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About EWU


A driving force for the culture, economy, workforce
and vitality of Washington state

About Eastern Washington University


EWU—a regional, comprehensive public university located in Cheney, Washington—is a driving force for the culture, economy and vitality of the Inland Northwest region. A focus on personal attention, faculty excellence, and community collaboration allows EWU to accomplish its mission for preparing well-rounded students to hit the ground running in their chosen career fields.

EWU is proud to offer the state's best economic value in public education. This has made EWU an institution of opportunity for many college students seeking an education that will provide them the skills and practical training critical to succeed in today's changing work environment.

As a result of the University's comprehensive liberal arts curriculum and emphasis on real-world experiences, EWU graduates are uniquely prepared to succeed in a competitive job market and immediately contribute to their career fields. In addition, close faculty relationships and collaborative community projects make EWU graduates strong and active stewards of the communities in which they ultimately reside.

Mission

EWU expands opportunities for personal transformation through excellence in learning. EWU achieves this mission by:

  • fostering excellence in learning through quality academic programs, undergraduate and graduate student research, and individual student-faculty interaction. Students extend their learning beyond the classroom through co-curricular programs, life skills development, internship programs, volunteering and service learning;
  • creating environments for personal transformation that enrich the lives of individuals, families, communities and society at large;
  • expanding opportunity for all students by providing critical access to first generation students, underserved populations, place-bound students, and other students who may not have the opportunity for higher education;
  • developing faculty and staff by growing and strengthening an intellectual community and supporting professional development.

Vision

EWU envisions a future of professionally, socially and culturally engaged leaders, citizens and communities.

EWU is a driving force for the culture, economy, workforce and vitality of Washington state. Our graduates think critically and make meaningful contributions to both their career fields and their communities.

History

In 1882, the Benjamin P. Cheney Academy opened its doors to more than 200 students. A generous contribution of $10,000 from the school's namesake—a wealthy transportation industrialist—had at last fulfilled the dreams of Cheney, Washington, citizens who had long desired an institute for higher learning in their community.

The academy became the State Normal School at Cheney in 1889, the same year in which Washington received statehood. The school was proudly designated as an institution "for the purpose of instruction of persons, both male and female, in the art of teaching the various branches that pertain to a good common school."

By the time it became Eastern Washington College of Education in 1937, the school was already a fully accredited four-year, degree-granting institution, offering majors in numerous subjects.

The campus grew rapidly in size and program offerings in the decades following World War II. In 1961, the name was changed again—this time to Eastern Washington State College. It was increasingly evident that the region needed professionals in many fields; in response, the school added a wide range of undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Finally, in 1977, the state Legislature changed the school's name to Eastern Washington University.

In 1992, the core of the campus was listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Washington State Normal School at Cheney Historic District.

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