station for electric and hybrid vehicles. The aim of this project is to increase consumer use of electric vehicles. The charging station will be the first one of its kind on the University of Waterloo campus. The charging station is expected to be ready for use in the fall, soon after the College parking lot is finalized and as the new building construction nears its completion.
“We are pleased that we’ve received funding for this green initiative,” stated Fred W. Martin, Director of Development at Conrad Grebel. “When we first envisioned this building project, we wanted to include some environmental components. Along with the electric car charging station, we are going to be pursuing photovoltaic cells for the roof top, water fountains in the building, and we have included showers in the staff washrooms, giving them the option to bike or walk to work and have access to a shower.”
“Rather than pursuing a specific green building designation, we thought money spent would be better invested in specific initiatives like this one. The charging station will be free for drivers who pay the regular parking fee or have a parking pass,” explained Paul Penner, Director of Operations at Conrad Grebel.
“I’m excited that Grebel is adding an electric car charging station to its parking lot,” said Claudia Van Decker, Music Administrative Assistant at Conrad Grebel. “I drive a Chevrolet Volt to work a few days a week and it would be great to be able to plug in!”
In April 2012 Grebel supporters were asked help reach a goal of $500,000 in gifts for the Mennonite Savings and Credit Union (MSCU) Centre for Peace Advancement. Construction costs for this new floor were estimated at $1.8 million, with the MSCU covering $1m. A year later we are thrilled to report that Grebel alumni and friends have given and pledged $508,683!
This includes gifts of $66,836 in donations to the Frank and Helen Epp Peace Incubator, over our initial goal of $50,000! We have also received initial gifts over $10,000 on a $50,000 goal for the Winfield Fretz Seminar room.
Overall we have received over $6.1 million in donations on the $8.7 million construction project. The board has approved financing of $1 million for this building. However, as board treasurer, Rick Shantz (‘88) says, “we want to invite generous support for this project from our alumni and friends as we would rather not use operating revenue to finance construction costs.”
You may add your name to the list of almost 1000 donors by going to
grebel.ca/giving or by contacting Fred W. Martin. email@example.com
The children of Fred and Pat Gray combined resources to name the final practice room in their honour. Laura Gray, Chair of the Music Department, was thrilled when her siblings David and Susan responded positively to this idea of the $20,000 gift. “It will be nice to walk down the hall in our new music facilities and see Mom and Dad’s name. They have supported and inspired all three of us throughout our lives and this gift is a way of passing on that inspiration to others.”
The only remaining spaces in the music facility to be named are the Digital Music Lab and the Ensemble Rehearsal Studio. ($75,000 each)
We are making steady progress on our new building now,” says Director of Operations Paul Penner. “Drivers along Westmount Road can see the scope of our building which is a highly visible and welcoming facility.”
As of late June, exterior windows are being installed and structural work on the bridges in the atrium and the extended stairwell is continuing. The main office has been temporarily relocated to the entry adjacent to the Great Hall. By January 2014, the main office will be in the new location on Level 2 and the Music department will be in its new facilities on Level 1. During the winter, the existing Library space will be renovated and the collection moved into the new Archive facilities. Construction on the
Level 4 MSCU Centre for Peace Advancement will continue throughout the winter.
The project remains on target for expenses of $8.7 million. A grand opening is tentatively scheduled for Sunday, May 26, 2014.
The Government of Canada has provided funding of $150,000 to the Mennonite Archives of Ontario through the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund of the Department of Canadian Heritage. This investment will support upgrades to the College through the acquisition of specialized equipment to preserve and exhibit archival materials that reflect the Mennonite experience in Ontario. “Archives collect the records of daily life — of people, families, churches, groups and communities,” explained Conrad Grebel’s Archivist/Librarian, Laureen Harder-Gissing.
Archives are a vital part of any community and archival equipment contributes to that vitality in visible and hidden ways. What you will not see when you visit the archives is the special heating and ventilation system keeping paper and digital files, photographs, films and sound recordings at a temperature and humidity designed for their preservation. You will not see the fire suppression system, the sensors, sprinklers and reservoir of chemical clean agent designed to extinguish fires without damaging archival materials. And you will not see the inside of the storage room with its compact shelving designed to triple current storage capacity.
But you will see glass cases housing exhibits drawn from our collections in the archives gallery area. These exhibits will tell the stories of Mennonite history and culture on a local, national, and international scale. A new digital microfilm reader will allow you to focus, magnify, scan and print microfilm of rare documents such as 16th century Anabaptist pamphlets, or refugee records from World War II. A new document scanner will allow you to scan maps, diaries and other delicate materials without causing damage.
