Pi Kappa Alpha Alums Give Back to EWU Libraries
The Eastern Washington University Libraries received a huge boost on two significant initiatives that will help students succeed, thanks to some EWU fraternity alumni who are committed to leaving a lasting legacy with the university that brought them together a half century ago.
The alums from Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity, who have stayed connected for more than 45 years, are partnering with EWU Libraries to raise money for the endowed Randy Van Turner Library Scholarship Fund and the Pi Kappa Alpha Library Fund.
The Randy Van Turner Library Scholarship Fund commemorates an EWU graduate and founding member of the “Pike” fraternity who was killed in action in Vietnam. Proceeds from the $25,000 scholarship will be awarded to an Eastern student as early as 2015 and a memorial will soon be displayed in the library’s Archives and Special Collections. The Pi Kappa Alpha Library Fund will be used to fund the Archives Hidden Collections Digitization Project, giving EWU Libraries the opportunity to digitize more than a quarter-million items of substantive intellectual value and cultural significance that are currently not accessible.
Uriel Iñiguez, one of six siblings to graduate from Eastern and the father of a current EWU student, has been appointed to the university’s Board of Trustees by Gov. Jay Inslee. Iñiguez replaced Bertha Ortega, who served on the board since 2002. His appointment is for six years.
Iñiguez is the oldest of 11 children, all of whom were first-generation college students – a dream come true for a family whose parents came to this country from Mexico with no formal education. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Eastern and a master’s degree in public administration from City University.
Since June 2005, Iñiguez has served as the executive director of the Washington State Commission on Hispanic Affairs. .
Recently, four of the Iñiguez alumni began the Iñiguez Family Endowed Scholarship. The scholarship will help first-generation students from Mexico complete their college degrees, and it requires them to be active in the Latino community.
EWU’s Provost Rex Fuller, has been elected to the inaugural board of directors of the Association of Chief Academic Officers, ACAO.
The ACAO is the first national organization representing chief academic officers (CAOs), such as provosts and vice presidents for academic affairs, from all accredited higher education institutions. As a charter member of ACAO, Eastern Washington University gains added visibility within higher education and the American Council of Education.
Being on the ACAO board will enable EWU to participate in programs designed to improve overall educational quality, and board-level participation enables EWU to be part of the team that designs future programming.
Ron Cox, who earned All-America recognition all four seasons he played basketball for EWU, had his No. 30 jersey retired in a ceremony March 8, at Reese Court. Current Detroit Piston Rodney Stuckey is the only other Eastern player to have his jersey retired.
Cox played for the Eagles from 1973-77. He had record totals of 1,741 points and 1,273 rebounds in leading Eastern to a 77-30 record and three Evergreen Conference titles.
“We are very judicious when it comes to jersey retirements, but this ceremony is long overdue,” said Eastern Athletic Director Bill Chaves. “Ron’s career speaks for itself. For him to still hold our all-time scoring and rebounding records after 35 years is truly remarkable, and certainly deserving of continued remembrance and recognition.”
Drafted in the sixth round of the 1977 NBA draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers, Cox went on to a successful high school coaching career. He was inducted into the Eastern Athletics Hall of Fame in 1998 and to the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association Hall of Fame in 2011.
Cox earned his BA in education in 1978, and his master’s degree in 1995. He and Betty, his wife of 40 years, live in the Spokane area. Their son, Jamie and daughter, Tanya(Pauling), also attended Eastern. They also have another daughter, Heather and seven grandchildren.
EWU Offers New Master’s Degrees
Master in Teaching (MiT)
EWU’s Education Department will initiate a new cohort of MiT students, beginning this summer. Courses will be offered on the Riverpoint Campus. The MiT program has been designed for students who plan to change careers and enter the field of teaching. Structured as an intensive five-quarter program with day and evening classes, the program links coursework to the K-12 classroom experience (approximately 900 hours) and meets the new statewide certification requirements for K-12 teachers. Graduates of the program receive their Washington State Residency Teacher Certificates as well as their MEd degrees.
