Oct. 19, 2011
A successful homecoming celebration capped off a very busy first few weeks of the fall quarter, and it looks like we are in for an exciting, and challenging, academic year.
The spirit displayed around campus during the homecoming celebration reflects the energy and pride that has really taken off in recent years at Eastern. Participation and enthusiasm for campus events and alumni activities cultivate a positive culture, while strengthening EWU’s position as a key player in the region and state. It was great to see so many familiar faces around campus for the festivities.
We should all be especially proud to serve the more than 12,000 students who are relying on Eastern to provide them with a quality educational experience. Our record enrollment reflects the fact that more students appreciate the value and high-quality instruction they receive at EWU. It was especially inspiring to welcome the freshman class once again at the annual Pass through the Pillars to start the year. Ensuring they have a successful career at Eastern is our top priority, and we should all ask ourselves every day what we can do to help them prosper and grow as Eastern students.
I also enjoyed meeting the new faculty who are instructing many of these students. Just as I did at the Welcome Back Breakfast, it was nice to share the successes of Eastern and look at the road ahead. I can’t emphasize enough how important all of our faculty are to our efforts to improve retention rates and make sure each student is in a position to accomplish their goal of earning a degree. This will go a long way toward ensuring the university’s viability during this ongoing economic downturn in the state of Washington.
The other way Eastern will continue to thrive is by building our presence in the communities we serve. I am especially proud of two recent examples of this community engagement.
As part of their orientation this fall, 30 new EWU students joined faculty and staff members for the new EagleUP (Urban Plunge) service project. The group helped various community organizations with maintenance projects such as painting, cleaning and gardening. For instance, at one stop students worked to improve the facilities at Women’s Hearth, which serves at-risk women in the Spokane area.
Eastern also recently partnered with Providence Health Care to bring noted journalist T.R. Reid to Spokane to discuss his critically-acclaimed book comparing health care systems around the world. An overflow crowd of nearly 1,000 people from all over the area showed up at the downtown convention center to take part in this important discussion. This is the type of event that will enhance EWU’s position in the community, as the university steps up its efforts to become more engaged in the issues and professions that are of interest to our students and faculty.
As we settle in now for the academic year, you will hear a lot from my office on the new strategic planning process, Inspiring the Future. We are moving closer to solidifying the mission, vision, values and goals, and I thank all of you who have participated in this exciting effort as we create a clear road map for the university. I will also be busy meeting with lawmakers and state leaders on important budget matters in light of the upcoming special session, and promise to keep you updated as new information becomes available.
I thank each of you for the work you do every day to make Eastern such a great place for our students and the entire university community.
Rodolfo Arévalo, PhD
Dr. and Mrs. Arévalo with Michael and Katherine Roos at Homecoming 2011
Dr. Arévalo welcomes freshman class at Pass through the Pillars 2011
Dr. Arévalo speaking with new faculty
EWU student Christina Acosta rolls paint on walls at Women’s Hearth
T.R. Reid addresses overflow crowd at Spokane Convention Center
For all these photos and more check out EWU’s Flickr photo share.