We are now well into the fall quarter (although it is already feeling a bit like winter outside), and the first six weeks have been filled with many positive things for Eastern Washington University. As you know, we have record enrollment this quarter, and I want to start by thanking everyone for working so diligently to welcome our student body. I also want to use this opportunity to give you a brief update on what has been a terrific start to the academic year.
Just days after school started, nearly 300 people gathered for the 3rd Annual Alumni Beer Tasting event. This was a valuable opportunity to meet new friends and connect with some of Eastern's biggest fans – our alumni.
At the end of September, I participated in the celebration of University District Month in downtown Spokane. The gathering involved educational, community and business leaders who are all focused on making sure the Riverpoint Campus continues to be a catalyst for economic and business growth in our region.
In early October, I was honored to have a chance to say a few words at a reception welcoming new faculty members. During this time, we also handed out merit awards to faculty members who have demonstrated excellence through service, creative activity and their work in the classroom. These awards are a reminder of how fortunate Eastern is to have outstanding faculty committed to the success of our students.
There were many other fantastic events in October that brought together a great mix of Eastern supporters – including alumni, faculty and staff. The annual Oktoberfest fundraiser for JFK Library was, once again, a great success. Things really got wild during the Wild Wild Eastern Homecoming week. I dusted off my old Stetson (yes, it is real!) for the kickoff rally in front of the PUB and decided it fit so well I'd wear it for the Friday night parade through downtown Cheney. Homecoming week also gave me an opportunity to visit with members of the class of 1959 as they attended their 50-year reunion here on campus. It was great to hear so many wonderful stories from Eastern's earlier days and to see the lasting impact our wonderful university has had on its alumni.
The weekend was capped off with sunny skies and a large crowd at Woodward Field where our Eagles made an exciting comeback victory. Homecoming week was a great reminder that we have close-knit campus community and that Eastern is truly a unique place.
In fact, many of us carried that Eagle pride to Seattle this past weekend for the first-ever Showdown on the Sound at Qwest Field. Not only did the Eagles soundly defeat Portland State, but Eastern also got a chance to showcase itself in the Puget Sound and connect with our many alumni who live on that side of the state.
I wish you the best as we head into the second half of the fall quarter, and I look forward to continuing our work together to help Eastern – and our students – grow and succeed.
Rodolfo Arévalo, PhD