Master of Public Health (MPH)
The MPH is an interdisciplinary program that draws upon a number of disciplines to address the many aspects of public health. The MPH consists of a core foundation of classes in public health with options in health promotion, epidemiology, health services administration and American Indian health care. The curriculum is designed to meet the accreditation standards for the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH), the only accrediting body for master’s programs in public health. The curriculum also meets competencies for the Association of Schools of Public Health (ASPH).
Wasem Inducted in ABCA Hall of Fame
Former EWU head baseball coach Jim Wasem was recently inducted into the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame. It is the fifth Hall of Fame honor of his career, including the 2009 Eastern Athletics Hall of Fame Service and Contribution Award.
Wasem, who coached more than 900 collegiate games in a 23-year head coaching career, spent nine seasons at EWU, from 1982-90, compiling a 230-251-1 record. Eastern, which competed in the Pacific-10 Conference Northern Division against the likes of Washington State, Washington, Oregon State and Gonzaga, dropped the sport following the 1990 season.
Men’s Basketball Has Best Season in 10 Years
Although they came a victory shy of a Big Sky Conference Tournament berth, the Eagles finished the 2013-14 season with more victories than a year ago, and they established eight school records and one league mark. EWU finish 15-16 overall and 10-10 in the league. The 15 victories equal the most for the Eagles in 10 years, since EWU finished 17-13 in the 2003-04 season.
The best news is that the Eagles had no seniors on the roster, and will return sophomores Tyler Harvey and Venky Jois. Harvey was a first team All-Big Sky selection and earned second team honors on the National Association of Basketball Coaches All-District 6 team – EWU’s first player honored on that team since Rodney Stuckey in 2007. Jois earned honorable mention accolades for the second-straight year. College Sports Madness named Jois (third team) and junior point guard Drew Brandon (second team) to its All-Big Sky Conference squad, and Jois earned first team All-BSC honors from College Hoops Daily.
Harvey’s 109 three-pointers tops the list of school records. He was the Big Sky’s leading scorer with a 21.8 average, and ranked in the top 13 nationally in four categories. Harvey’s perfect 20-of-20 free throw performance against Southern Utah on Jan. 23 was both a school and conference record. He also had 10 three-pointers versus Northern Colorado to set a school record.
Jois, the Big Sky Conference Freshman of the Year last year, established a new school record for career blocked shots, with a total of 115.
The other school records established included the career shooting percentage for Martin Seiferth (64.4 percent) and team records for free throws made (38) and attempted (49) versus Southern Utah on Jan. 23, 2014.
Women’s Basketball Team Makes Big Sky Tournament
The EWU women’s basketball team made its fifth consecutive appearance in the Big Sky Tournament in March. A No. 4 seed, with a season record of 16-13 overall, 12-8 Big Sky, the team lost to Idaho State in a heart-breaking overtime game in the quarterfinals.
Lexie Nelson and Hayley Hodgins were named to the 2013-14 All-Big Sky Conference Team. Nelson was a first team pick for the second consecutive season while Hodgins was an honorable mention selection.
This season, Nelson, a junior from Butte, Mont., led Eastern and ranked fifth in the Big Sky in scoring with an average of 16.1 points per game. Her 467 points currently ranks sixth all-time in EWU single-season history. Her free throw percentage is 86.1 percent.
Pasco, Wash. native Hodgins, who was last season’s Big Sky Freshman of the Year, ranked second on the team and 10th in the conference in scoring with an average of 13.6 points per game. She reached double-figures in 24 of the Eagles’ 29 games.
“I’m very excited for Lexie and Hayley,” head coach Wendy Schuller said. “Those are two players that put in a lot of time and are really committed to this team and this program and to becoming better players every single day. I’m excited for them that they were rewarded for their hard work.”
Big Sky Conference’s Top Moments and Greatest Athletes
The Big Sky Conference is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year for men’s athletics and the 25th anniversary for women’s athletics. In celebration, the conference is recognizing its top athletes and memorable moments. As you would expect, many Eastern Eagles made the list.
Greatest Male Athletes
No. 12 Erik Meyer played quarterback for the Eagles from 2002-05, and led the team to two Big Sky Championships. Meyer threw for 10,261 yards and 84 touchdowns, and won the 2005 Walter Payton Award as well as Big Sky Conference Offensive MVP honors and First Team All-Big Sky honors. Active in the professional ranks since his EWU career ended, he was the 2013 Arena Football League MVP. He also helped coach in Eastern’s program in 2012 and was quarterbacks coach at Central Washington in 2013.
