Focus On Education

Grebel at 60

Sixty years ago, Conrad Grebel College’s first president, J. Winfield Fretz, laid the College’s cornerstone, along with board members Milton R. Good and John Neufeld, envisioning a thriving Mennonite school integrated into the secular University of Waterloo campus. (Photo courtesy of Mennonite Archives of Ontario)

In the fall of 1963, J. Winfield Fretz began his role as the first president of Conrad Grebel College in Waterloo, Ontario.  In addition to hiring the first employees and spearheading a $750,000 building project, he taught courses in the sociology department at the University of Waterloo.

RJC receives generous legacy gift from Elizabeth & John Armbruster

The RJC class of 1944 in front of the German-English Academy. (Photo courtesy of RJC High School)

For her Grade 12 year, Elizabeth Armbruster (Zacharias, 1944), known as Beth among her family and friends, decided to leave her family farm near Meadow Lake, Sask., to attend RJC (then known as the German-English Academy). She was determined to prepare herself to attend normal school to become a teacher after graduation.

Seminary reports highest enrolment in 14 years

Eleven graduate students attended an on-campus orientation in August 2023. Front (l. to r.): Kandace Boos of Kitchener, Ontario, Canada; Teresa Martin of Norman, Oklahoma; DJ Polite of Columbia, South Carolina; Hasset (Joy) Shimeles of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Clare Krabill of Goshen, Indiana. Back (l. to r.): Kandace Helmuth of Akron, Pennsylvania; Brian Johnson of Missoula, Montana; Daniel Nugroho of Ungaran, Central Java, Indonesia; Kyle Schlabach of Goshen; Christian Nawai of Ndjamena, Chad; Andrew Zetts of Souderton, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Brittany Purlee)

Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS) in Elkhart, Indiana, is celebrating its fourth consecutive year of growth in student numbers this fall, with a total enrolment of 189 students (157 in 2022) as of Sept. 11, 2023.

Connecting MCI’s Past & Future

Roxanne Friesen holds her grad photo in the academic wing of MCI. (Photo by Janna Wiebe)

For 134 years, Mennonite Collegiate Institute has offered young people an Anabaptist-centred education, a community to explore faith in, and a place to excel in music, academics and sport. The rich legacy of developing young peoples’ God-given gifts in an Anabaptist-Christian setting continues to live on in the halls of MCI today.

Service through art

This poster by Eugena Lee won a national Remembrance Day contest. (Photo courtesy of MCI)

Menno Simons Christian School is proud of alumna Eugena Lee (‘20) who won first-place in the National Remembrance Day Poster contest held by the Legion National Foundation. After studying the Korean War in her high school social class, she became inspired to learn more about her grandparents’ experiences during the Korean war. Then artistic inspiration took hold.

Rockway—strong as ever 

Rockway’s administrative team, pictured from left to right, front row: Stacey VanderMeer, director of admissions; and Elaine Ranney, principal; and back row: Josh Hill, vice-principal; Chris Ainsworth, director of advancement; and Steven Reesor Rempel, director of finance and human resources. (Photo by Michlynn Schweitzer)


Mission field: MSCS

Marvin Grasmeyer, the director of athletics at Mennonite Simons Christian School, challenges students to be ‘peacemakers’ even in sports. (Photo by Ann Pam)

Marvin Grasmeyer has a passion for the students, which is evident in everything that he does at Menno.

As director of the athletic program, he has ensured that Menno keeps an all-inclusive approach because he sees the value in every student having the opportunity to be a part of a team.

Stepping stones toward independence

Keeley and Natalya relax outdoors during MCI’s get acquainted social. (Photo by Kayla Giesbrecht)

We want our children to be set up for success. As we look at life after high school, one way we see success is being able to live independently. As I step into my ninth year of working with dormitory programs, I believe that a good dormitory program can provide this opportunity to live independently.

Grebel’s community gathers for the new term

Grebel’s yearly faculty/staff/student volleyball game resulted in a triumphant win by the students. Orientation Week activities at Grebel are designed to build community and inspire interaction between students, faculty, and staff. (Photo by Margaret Gissing)

The air was buzzing at Conrad Grebel University College in Waterloo on Sept. 3, as new students moved into the residence, accompanied by their parents and welcomed by enthusiastic upper-year students.

Westgate Mennonite Collegiate forms BIPOC Alliance

Aliya Penner, left, and Lia Campbell-Enns co-founded Westgate’s BIPOC Alliance group as Grade 12 students last year. (Photo by Olivia Lu)

Westgate Mennonite Collegiate students can now participate in a BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour) Alliance, thanks to Lia Campbell-Enns and Aliya Penner.

They founded the group as seniors last year to address the racism they were encountering at school as Chinese students. They figured their peers and teachers did not understand their comments were racist.

God moving in the intersection

Delaney Dault, Meghan Recker, Vivienne Fittler, Emma Brown and Elyse Couto are pictured at UMEI’s all-school retreat. (UMEI photo)

UMEI seeks to educate the whole person in order to make young people “doers of the Word.” We believe deeply in our mission and see the wonderful things that our graduates are doing around the world as servant leaders. So, in periods of low enrolment, we ask ourselves, “Why is this happening?”

Rockway mounts virtual Christmas concert

Pictured here are several high school students who participated in the Lower Voices Ensemble, directed by Jeff Enns. (Photo by Xingyi (Jessica) Li)

Musicians come from all walks of life, with varying degrees of passion for what they do, but most are quite resilient to begin with. Add a global pandemic for two years, with assorted lockdowns and restrictions, and the desire to make music together with others increases exponentially. Rockway Mennonite Collegiate musicians are no different.


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