January 13, 2010
We are now a week into winter quarter, and I want to take this time to welcome you to 2010, and welcome you back to campus.
I hope you all had a terrific holiday season and enjoyed your time away with friends and family.
Just before we broke for the holidays, I was happy once again to see many of you at my annual holiday reception in the Showalter rotunda. This is always a great time to visit in a relaxed atmosphere and share stories about our experiences here at Eastern. This was also an opportunity to make a donation to the annual Toys for Tots campaign. Representatives of the U.S. Marines were on hand to collect donations and say a few words of thanks to those who donated to this important cause.
I would also like to talk about two other notable events in December.
As I mentioned in my last newsletter, one of my goals is to expand international exchange opportunities at Eastern. That is why it was significant for EWU to host seven Chinese delegates from partner institutions in the 1+2+1 Sino American Dual-Degree Program.
The visiting delegation was able to meet with the deans of our various colleges, tour campus and share ideas on how we can ensure a quality academic and cultural experience that will meet the needs of each participating student. I truly believe these partnerships will create more meaningful opportunities for our students and faculty who wish to take part in exchange programs.
Another important event centered around the 2010 Legislative Session, which is now underway. In December, legislative leaders gathered in Spokane to discuss the tight budget situation. This was an important chance for me and other EWU representatives to meet with lawmakers and stress the need to support higher education.
This is especially important since more budget reductions are on the horizon, and the Governor is proposing drastic cuts to the Washington State Need Grant program, which provides financial aid. This could be devastating to our students, and I will carry that message with me as I travel to Olympia this month to meet once again with legislators.
Finally, I want to end on a high note. On Friday night, I attended the annual awards banquet for our Eagles football team. These student athletes typify what Eastern is all about – perseverance and persistence. They kept moving forward despite the uncertainties of being eligible for post-season play. They were rewarded in the end when the NCAA overturned the ban, and the team received a gratifying invitation to the playoffs.
Their story was a huge victory for all students who work hard, not always knowing what the payoff might be down the road. But the message is clear, keep working hard and good things will happen.
Rodolfo Arévalo, PhD
The President's Holliday Reception
Dr. Arévalo greats a member of Marines for Toys for Tots drive
Group photo from the Sino American Dual-Degree Program talks
Dr. Arévalo exchanges gifts with a member from the Chinese delegation
Dr. Arévalo with EWU football players Aaron Boyce (left) and Taiwan Jones (right) at the team's annual awards banquet
For all these photos and more check out EWU's Flickr photo share.