Dear Eagle Family and Friends,
So many exciting things are happening as we approach the end of the academic year, but I would like to highlight one celebration in particular that the EWU community is proud to be a part of. May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage (AAPI) Month and I want to thank members of the AAPI Planning Committee for coordinating a host of great events and activities to commemorate this special time. I am especially proud of their thoughtful work on how members of the community can step up and help stop Anti-Asian/Asian American hate and racism. Please visit their websiteto learn more, and to plan your own participation in the upcoming events.
Yesterday, I reaffirmed my commitment — and that of the entire university — to public health and safety during this pandemic. And to that end, I would like to remind you that it is Eastern’s expectation that all members of the campus community will be vaccinated so that we can ensure a safe and healthy return to in-person instruction this fall. This means every Eagle who can should get vaccinated.
I am encouraged by the progress our state is making toward fully reopening June 30. For many, this provides much-needed hope and even a cause for celebration. And while there is indeed much to celebrate, there remains a lot of work to be done.
A few weeks ago I had the honor of conferring degrees upon graduates from our Public Health, Communication Sciences & Disorders, Dental Hygiene and Physical Therapy programs. It was my first time performing this pleasurable task as interim president, and it was awe-inspiring. Our graduates are top-notch, and I’m confident that they will enter the workforce and serve our communities proudly.
In just a few weeks, I’ll have the pleasure of conferring more undergraduate and graduate degrees upon 3,300 Eagles during our virtual Commencement ceremonies on Saturday, June 12. We’ve modified this year’s ceremonies to incorporate live readings of graduates’ names, based upon the feedback we received after last year’s ceremony. And while we had hoped we might be in a position to hold an in-person ceremony this year — and I empathize with the disappointment of those who were looking forward to that — we must continue to prioritize the health and safety of our entire community. I want to thank each and every individual Eagle for doing their part over the past year, and the months to come. And I look forward to celebrating our past, current and future graduates in-person as soon as we can safely do so.
On Thursday, June 3, everyone is invited to celebrate the great work of our faculty and students as they share how they have been engaged in experiential learning, community outreach and the many unique projects to which we were forced to “pivot” during the pandemic. Please join me as I share updates on key initiatives across campus, showcase academic highlights, and invite alumni to network with one another during our Eastern EdgeEXP virtual event.
And the great work continues on Thursday, May 20, with a film screening of “Older Than the Crown” during the Lucy Covington Symposium. The film is a 30-minute documentary featuring Sinixt tribal member Rick Desautel and efforts to restore tribal recognition in Canada. Following the film, I hope you will join a discussion, hosted by our own Professor Margo Hill, with filmmakers Derrick LaMere and Shelly Boyd.
Lastly, I know many of you are eager to hear my recommendation to our Board of Trustees regarding academic program review and the future of Eastern athletics. I will be delivering my recommendations on Friday, May 21. The meeting will be held on Zoom and is open to the public. While the trustees will not take action on my recommendations during the meeting, they will accept public comment via a form on their website starting that day. In addition, there will be a presentation of next year’s budget.
With these issues and others, you can be sure that, moving forward, my recommendations will remain grounded in the philosophy that Eastern’s work is driven by our unwavering commitment to serving our students, our community and the entire Inland Northwest region.
David May, PhD
Eastern Washington University
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Thursday, May 20
Lucy Covington Symposium
Older Than the Crown film screening
Thursday-Friday, May 20-21
EWU Board of Trustees Meeting
Thursday, June 3