Eagle 1 Newsletter: September 2022

Monthly Message from EWU President Shari McMahan

September 21, 2022

Dear Eagle Family and Friends,

My first Eagle 1 newsletter comes to you as we begin the new academic year at EWU! I have already had the pleasure of welcoming our semester students, many of whom attend classes in Spokane, and now, in Cheney, we got things rolling – or rather ringing – right at 8 a.m. on Wednesday as we gathered to ring the schoolhouse bell in the historic One Room Schoolhouse.

James Anderson '69 and Shari McMahan, PhD, ringing the bell.
Proud alumnus, James Anderson ’69 and Shari McMahan, PhD, ringing the bell.

Students started arriving on campus last week for Move-In Day, and it’s been so refreshing to see our residence halls and campus come to life. As we move out of pandemic restrictions, there is a great opportunity to refocus our efforts toward building a stronger and healthier campus environment.

Since my arrival to Cheney at the end of June, I’ve experienced my own introduction to the campus and surrounding community. It’s been a non-stop process of learning, listening and coming to appreciate the great traditions of Eastern Washington University.

Few of these traditions are more beloved than the annual “Pass Through the Pillars” which I was thrilled to participate in on Tuesday. Seeing our new Eagles begin their EWU experience is both a joy to witness and an important reminder that we are here to ensure our students have great success as they progress to graduation.

Students walking up the path for Pass through the pillars

Earlier in the day, I was grateful to deliver my first Welcome Address to faculty, staff, students and EWU supporters. I touched on my experiences since arriving in the Cheney-Spokane area, what I’ve learned from my listening sessions, and what areas I plan to focus on immediately as we start the year. It’s no secret: enrollment and budget challenges are at the top of the list. It’s also no secret that Eastern’s values of grit, grace, greatness and gratitude will help the university navigate these challenges and meet its goals. I invite you to please take a few minutes to watch this video of my address.

Welcome Address given by Dr. McMahan

As I mentioned in my speech, one of my ambitions is to get out of my office and into the Eastern community. Especially with my background in health and fitness, it’s important for me to be moving — I’ll take a walking meeting over a conference room any day, and my office desk has a standup work feature I utilize quite often. If this first year is anything like my first 100 days, in fact, I’ll be on the go almost constantly, meeting with campus constituents like faculty and students, community groups and business leaders and attending activities and events.

While I have already had the pleasure of introducing myself to many of you over my first few months, I know there are so many more Eagles to meet as we embark on this big year at EWU. If you see me on campus — or at a game or university event — please take a few minutes to say hello and share your own Eagle pride!

I look forward to updating you about all our successes as the year progresses. Until then, take care and Go Eags!
Shari McMahan, PhD
Eastern Washington University