No. 13 Rodney Stuckey played basketball for the Eagles from 2005-2007. After his 2005-06 freshman year, he was named the Big Sky’s MVP and Freshman of the Year – the only freshman in league history to win MVP honors. He was an NBA First-Round Draft pick and now plays for the Detroit Pistons.
No. 20 Bo Levi Mitchell, nicknamed the “Gunslinger,” transferred to Eastern from SMU. He then led the Eagles to the 2010 NCAA Division I Championship, where he was named the Most Outstanding Player in the title game. In 2011, Mitchell won the Walter Payton Award given to the top player in the FCS.
No. 22 Michael Roos played for the Eagles from 2001-04 and was All-Pro for the Tennessee Titans in 2008. In that same year, Eastern selected him to its “100 for 100” All-Time Team and voted him the top offensive lineman in school history. Roos was honored by EWU in 2009, when his jersey was retired. Eastern re-named Woodward Field to “Roos Field” in 2010 upon completion of the Red Turf project.
No. 37 J.C. Sherritt was named First Team All-Conference twice. As a senior in 2010, he won the Buck Buchanan Award and guided the Eagles to their first NCAA Division I Championship. In 2012, he received the title of Most Outstanding Defensive Player in the Canadian Football League after setting the CFL record for tackles with 130.
No. 39 Greg Peach is a former All-American defensive end and winner of the 2008 Buck Buchanan award, which he won by the largest margin in history. He tallied 18 sacks and 22.5 tackles for loss, leading the nation in both categories. In 2012, three years after his college career had ended, Peach returned to Roos field and proposed to his fiancé Kobli.
No. 47 Matt Nichols never missed a practice or a game during his career at EWU. He played in 47 contests and threw for a Big Sky record 12,616 career yards and 96 touchdowns. Nichols is also EWU’s all-time leader in pass attempts in a game (76), pass attempts in a career (1,608), career passing yards (12,616), and total offense (13,308). His 96 touchdowns are a school record and rank second in league history.
Greatest Female Athletes
No. 12 Kim Exner, ’98, is one of three Big Sky Conference women’s volleyball players to have won two regular-season MVP Awards and the only MVP to have also been dubbed the league’s Newcomer of the Year. Exner was named Co-MVP her junior year in 1997, and was also MVP as a senior in 1998.
No. 20 Kari McKay, ’92, began competing in track in her senior year of high school. She made three appearances in the NCAA Championships in the early 1990s – two in cross country and one in track. In 1990, McKay finished fourth at her first Big Sky Cross Country Championship, eighth at districts and competed at her first NCAA Championships. McKay’s second NCAA appearance came in her senior season in 1991, where she finished 33rd in cross-country.
Top Big Sky Moments
No. 5 Eastern won its final 11 games of the season to win the 2010 NCAA Division I Football Championship. Eastern won the title with four-straight playoff wins, including a 20-19 victory over Delaware in the championship game on Jan. 7, 2011, in Frisco, Texas. The Eagles rallied from a 19-0 deficit and ended their season with a school-record 13 victories. Eastern finished 8-0 on its new, red turf at Roos Field.
No. 11 Buchanan Awards, where the FCS’s top defensive players are honored. The Big Sky has been represented in six of the past 11 years. EWU is proud of its Buchanan Award Winners- Greg Peach and J.C. Sherritt.
No. 30 Former Eagle offensive tackle Michael Roos is honored as NFL All-Pro selection in 2008.
No. 37 EWU’s 2013 comeback vs. Sam Houston State, a 45-42 loss in the semifinals of the FCS Playoffs after trailing 35-0 at halftime.
No. 42 In 1998, Bashir Levingston returned three kickoffs for three touchdowns in the game against Sacramento State.
No. 9 EWU Volleyball defeats Oregon State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in 2001, equaling the highest advancement ever for a Big Sky Conference school.
No. 12 EWU Volleyball is one of three Big Sky Teams to advance to the NCAA Volleyball Tournament in 1999.