When you have a place where archivists and researchers, students, the community and history come together, exciting things happen. This grant recognizes the importance of creating such a place. We are pleased that Canadian Heritage have become partners in this project. We are confident that this project will enrich the awareness and understanding of our history for Canadians both locally and across the country.
Photos from top down
1. This large Music classroom is already brightly lit with the wall of windows. The pink insulation will help soundproof the room.
2. Kitchener-Waterloo MP Peter Braid speaks with Laureen Harder-Gissing and Marlene Epp about the history of Mennonites in Ontario at the official grant announcement on June 7.
3. The Milton Good Library in progress. Students will appreciate the generous views from the new study carrels.
The MSCU Centre for Peace Advancement Advisory has met twice and helped to shape a business plan/budget, draft a governance structure and create a job description for a half-time Director and a part-time Host of the CPA who will assist with logistics for CPA participants.
Advisory Members include:
Fred W. Martin – CPA Start up Manager
Jim Pankratz – Dean
Susan Schultz Huxman – President
Carol Ann Weaver – Music Faculty
Derek Suderman – RS/TS Faculty
Reina Neufeldt – PACS Faculty
James Barber – Grebel Board Member
Mark Weber – Professor of Management and Organization at
uWaterloo’s Conrad Centre for Business and Entrepreneurship
Rick Cober Bauman – Executive Director of MCC Ontario
John Siebert – Executive Director of Project Ploughshares
Dr. Neil Arya – a local physician and Director of Global Health office at
Western University in London.
Photo: Fred Martin checks out the view in the corner of the MSCU Centre for Peace Advancement.
As a University of Waterloo Engineering graduate and a Conrad Grebel alumnus, Edward Penner (’86) and his wife Judy wanted to develop an award that recognized both areas. “Waterloo is a university with a great Engineering program and this will provide support for someone pursuing such a future. Grebel is also a great place, with a unique and positive culture,” reflected Edward. “This award recognizes a student who contributes to Grebel, continuing to foster the great culture we all value. Grebel is clearly a fantastic place to be while gaining an exceptional university education and this award supports both those endeavours. I think it’s important to contribute to the people and places that helped develop us, and prepare us for life ahead.”
Named “The Marpeck Leadership Award,” this generous gift to Grebel will support students pursuing an Engineering degree at Waterloo and who have an aptitude and experience in leadership at the College. The award will be used to retain upper year students in the residence or apartments. Director of Student Services, Mary Brubaker-Zehr is pleased to have this additional support for student leaders. “Engineers comprise about 20% of our residential study body in any given term. They are gifted students who are full of leadership potential and brilliant ideas. This award money allows us to acknowledge and nurture their potential.”
Arnold Snyder, Professor Emeritus of History at Conrad Grebel, explained why the Marpeck Leadership Award is a perfect name for a scholarship for Grebel engineering students. “Pilgram Marpeck was an exceptional engineer for his time, working with transportation solutions and water applications. As a man of high moral principle, he worked at his posts as long as his conscience was not compromised - he never sacrificed principle for wealth, position, job or comfort. Marpeck was a profoundly committed Anabaptist leader, providing leadership to Anabaptist believers all his adult life. Well versed in Scripture and theology, he wrote a significant number of theological treatises and letters, and collaborated with others on even more works, demonstrating his commitment to the Anabaptist way and contributing ideas that challenge us still today.”
“It’s wonderful to have alumni who remember Grebel fondly and make it possible for others to have the same formational experience that they had,” said Director of Development, Fred W. Martin. The Marpeck Leadership award will generate an annual award of approximately $1,000 beginning in 2014.
Conrad Grebel University College and Wilfrid Laurier University’s Department of Global Studies will welcome hundreds of visitors from North America and as far away as Africa, Asia, Europe, South America and Japan, as co-hosts of the 2013 Peace and Justice Studies Association (PJSA) Conference, October 17-19. The theme of this year’s conference is “Peace Studies between Tradition and Innovation.”
With over 300 papers submitted, the conference will feature prominent keynote speakers including Jody Williams, Nobel Peace Prize winner and anti-landmine activist; James Orbinski, Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) chair in Global Health; George Roter, co-founder and CEO of Engineers Without Borders; and Deborah Ellis, children’s rights advocate, author and philanthropist.
The two pre-conference events include a workshop on the theme of Post Conflict Peace Building co-led by PACS professor Reina Neufeld, and a forum for practitioners on Mediation and Restorative Justice, coordinated by Susan Baker, Conflict Management Certificate Program Manager with confirmed presenters Howard Zehr and Judah Oudshoorn.
