Thursday, May 31, 2007


Changes at Eastern

The month of May is ending with some big news about the big move in athletics - the termination of basketball coach Mike Burns. Many are questioning the timing of this decision because the month of March, not May, is usually when such personnel decisions are made.
The administration at Eastern is very aware of this issue and took everything into consideration when making this difficult decision - especially since it came on the heels of the athletic director's departure in March. The bottom line is that the timing for such a move is really never good, as lives are disrupted and universities are second-guessed. When you feel like you're making a decision that is best for your institution no matter what, then timing really isn't a factor.
Overall, things are looking very bright at Eastern. We will be bringing in a new athletic director this summer along with a new basketball coach. Both will bring a fresh approach to the University. Student enrollment remains strong and there are both fundraising and branding campaigns aimed at strengthening our position as a quality comprehensive that provides an excellent experience for students.

Thursday, May 24, 2007


Going Pro

Much of the talk around campus this week is on the final decision by basketball star Rodney Stuckey to enter the NBA draft. He has now hired an agent, which means there's no turning back for another year in college. Stuckey did say in February he would likely come back, but can you blame a kid like him? He's projected to be a first-round NBA pick and this should ensure a lifetime of financial security for him and his family. Besides, he's also fulfilling a lifetime dream that many kids have of playing at the highest level.
Here are some quotes, as reported by Dave Trimmer in the Spokesman Review:
"This is my goal, ever since I was little," the best basketball player in EWU history said Wednesday afternoon. "I remember sitting here in ninth grade, 10th grade, in the team room talking to coach Burns."
"A skinny 6-footer," Mike Burns interjected.
"He said you're going to be in this situation some day, you just have to keep focus, keep your head on straight," the 6-foot-5, 206-pound guard continued. "The time is finally here."
Although the Eagles never reached their goal of making the NCAA tournament, Stuckey, who finished 303 points behind Cox, leaves with no regrets.
"None at all," he said. "This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance. Not a lot of players get this chance to be in this situation. This is the best decision for me to do right now. I'm excited about the future and what it's going to bring."
"Basically my stock keeps rising, that's what my agents are telling me," he said. "All they're hearing is good feedback from teams. This draft is kind of different. There are a lot of big guys out there but there are not a lot of combo guards like me. They have a lot of faith in me and I have a lot of faith in myself.
"Right now it's just a matter of me working out and getting ready for these workouts. I will be ready. I've been working really hard these past weeks."
"I just want to say thanks for all the support people gave me here at Eastern."


Russian Debut

Thomas Hampson, a world-famous opera singer who also graduated from Eastern Washington University, is getting a lot of publicity his upcoming appearance in Russia. Eastern's new mantra if you will is start someting big, and Hampson is a great example of how far you can take your education.

St. Petersburg Times

Friday, May 18, 2007


Hispanic Enrollment

One of Eastern's goals is to not only recruit and retain solid students, but to continue to diversify and offer an education to so-called "first generation" students. Here's a solid article in the Spokane Journal of Business about not only our efforts but the efforts of other colleges and businesses in the region to target this growing population.

Spokane Journal of Business


EWU Downtown

Here's an update on the sale of our Spokane Center as Eastern looks to strengthen its role at Riverpoint, or the 'U-District'.

Spokane Journal of Business

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


Starting something REALLY big

You likely have noticed the tag line start something big around the Eastern campus we encourage students, staff, faculty, administrators and future students to use their EWU experience to literally start something big.
Here's an article on an '89 alum who has done just that, becoming one of five pilots for Marine One - the helicopter that transports President Bush.


Monday, May 14, 2007


President gets high marks

Eastern Washington University President Rodolfo Arévalo left quite an impression on a young Yakima student during her trip to Olympia this past legislative session. Veronica Quintero attends Wahluke High School in Mattawa, outside Yakima. She attended a conference that included a whirlwind tour of the Capitol and various workshops. Veronica also listened in on a keynote address given by Dr. Arévalo. Here's what she had to say in a recent posting on

"The keynote speaker was Dr. Rodolfo Arévalo, president of Eastern Washington University. His story was very moving. He is a person everyone can look up to. After overcoming many struggles, he became the first Hispanic president of a four-year institution in the state of Washington.
Arévalo is an example of what hard work can lead to. He said that as a young student, he "was not seen as being college material," so he took matters into his own hands. Throughout his speech, he repeatedly used the quote, "eye on the prize," when describing his motivation.
I learned that your future is what you make of it, and education is a firm basis upon which to start. "

This is what Eastern is all about, offering those who might not otherwise have a chance to go do college... to get a degree.

Thursday, May 10, 2007


Making Music

It's been a bit since a post, for which I apologize. Spring fever has really hit campus with wonderful weather and everyone seems to be getting ready for the final stretch run of this final quarter of the academic year.
The Board of Trustees will hold its second meeting of the year on campus Friday and everyone seems to be buzzing about budgets, our Riverpoint strategy in downtown Spokane and overall campus safety in light of last month's tragedy.
On that note, a little musical note about how some fine EWU students are lending their talents to the Eagles Lodge on the north side of town...helping to bring to life an old tradition. This is from the SR.

