In her State of the University address delivered Sept. 18 to faculty, staff and community leaders, EWU President Mary Cullinan presented her vision for the upcoming year.
George Duvall, program coordinator for the Africana Studies Program, served as master of ceremonies for the event. In his opening remarks before introducing President Cullinan, he recapped a few of the Africana Studies Program’s successful initiatives such as the Lead to Succeed Mentorship Program with Rogers High School in Spokane, and plans to work with the Martin Luther King Jr. Center. There is also a plan for a 1,000-mile Civil Rights March from Arkansas to Atlanta during spring break 2019. “We’re excited about that,” said Duval. “We also sent 15 to 20 people to Ghana, Africa, and plan to expand that to Ethiopia. I’m telling you, we are diverse here.”
Taking the stage, President Cullinan shared the many successes of the 2017-18 academic year.
We had a fabulous year last year; 2017-18 was amazing,” said Cullinan. "First of all, we graduated 3,000 students – sending so many new alumni out to do great things in the world.”
Cullinan talked about the amazing opportunities for our graduate students. She recognized our outstanding alumni including the 2018 National Teacher of the Year, Mandy Manning, and shared that 42 percent of teachers in Spokane are EWU graduates.
A new strategic plan was launched last year – one that won’t sit on a shelf, but will be enacted and expanded.
Watch the State of the University Address:
"Teams of faculty, staff, students and community folks – over 120 people – are working on initiatives to ignite change, transform the region, drive innovation, and embrace equity and social justice. We’re taking a hard look at the possibilities for a distinctive EWU Honors College and our own nursing program,” said Cullinan.
The president talked about the university's inspiring new programs established to engage students and improve the community – about successful fundraising, an Environmental Protection Agency grant, a diverse group of new faculty, plans to bring improved access to current and future students through the Summer Program and new online educational offerings.
"So, 2017-18 was an amazing year,” said Cullinan. “But it wasn’t a unique year. We will continue to achieve great things. This is a pivotal time for this university – we will continue our strong trajectory.”
Many of the things she predicted in 2016, and goals the university set out to accomplish, have come to fruition.
“I asked you to imagine that we’re the first choice public university for every high school in Spokane – the first public university choice for every prospective student east of the Cascades. Well, over 60 percent of high school students in Spokane County who are going to a university are now choosing EWU as their first choice. And we are increasingly seen as the university of choice throughout this region. EWU owns Spokane County in a way no other university in the state owns one county.
“Two years ago, I asked you to imagine that we’re known as a diversity-serving institution; that we’re recognized nationally for our welcoming, diverse and inclusive campus, for our commitment to students. Well, this year we were recognized nationally as a College of Distinction for our service to students. And, the HEED Award recognized us for our commitment to diversity and inclusion.
"Two years ago, I asked you to imagine that Eastern is recognized as a critical partner to business, industry and other agencies throughout our region, creating entrepreneurial opportunities, driving economic prosperity, and helping attract new businesses and cultural organizations. Well, our work with Avista and McKinstry in the Catalyst building is sparking huge interest for further development in the University District. And, other cities are thinking a Catalyst-type partnership with us might be good for their communities as well.
“In just two years, we’ve made tremendous strides toward the goals that I asked you to imagine,” said Cullinan.
Provost Scott Gordon told the crowd about his “seasonal excitement disorder,” something he experiences as the new school year kicks off. Gordon thanked the faculty, staff and students, because, “All of those accomplishments would not be possible with you.”
Gordon went on to introduce the faculty leadership of each college (the deans) while the names of newly hired faculty and staff scrolled through on the screen in the background. He then asked everyone in the audience who was an Eastern graduate to stand and be recognized.
Wrapping up the event was Athletic Director Lynn Hickey. She infused the crowd with her contagious energy and enthusiasm. She, along with the university’s leadership team, led the audience in the now-famous Hickey cheer. And, when you see your fellow co-workers, students, alumni and people on the street, remember to pass them with a smile and greet them with a loud, proud...