Changing of the guard

February 28, 2009 09:01 am

On behalf of all Eastern Oregon University students, faculty, alumni and staff, I would like to humbly thank this wonderful community for its support. As we prepare for Eastern’s next president to be named, I reflect on all this community has helped us accomplish.

Our challenges have been great, and the ways in which La Grande, Union County and the Eastern Oregon community has responded to assist us are many.

Financial giving to the EOU Foundation for increased scholarship opportunities has made a difference in whether some students attended at all, or were able to stay once admitted and enrolled — thank you...

Donors made additional gifts or provided special funding for students, and others helped us initiate the 100/$100 Club in which businesses and individuals were asked to contribute $100 to a Union County Pride Scholarship. Our goal for this new scholarship was $10,000, and for 2009-10, we were able to award $1,500 each to seven local students. These gifts have truly made a huge difference in the lives of individuals and have helped us with our enrollment growth — thank you.

Many of you have been attending more EOU events, from athletic competitions to plays, concerts, colloquia, art shows, symposia and career fairs. Your involvement on the campus and in the lives of our students, faculty and staff enriches our environment and demonstrates the bond that must exist between “town and gown” in a region where we truly are all in this together — thank you.

Still others of you volunteer while serving on university-community committees, on the boards of foundations connected to Eastern, with the Booster Club, and by accompanying or performing with the many theatrical and musical groups on campus — thank you.

And, to the media — radio and newspaper alike — you have given EOU much positive visibility with great pictures, wonderfully written articles about student and staff achievements and community service. What a huge demonstration of the power of positive promotion — thank you.

As we move forward into the future with its additional challenges and unknowns, I am confident that we will work together, as we have so clearly done in the recent past. Eastern Oregon University will continue to be, as our mission statement proudly states, “the educational, cultural and scholarly center that connects the rural regions of Oregon to a wider world.” You are all an important part of that mission, and I sincerely thank you for the many ways in which you help to support us and to increase and retain our student enrollments.

Dixie Lund is interim president of Eastern Oregon University.