Eagles Lodge band making music through the ages
Cindy Hval CorrespondentMay 10, 2007

Music spilled from the doors of the Eagles Lodge. The sounds of trumpets and clarinets, along with the steady patter of drums, swelled and echoed down the hallways.
Each Monday evening the 27-piece Eagles Lodge concert band meets to practice. The emphatic strains of Sousa marches mixed with ebullient patriotic songs reverberate through the North Side Lodge.
Band director Rod Roberts, 80, has brought new life to this group. Established in 1948, the once-vibrant band had declined over the past few years. "We lost members due to the Grim Reaper," Roberts said with a rueful shrug. "But there's still a lot of talent in this group."
When Roberts took over a year and a half ago, he began actively recruiting new members. His efforts paid off with the recent addition of two Eastern Washington University students.
Freshman music major Amanda Reynolds was urged to join by fellow EWU student Jonathan Smith. "I wanted a band experience outside of school," said Smith, a tuba player. He said playing the bouncy, up-tempo music is a lot of fun.
Reynolds agreed, saying, "It's neat to see people from completely different backgrounds and careers doing this because they love to make music."
The Fraternal Order of the Eagles has a rich musical history. According to their Web site, the organization was founded in 1898 in Seattle, by six theater owners who met to discuss a musicians' strike. The Spokane Lodge was the second Aerie established and is now the only Lodge with its own band.
Percussionist Richard Cummings detailed the many contributions of this group in his book, "The History of the Eagles Band of Spokane Washington." He notes that, throughout the years, the band has been a staple at community events and has won numerous honors and awards.
Harold Hurmence has been a member for 46 years. "I started playing the trumpet in fifth grade," he said. "I like playing with this group. We're active, and we all know each other."
At the front of the room, Roberts tapped his baton and led them into a rousing rendition of "Burst of Flame." As the last notes faded he said, "Well, yer gettin' better!"
Band president and saxophonist Gina Sloan was one of the first women to join the group 24 years ago. "At one time, my husband, my son and I were all in the band," she said. "There's not many activities you can all do together."
Phil Kowzan found a renewed love for music when he married a clarinet teacher. The Vietnam veteran and retired truck driver said, "I played the trumpet in grade school. When I graduated, I hung it up and didn't play again." His wife, Carol, encouraged him to resume playing. Now, they are both in the band. "I love being with the music," he said, "and the challenge of trying to make something pretty."
The group is working hard preparing for an important event. Thousands of members from all over the world will converge in Spokane in July for the Eagles International Convention.
Toward the end of the evening, conductor Roberts said, "Playing music keeps me active." He paused and grinned. "In fact, it almost wears me out."

Wednesday, May 02, 2007


Vibrant Campus

Eastern Washington University students took to downtown Spokane Tuesday for a rally on immigrant rights. It's great to have students who are engaged in cultural and societal issues.
This article from the morning Spokesman.

Students rally for immigrant rights
Kevin GramanStaff writerMay 2, 2007

About 30 Latino students and their supporters demonstrated in downtown Spokane on Tuesday afternoon in support of immigration reform on the anniversary of massive demonstrations across the country last year.
This year, however, the nationwide rallies, which coincided with International Workers’ Day, paled in comparison to last year’s strident protests against legislation approved by the U.S. House of Representatives.
In Spokane, students from Eastern Washington University and Spokane Community College marched from Riverfront Park to the Thomas Foley Federal Building, calling for legislation to support the children of undocumented workers.
Leyby Ramirez said she had no say in coming to the United States from her native Mexico when she was 5 years old, “but now I have to make the best of it.”
Now 19, the SCC student said she is trying to educate herself so that her children would not have to go through what she is going through.
Unable to obtain a scholarship without a Social Security number, Ramirez said she depends on the help of her father, who brought her to the United States.
Mexica Lou, a member of the Chicano student organization MEChA, said current legislation in Congress is designed to benefit business with cheap labor while exploiting “guest workers” much like the bracero program did in the 1940s.
The Strive Act, which was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., and Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., doubles the number of employment visas from 140,000 to 290,000 annually and puts undocumented agricultural workers on the path to permanent residency.
However, Gilberto Garcia, a professor in the EWU Chicano studies program, said the bill penalizes those undocumented workers who have been crucial to the U.S. economy, forcing them to return to Mexico and apply for re-entry and pay fines and fees.
Nationwide, immigration protesters showed up Tuesday in far fewer numbers than last year. About 150,000 marched in Chicago’s demonstration, the nation’s largest, compared to about 500,000 last year, according to wire reports.
In Los Angeles, where several hundred thousand marched in 2006, only about 25,000 appeared this year. Organizers predicted the low numbers, citing fear of immigration raids and frustration over lack of action on immigration in Congress.
Washington state’s interim director of the League of United Latin American Citizens, said his organization and others have shifted priorities to work within the system to achieve responsible immigration reform.
“We need to involve everyone in the community,” said Ricardo Rico, “so that we all recognize the effects of immigration on our economy and how it touches all our lives.”

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