In recognition of the role played by arts in peace building, the conference will not only feature musical performances prior to keynote speakers, but the Grand Finale is a public performance of Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem on October 19th at the Centre in the Square in Kitchener. This celebration of the 100th year since Britten’s birth, showcases 250 singers as the Grand Philharmonic Choir, the Grand Philharmonic Children’s Choir, Grand Philharmonic Youth Choir, University of Waterloo Chamber Choir, Laurier Singers and Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony under the direction of Mark Vuorinen, conductor and recently appointed faculty member in Choral Music at Grebel.
For more details on the conference www.peacejusticestudies.org/conference
For tickets to the War Requiem www.grandphilchoir.com/event/war-requiem
Stephanie (‘05) and Ben Janzen were delighted to welcome Eve Kathryn into their family July 8, 2012. Her big brothers Micah (6) and Noah (4) are crazy about their little sister and her frequent squeals tell us she feels the same! Ben loves his job working as Stewardship in Action Advisor at Mennonite Savings and Credit Union and is eagerly anticipating the opening of the Centre for Peace Advancement. Stephanie is blessed to spend her days enjoying life at home with the kids.
Dan (‘06) and Melissa Bishop (‘05) were thrilled to welcome their third son Cole Jonathan on August 13, 2012. He has fit in perfectly with the family and is adored by his big brothers Owen (5.5) & Reid (3). Dan has been self-employed for almost a year. He has really enjoyed working from home and the challenges it has offered, as well as the flexibility for family life. Melissa enjoys spending her days at home with the boys!
Luke (‘07) and Kaitlyn Jantzi served in Rumbek, Sudan for 2.5 years, working with Mennonite Central Committee. They were there when South Sudan became a nation. Recently they shared about their trip and their work in economic development and war trauma response.
Congrats to Grebel Students Drew Warkentin and Eric Tichbourn who won the 2013 MEDA video contest! The video features experiences of Marie Warkentin (‘12) and Liz Logheed (‘12) in western Africa.
Mark (‘06) and Allison Brubacher have finished as Brubacher House Museum Hosts. Well-launched into their teaching careers, they are looking forward to having their own place. We thank them very much for their good service these past four years and wish them well as they move on.
Jacquie (‘12) (Read) and Karl Reimer (‘12) have been appointed as the new Brubacher House Museum Hosts. They are very excited about this opportunity and will bring good energy to this role. This role fits well with their interests and other involvements.
Rachel Brnjas (‘12) is working as a Community Animator at Tamarack Institute for Community Engagement and recently organized an assembly in Kitchener that celebrated Community engagement in Neighbourhoods. Paul Born (‘87) is the president of Tamarack. tamarackcommunity.ca
Jonathan Van Egmond (‘13) is currently working as a building repair engineer. For the last 1.5 years, Jonathan has also been living and praying with teams of Christians in ‘urban unreached poor’ neighbourhoods as part of a network called MoveIn.
Religious Studies professor, Derek Suderman has a chapter reflecting on living in the Haldimand Tract in Buffalo Shout, Salmon Cry: Conversations on Creation, Land Justice, and Life Together. “Showcasing a variety of voices—both traditional and Christian, native and non-native—this book offers up alternative histories, radical theologies, and poetic, life-giving memories that can unsettle our souls and work toward reconciliation.” Derek also spent June in Benin, Africa with his family, teaching at the Benin Bible Institute.
If you ever have occasion to research Vietnmam War draft dodgers, Mennonite radio broadcasts, or Middle East conflict, among many other topics, your life will be made easier through the work of Linda Huebert Hecht. Linda began a contract position as an archival assistant at the Mennonite Archives of Ontario in the 1990s, and concluded her work in 2013. She catalogued hundreds of photographs from around the world from The Canadian Mennonite newspaper and processed the Frank H. Epp collection, the largest personal collection in the Archives. Linda is an author and researcher in her own right, and has published several books and articles including Profiles of Anabaptist Women (1996, with Arnold Snyder) and Women in Early Austrian Anabaptism (2009). Linda is pictured above with former Grebel Librarian Archivist Sam Steiner (left) and current Archivist Librarian, Laureen Harder-Gissing (right).
