Traditional Bell Ringing Kicks off the Year

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Eastern’s Cheney campus started fall quarter with the familiar sound of the ringing of the one-room schoolhouse bell.

Alumnus James Anderson ’69, who funded the 2004 renovation of the schoolhouse, shared in the bell ringing with EWU President Shari McMahan as faculty, staff and students stood outside.

The historic one-room schoolhouse, also known as the Cheney Normal School Heritage Center, represents EWU’s beginnings in 1890 as the first teacher-training institution in Washington. The building, formerly known as the Jore School, was originally located in a field in Newport, Washington. Longtime EWU supporter STCU covered the cost of moving it to the Cheney campus.

Anderson and his wife, Shirley, who met while attending Eastern, earned education degrees and taught in Spokane Public Schools for 30 years. They were involved in the schoolhouse-restoration project from the beginning.

Shirley interviewed people about their experiences attending one-room schoolhouses and secured donations of historical artifacts for the schoolhouse museum. Sadly, Shirley passed away before the project was completed. 

James Anderson covered the cost of the painstaking restoration of the building in honor of Shirley – an act of genesority that has been appreciated by more than 5,000 people known to have visited the schoolhouse.

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