As the weather starts to cool and the leaves start to change, signs of bright, sunny life return to Eastern Washington University’s Cheney campus. While the weather wasn’t perfect, the incoming freshman class didn’t let that dampen the spirit of Welcome Week activities.
Move-In Day on Friday started off rainy—not the best way for new students to haul boxes into the residence halls—but it wasn’t enough to slow anyone down. Hats off to the volunteers who were on-point ensuring that what could have been chaos stayed organized and moved quickly.
Want to know who else was on-point? Each student’s support system. Moms and dads; brothers and sisters; grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends—you name it—they were there to help each new Eagle make a seamless transition into college life. It’s a transition, that for most, is bittersweet.
“It’s exciting and scary,” says Nagwa Pomerinke, who was moving her daughter into Morrison Hall on Friday. “I’m so excited for her next adventure, excited for her to be empowered and become more of herself. But also scared to be seven hours away.”
The Pomerinke’s traveled from Longview, in southwest Washington, to move daughter Aysha into her new collegiate home.
Aysha is ready for the adventure. “I’m excited for the freedom and independence of growing up,” she says. “I love my parents, but they can be suffocating, specifically mom.”
Don’t worry, mom laughed and agreed!
Aysha enters Eastern with a sophomore standing because she took Running Start classes at Lower Columbia College while she was still in high school. She plans to study social work and political science at EWU.
Pass Through the Pillars
Much like Friday, the chilly weather for the annual Pass Through the Pillars event on Monday wasn’t the most welcoming. But the crowd more than made up for it.
Once faculty, staff and students formed lines on both sides of the Hello Walk in front of Showalter Hall, the cool weather seemed to warm as the excitement grew. Incoming students packed 5th Street, each one eager to make their ceremonious entrance onto campus.
“I’m so thrilled to be with you on this exciting day and I’m so honored that you’ve chosen Eastern” EWU President Mary Cullinan told the new students. “While you will spend only a few short years earning your degrees at Eastern, you’ll always be an Eastern Eagle.”
Passing through the pillars is a proud tradition at Eastern, and not only because the pillars represent the entrance to campus. As EWU Alumni Association Director Lisa Cargill told the crowd, the original Showalter Hall burned to the ground in 1912. While it was being rebuilt, alumni raised money to build memorial pillars using the granite from the first story of the original building.
“For 104 years the Herculean Pillars have symbolized the spirit of Eastern that cannot be defeated,” Cargill said.
With ASEWU President Key Baker and Swoop leading the way, a big class of new students made their way through those feats of strength and into the next chapter of their lives at EWU. Faculty, staff and students were there to cheer the new students on and welcome them to the Eagle Family.
As classes start this week, EWU encourages everyone to continue that welcoming spirit as new students get settled.