“What a list! Can’t wait to read this book!” This was Vic Winter’s (‘75) email reply when asked to confirm the list of Senior Residents for Grebel’s 50th anniversary book Bridging Mind and Spirit: Conrad Grebel University College, 1963-2013. In another email clarifying a list of former staff, Ruth (Shantz) Johnston (‘66) recounted the story of how she and Gordon were hired in the kitchen for a temporary job while they waited for an MCC placement in the fall of 1967. “It’s been fun to experience reconnections as we planned this event,” noted Anniversary Committee Chair, Fred W. Martin. “Ernie (‘68) and Nancy Regehr let me know that Gordon Campbell (‘67) will be coming from England where he is Professor of Renaissance Studies at the University of Leicester. We’ve asked him to bring reflections on behalf of the 60s era at the Sunday morning celebration service.”
The 50th anniversary weekend will be a time to reconnect with old friends and recall legendary stories. It will be a time to reflect on what Winfield Fretz referred to as the “nebulous vision” that became Conrad Grebel University College. This comment was captured in an interview with John Rempel (‘66) at the College’s 25th anniversary and will be included in a 50th anniversary video that was scripted by alumnus Tim Miller Dyck (‘96) and narrated by Eric Friesen (‘67).
The Alumni Committee has worked to find ways to reconnect - whether that is with those in residence in the same era or with academic programs. Wendy Cressman Zehr (‘89), who chairs the Alumni Committee noted that “We’ve worked hard to ensure there is something for everyone – from an ultimate tournament to kid’s activities to the 60’s era brunch to a talent show to end all talent shows during this reunion weekend.”
The anniversary date chosen for Conrad Grebel University College is 1963, the year that the first president, J. Winfield Fretz, took office and taught the first classes ‒ in classrooms on the University of Waterloo campus. But the seeds of a shared idea for Mennonite higher education were planted years before. In 1959 a study group of Ontario Mennonite leaders was formed to explore the idea of establishing a Mennonite residential and teaching college in Waterloo. They were mindful that hundreds of Mennonite young adults were enrolled at universities across Canada and believed that the education of these students would be enhanced if they lived in an environment shaped by Christian-Anabaptist values. Before long they also imagined an academic program that could serve the University, based on those same values. They felt that a residential college would be the most “practical way of providing a wholesome environment and helpful personal counsel to . . . young men and women during the seeking, doubting, formative years of their lives.” ~ from Bridging Mind & Spirit
crib quilt • sunset cruise & dinner, or brunch & sail • an original Grebel tie • turned bowl from Grebel wood • chapel window stained glass • retro red residence chair • lower lounge coffee table • a dozen twisty rolls
We’re looking for more items or experiences for the silent auction! All proceeds go towards the Next Chapter Campaign. To add your contribution to the list, email Alison Enns: firstname.lastname@example.org
50TH ANNIVERSARY WEEKEND
AUGUST 23-25, 2013
Thursday, August 22
7:00 Book Launch for John E. Toews
The Story of Original Sin
Friday, August 23
5:00 Chapel Choir Reunion rehearsal
5:30 Date Stone Ceremony
6:00 50th Anniversary Book Launch
6:30 Fretz Bow Tie Gala & Silent Auction
$100/ticket for Fretz Seminar Room
Saturday, August 24
10:30 Sixties Era Brunch ($12/person)
2:00 a. Ultimate Frisbee Tournament
b. Kids Activities
c. Decade Era Gatherings
d. Academic Reunions
(PACS, Music and MTS)
5:30 BBQ supper
7:00 Grebel Had Talent
Sunday, August 25
10:30 Sunday Celebration Service Alumni across the decades will tell the Grebel story and listen to the reunited Chapel Choir. All are invited to a light brunch afterwards, with favourite Grebel treats. Theatre of the Arts, ML
Registrants get a 50th Anniversary Mug and a coaster made with Grebel pines
Pricing: $20 per person, $50 per family
Saturday night of the 50th Anniversary Weekend will feature favourite acts from talent shows and coffeehouses gone by. Some of our amazing line-up includes Karen Enns and her pioneer group representing the 60s (plus a few surprises), Cate Falconer and Arnold Snyder from the 70s, while “Bil Weber and the Glum Bunch” (Durrell Bowman, Brent Klassen and Steve Martin), Dale Brubacher-Cressman, Dan Enns, Geoff Gladwell, Jeanette Sears, Brian Rudy, Ken Stevens, Trevor Bechtel, Ted Harms, Akasha, and the Ranney Siblings, will do the 80s proud. From the 90s, Liam Morland and other guests will show us a good time, as Tamara Shantz, Meredith Bigham, Alissa Bender, Marianna Diez De Bonilla, Amy Beecraft, Stacey Vandermeer, Beth Ann Lichti, and Laura Dyck share music from the turn of the century. These are just a few fantastic acts from Grebel history! To add your name to the list, email Wendy Chappell Dick (‘90) email@example.com
Esther Etchells ’67
Kathie Keefe ’74
John Galbraith ’80
Paul Hildebrand ’86
Wendy Cressman Zehr ’89
Lynne Dueck ’95
Kendra Whitfield Ellis ’00
Mike Skeoch ’07
Amanda Zehr ’09
Katie Cowie Redekopp ‘11
50th Anniversary Committee
Fred W. Martin, Hendrike Isert Bender,
Ed Janzen, Wendy Cressman Zehr,
Jen Konkle, Marlene Epp, Cheri Otterbein,
Alison Enns, Susan Schultz Huxman
To celebrate Grebel’s 50th Anniversary, the College is organizing 50 events over the course of the year! Many of these events are open to the public, but some are directed to specific portions of the Grebel audience. We have more events in the works than are listed here. Check the website often for more ways to connect to Grebel during this 50th year!
