Dear Eagle Family and Friends,
It’s about this time each year that a renewed sense of optimism starts to sneak into our minds. The long, dark winter days are slowly ending, a bit of sunshine brightens the mood and we all start looking toward spring with just a little extra pep in our walk.
This is definitely the mood I’m sensing around EWU. So far, we’ve navigated winter quarter with tremendous success as our students, faculty and staff have diligently done their part to follow Covid-19 safety protocols. As a result, after a January uptick, our case counts are low once again, following a national trend. As spring approaches, we are looking forward to campus coming alive with in-person events and activities that show our Eagle spirit.
The calendar has already heated up both on the Cheney campus and at the Catalyst in downtown Spokane. Among other events, the university recently hosted a series of forums to familiarize the public with our four candidates for EWU’s presidency, myself among them. Trust me, it’s been quite the process, and, on behalf of everyone at EWU, I thank all of you who have participated and provided feedback to the Board of Trustees. The board will meet again Feb. 23-24.
February is also Black History Month, and there are still some great opportunities for you to join our Africana Studies program as we celebrate and honor the achievements of African Americans throughout U.S. history. I am also proud to share that thanks to a new partnership, our Black students have an opportunity to apply for the new BECU Black Entrepreneur Opportunity Fellows Program. This unique program will provide fellowship awardees with an avenue to collaborate with others and possibly grow a business.
This has also been a great month for Eastern to highlight for the community – and the entire country – the accomplishments of our amazing university! You have likely seen, or heard, the numerous television and radio spots for EWU’s new brand positioning campaign. Billboards promoting ‘The New Think’ are also up around Spokane. The feedback has been positive, and this important form of outreach will help us all get the word out about all the wonderful things Eastern has to offer students.
Additionally, the world has learned a lot about Eastern’s own Cooper Kupp over the last month – well, really the last several months. Kupp’s historically successful year with the Los Angeles Rams, along with his MVP-winning performance in Super Bowl LVI, has resulted in quite the media buzz. This includes numerous newspaper and magazine profiles all over the country – from top stories on ESPN or SI.com, to the pages of influential publications like The Wall Street Journal. Each story traces a path that includes EWU as an integral part of his journey.
Back on campus, our students and faculty continue to do remarkable things. EWU’s computer science students, for example, once again showed their proficiency in the important field of cybersecurity, as they defended their title at the Spokane Mayor’s Cup Cybersecurity Competition. Eastern’s involvement in this growing, high-demand field will be the topic of our rescheduled Eastern Edge forum on Friday, March 11, in Spokane.
I hope this Eastern Edge event is just the first of many in-person gatherings that we can all safely attend as we once again emerge from Covid-related restrictions. You can be sure I am personally looking forward to re-engaging with as many of you as possible as we continue to build on the many great things our #EagleStrong alumni, students, faculty and staff do on a daily basis.
David May, PhD
Eastern Washington University