Eastern successfully celebrated its seventh annual Giving Joy Day — after marking its 140th birthday — with the Eagle community raising $345,933 to help students succeed today and into the future. Thank you to everyone who helped to make this amazing accomplishment possible!
The gifts gave the Eagle Strong Scholarship Fund, Student Emergency Fund and the Eagle Athletic Fund a significant boost. Still other gifts supported the Bill Youngs Endowment, the EWU Adaptive Athletics Program Fund, the Steve Blewett Internship Endowment and other funds to help students and support programs.
The event came together after months of planning and cooperation from faculty, staff, donors who made challenge gifts, and student and alumni volunteers.
In advance of the event, a team of Eastern staff and alumni volunteers spent several days bringing balloons, chocolate and joy to alumni-owned businesses. The day itself kicked off with David May, Eastern’s interim president, and a team of EWU faculty and staff visiting the Spokane Regional Health District to thank the health professionals for their work to keep our community safe during the pandemic. The hardworking SRHD staff includes close to 60 Eastern alumni.
Dozens of Eastern students also stepped up to help with the April 4 event. They provided heartfelt stories about the life-changing impact of scholarships in interviews posted on the Giving Joy Day website and social media channels, as well as a special daylong broadcast on KEWU. In addition, a revolving group of students managed a booth where students could write thank you notes to scholarship supporters, and then a steady flow of students dropped by to pen those special messages.
Dr. May, meanwhile, reached out with a campus message to share his thoughts about the great work being done by the faculty, staff and students at Eastern. He invited the Eagle community to come together to make a positive impact.
“As a part of our Eagle family, I hope that you will join me on Giving Joy Day in spreading joy and making a difference in the lives of our students,” he said. “With all that has happened in the last two years and all that is happening in the world today, acts of kindness and joy, big or small, remind us to celebrate that we are all a community of Eagles.”
Gifts that support scholarships and the Student Emergency Fund have the most direct impact on providing opportunities for students and helping them succeed, May said, adding that the Eagle community can also make a difference by connecting students with internship opportunities, volunteering for a good cause and even buying coffee for the person behind you in line.
The funds raised for scholarships and other university programs will provide assistance with books, tuition and other education expenses, while also filling financial gaps for students who are struggling to afford recent increases in the cost of food, transportation and housing.
As the many Giving Joy Day events illustrated, the Eagle community does indeed make a difference. Check out this video to meet four EWU students whose lives were changed thanks to Eastern’s generous scholarship supporters.
No-Li Brewhouse is among our Eagle supporters who’ve made generous gifts to increase opportunities for students. Owners John and Cindy Bryant made a $10,000 gift on behalf of their business, and its 84 employees, to help launch a Craft Beer Industry Professional Certificate at Eastern. The program, which is starting this fall, will create opportunities for students who want to pursue careers in the craft beer industry.
But the No-Li gift symbolizes far more than a shared interest in a robust brewery workforce: As you see in their story, John and Cindy have a personal connection to Eastern that comes full circle, and proves that student scholarships make a difference for years to come.