August 22 John Toews Book Launch
August 23 Chapel Choir Reunion
August 23 Date Stone Installation
August 23 50th Book Launch
August 23 Bow Tie Gala
August 23 50th Video Premiere
August 24 Sixties Era Reunion Brunch
August 24 50th Anniversary Reunions
August 24 Grebel Had Talent
August 25 50th Celebration Service
September 4 Time Capsule at Commencement
September 20 Peace Day
September 28 Taste of Grebel
September 28 Annual General Meeting
October 19 Alumni Train Ride to
October 18-20 PJSA conference
October 19 War Requiem
November 30 Chamber Choir concert - Tim Corlis commissioned piece premiere
October 10 Eby Lecture with Susan Schultz Huxman
October 27 Scholarships and Awards Reception
March 1 President’s Circle Dinner
April 13 50th Anniversary Convocation
May 25 Ribbon Cutting for new building
May 28-June 1 MEA/Marpeck Conference
June 6-8 Sound in the Land III
View the complete list: grebel.ca/50th
Saturday, July 27, 2013
8:00 pm The Cedars Worship Centre, Waterloo
University Choir Concert: Spiritual!
Sunday, July 28, 2013
7:30 pm, Chapel
Instrumental Chamber Ensemble Concert
Thursday, August 22, 2013
7:00 pm, Dining Room
The Story of Original Sin Book Launch grebel.ca/50th
Friday, August 23, 2013
6:30 pm, Dining Room
Winfield Fretz Bowtie Gala
Saturday, August, 24, 2013
50th Anniversary Reunion
Sunday, August 25, 2013
10:30 am, Theatre of the Arts, ML
50th Anniversary Celebration Service
Saturday, September 14, 2013
Mothering Mennonite Book Launch
7:00 p.m. Conrad Grebel Chapel
Thursday, October 10, 2013
7:30 pm, Chapel
Eby Lecture with Susan Schultz Huxman
Saturday, October 19, 2013
Church Colleges Alumni Heritage Train Ride
4:00 pm, Waterloo Train Station
October 17-19, 2013
PJSA Annual Conference
Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo ON
Saturday, October 19, 2013
PJSA Benjamin Britten Concert – War Requiem
7:30 pm, Centre in the Square, Kitchener
Sound in the Land 2014 is being remounted for a third time at Conrad Grebel University College June 5-8 in 2014. “Music and the Environment” will be the theme for this Festival/Conference which will explore ways of hearing the earth and listening to the environment.
As part of Grebel’s 50th Anniversary celebrations, this event brings together musicians, environmentalists, ethnomusicologists, writers and artists into fields of ‘creation care’ and ecomusicology, studying sound from an environmentally ethical basis, consistent with long-standing Mennonite values.
Famed Canadian composer and founder of World Forum for Acoustic Ecology, R. Murray Schafer, will be one of the keynote speakers. Internationally acclaimed composer/media artist Cecilia Kim and her Korean troupe will present Earth Songs, combining traditional Korean music with evocative sonic/visual elements. Newly commissioned compositions by Larry Warkentin, Joanne Bender, and Bryan Moyer Suderman will be premiered by Waterloo Chamber Players, Inter-Mennonite Children’s Choir, Tactus Choral Ensemble and others.
Watch for other speakers and performers at grebel.ca/sound
Grebel Now is Conrad Grebel University College’s tri-annual newsletter. Editor: Jennifer Konkle Send all comments, submissions & ideas to:
“Grebel Now” at Conrad Grebel University College Waterloo ON N2L 3G6 519-885-0220 x24229 firstname.lastname@example.org grebel.ca
Conrad Grebel University College
140 Westmount Road North
Waterloo, ON, Canada, N2L 3G6
Conrad Grebel Programs