EMU recognizes couple’s generosity

Story by Jim Bishop

photo6.gifEastern Mennonite University has named a Hagerstown, Md., couple its 2007 recipient of the Margaret Martin Gehman “philanthropist of the year” award in recognition of their generous support of EMU.
Lewis M. Cross and Mary Coss were recognized at an Oct. 12 donor appreciation banquet on campus “for exemplifying the spirit of generous (financial, prayer and moral) support of the university for many years.”

The award, in its second year, is named for Dr. Margaret Martin Gehman, who taught art and physical education at EMU from 1944 until her retirement in 1987. She continues to serve regularly as a volunteer on campus and with other local organizations and has been a long-time strong financial supporter of the university.

The couple established the Lewis M. and Mary L. Coss church leadership endowed scholarship in 1994 to assist seminary students preparing for pastoral ministry. To date, $28,500 has been awarded from this fund.

They have contributed to the seminary annual fund and to the Augsburger Chair, named for EMU president emeritus Myron S. Augsburger, and have given to several capital projects, including sponsorship of a room in the seminary building and the Northlawn dormitory renovation. They have also designated EMU as the recipient of a charitable remainder unitrust.

Lewis and Mary have also supported EMU through leadership voluntarism as members of the President’s Partnership Council, 1992-2001.

They have attended the past 16 donor appreciation events on campus and a similar number of the annual School for Leadership Training programs held in January at Eastern Mennonite Seminary.

Lewis is retired after pastoring at Community Mennonite Church in Hagerstown, where he and Mary have been involved for 35 years.

They owned and operated a furniture and appliance store in Hagerstown 17 years.

They have attended Mennonite World Conference four times, most biennial general assemblies of the Mennonite Church and have participated in more than 20 annual meetings of Mennonite Economic Development Associates.

The couple celebrated 55 years of marriage in March this year. They have four children – Cheryl and Nelson Lehman, Twila and Darrel Eberly, Dwayne and Christa Coss, Dwight (deceased) and six grandchildren.

“We are grateful for the many ways in which Lewis and Mary Coss exemplify the spirit of generous, cheerful philanthrophy through their generous support of EMU,” president Swartzendruber said.


Jim Bishop is a regular contributor to The Augusta Free Press.


UVA Basketball Fans!

uva basketball team of destiny
Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is available for $25. The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe, and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018 through to the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.

Dick Vitale on Team of Destiny: “This is a hoops story you will LOVE! Jerry and Chris capture the sensational and dramatic championship journey by Tony Bennett and his tenacious Cavalier team. UVA was Awesome Baby and so is this book!”

Ralph Sampson on Team of Destiny: “Jerry and Chris have lived and seen it all, even before my time. I highly recommend this book to every basketball fan across the globe. This story translates to all who know defeat and how to overcome it!”

Feedback from buyers: “Got the Book in the Mail Saturday, and could not put it down! Great read and great photography as well! Love all of the books I’ve received, but hands down, this is my favorite!” – Russell

Buy here.

augusta free press news
augusta free press news
augusta free press news