Passing Through The Pillars event symbolizes student success, long-standing tradition

By Nicole Ruse, Editor-in-Chief

As returning students, faculty and staff filled the pathway in front of Showalter Hall, new transfer and freshman students stood on College Ave. on the opposite side, waiting for their inauguration as Eastern students by passing through the pillars on Sept. 22.

Opening remarks were from Lisa Poplawksi, director of Alumni Advancement, Eastern President Mary Cullinan and ASEWU President D.J. Jigre.

“I am delighted about the academic year,” said Cullinan. “There are terrific faculty and staff to ensure you meet your goals and vision.”

D.J. Jigre opened his speech by jumping on the barrier next to the pillars, proclaiming the new students applaud and yell for the university, pumping them up for the event.

As he climbed down to the podium, he introduced himself and told the crowd if they were curious what D.J. meant, it was short for “Daddy Junior,” which sparked laughter in the audience.

In addition, Jigre urged students to have Eagle pride in their hearts for the red and white, as well as understand that they are “big kids” now.

“You are responsible for each and every choice you make,” said Jigre.

There were numerous groups in attendance, such as career services, professors from the visual communication design program, EWU Housing and ASEWU, just to name a few.

Swoop, Eastern’s mascot, was the leader of the passing through the pillars. New students excitedly walked up and high-fived current staff and students who were on the sidelines of the path.

The pillars are directly in front of Showalter Hall, which is the oldest and original building of EWU since the early 1900s. The Passing Through The Pillars event has been a long-standing tradition at EWU for many decades to symbolize success and perseverance.

Mary Lou Diaz, a senior at EWU, was at the event with a student group representing the Asia University America Program.

“It’s nostalgic,” said Diaz. “They will need hand sanitizer after this, though.”

Vanessa Goodwin, a transfer student from Big Bend Community College in Moses Lake, Washington, had a lot of fun passing through the pillars with her new friends.

“There was a lot of energy and you felt welcomed the whole time,” said Goodwin.

Brad Tripp, a transfer student from Coos Bay, Oregon, could not believe all the events that were going on during Welcome Week at EWU.

“The CA’s, staff and students are jam packed with event planning. They don’t have time to sit down,” said Tripp.

Kaity Wegner, a freshman from Conell, Washington, said the pillar event was welcoming and energetic as well.

“It made me feel good about this being my home,” said Wegner.