Ways to Make a Lasting Gift on Giving Joy Day

April 2, 2020 By Leilah Langley

Like so many of you during this uncertain time, Eastern Washington University is changing the way we do things. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, classes will move online for the spring quarter and many members of our faculty and staff are supporting the university while social distancing by working from home. Our annual Giving Joy Day is changing as well—but the virus is not going to stop Eagle Nation from sharing joy.

Giving Joy Day is an annual event dedicated to showing support for EWU students and our communities by giving financial gifts and volunteering. This year, we are focusing on two important priority areas.

First, we encourage you to take some time to help those who are in need. Use #GivingJoyDay to share on social media the ways in which you are giving joy in our communities. You may be volunteering to bring groceries to your neighbors in need, helping support childcare needs for your family or friends, or even sharing recipes, spring cleaning hacks, gardening tips, or ideas for family activities while kids are out of school.

Our second priority gets right to the critical needs of Eastern students. For those who can give financially, please donate to the Student Emergency Fund. Monies will be used to address students’ immediate needs, such as the technology they need to continue their studies online, as well as basic needs such as food and childcare.

There are many ways, however, to make a lasting commitment to student success. You may want to consider a scholarship fund that is just shy of reaching endowment. With a donation to one of the funds below, these scholarships can reach endowment this year. Once fully funded, the scholarships will benefit deserving EWU students year after year.


Helping Students Become Innovators and Problem Solvers

The Mechanical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering Technology Alumni Endowment was started in 2015 with generous gifts from EWU faculty and alumni. Its purpose is to promote student excellence for students seeking a degree in mechanical engineering or mechanical engineering technology, which will allow them to complete their education and become innovators, problem solvers and diverse, talented employees.

Sam Williams ’15

Sam Williams ‘15 was among the first graduates of the program at Eastern. He credits his experience at Eastern for helping him start his career as a manufacturing engineer.

“I work with University of Washington, Washington State, Western and Central alumni,” he says. “Telling them I’m an Eagle always makes me feel good.”

Today the ME/MET Alumni Endowment is less than $5,000 away from reaching endowment. We need to reach that goal this year in order to start awarding deserving EWU students.

“I learned a lot about being a great engineer from working in Jeff Donnerberg’s class to build engines. I want more students to have that experience,” says Sam.

With a gift from you on Giving Joy Day that can happen!

Full-time students entering their junior or senior year in mechanical engineering or mechanical engineering technology, with a GPA at or above 3.0 will be eligible to apply. Preference will be given to those involved in service to the department or the profession.


Supporting Women Who Don’t Give Up on Their Dreams

Co-founders Yvonne Smith and Kim Pearman-Gillman

At Eastern Washington University, we believe it is never too late to fulfill the dream of earning a college degree. For many women, making a life-changing commitment to pursue higher education for herself or her family is a challenge she cannot complete alone.

The Empowering Women Upward Fund was created by Kim Pearman-Gillman and Yvonne Smith to honor women for their hard work and diligence in seeking to enhance their lives.

“This scholarship has been created to honor the unrelenting spirit of a first generation, female, Eastern Washington University student, 35 and over who has not given up on her dream of earning a college degree no matter the obstacles,” say Kim and Yvonne. 

Qualifying students will need to be in good academic standing, demonstrate a financial need, and indicate the personal challenges she has endured to reach her goal of degree completion. With your help, this fund can reach endowment soon and start awarding deserving women the motivation they need to complete their degrees.

“The Empowering Women Upward scholarship fund is a celebration of our love and support for all women,” add Kim and Yvonne, “especially those who never give up.”


Honoring the Community Created in the Chicana/o/x Studies Program

The Chicana/o/x Studies Endowment was established with generous gifts from alumni, faculty, staff and community members to honor the community created in the Chicana/o/x Studies Program. In the stories shared by various alumni, it was the social activities and strong relationships that developed between faculty, staff and students that made the undergraduate experience such an unforgettable time at EWU.

Teresa Chavez ’01

“The Chicano Ed program and its staff helped me feel at home when I attended Eastern,” says Teresa Chavez ‘01, one of the Chicana/o/x Studies Endowment founders. “If it was not for the Chicano Ed Program, I am not sure I or my friends would have stuck around.”

Other endowment founders include Esther and Ricardo Chavez, who met at Eastern Washington University in 1994 and have been together ever since. Also, Christina Torres García and Martín Meráz García, both EWU Chicana/o/x Studies alumni and current faculty. Martín Meráz García is a professor in the department; Christina Torres García is the director of the McNair Scholars Program.

The founders say their experiences created a sense of loyalty, duty and the urge to give back to a program that gave them so much in terms of friendships, partnerships, memories and lived experiences. With your donation on Giving Joy Day, this fund can reach endowment and help provide similar experiences for deserving students in the Chicana/o/x Studies Program.