Towards a Bright, EWU Future
During her inspiring investiture speech, Dr. McMahan spoke about leading our university’s students — both present and future— along a “clear path to a bright future” (our cover story on Page 16), it immediately brought to mind memories of my own journey to Eastern.
For me, that path wasn’t all that clear. But, like so many other young people who end up at Eastern, I was at least hopeful that my future would be bright.
It’s not that I didn’t think college was in my future. My mom especially had always urged me to take academics seriously. At Medical Lake High School, I had great teachers that pushed to bring out the best in me and my classmates.
As a serious athlete who worked hard to excel in both football and baseball, there were plenty of distractions. But with the urging and support of my family, I managed to do well in the classroom. By the time graduation rolled around, I felt ready for college — both academically and athletically — and I was hopeful of becoming a scholarship student athlete playing football at EWU.
In fact, the scholarship offers came. Just not from Eastern. I considered signing with another school, but just couldn’t see myself as anything other than an Eagle. So I put my college ambitions on hold, and instead signed a contract to play ball with the Kansas City Royals.
Playing AA baseball in the Royals’ system was an experience I wouldn’t trade for the world. But when a career in baseball didn’t work out, I knew for sure that it was time to take the path leading back to Eastern. Many of you know my football story at EWU — a running back twice named to the All-Big Sky team and later honored as a member of the EWU’s 2000-2009 All-Decade Team. You may not know that in the classroom, I had a professor and mentor, Stu Steiner, who believed that I had the right stuff to be an electrical engineer. With hard work, and his guidance, I made it happen, later adding a Master of Business Administration degree. Today, I work for Avista as a director in generation production and substation support. It’s a job that I love.
As the new chair of the EWU Foundation Board, I feel like I’ve come full circle: Back at Eastern and in a position to help a new generation of students find their own “path to a bright future,” even if that path is as circuitous as my own.
Alexis Alexander ’08, ’14