Cheney Free Press -

By John McCallum
Managing Editor 

Former EWU president Mary Cullinan passes away


Last updated 5/3/2021 at 4:12pm

CHENEY -- Former Eastern Washington University President Dr. Mary Cullinan has passed away. Interim President David May made the announcement in an email to the university community today, May 3.

"I have some sad news to share with you. I recently learned of the passing of Dr. Mary Cullinan," May's email read. "I don’t have any details to share, but it is a shock. It is the wishes of her family that no one reach out to them at this time, and the university will be respecting these wishes for privacy."

Cullinan was hired as president in 2014 as the university's 26th president, succeeding Dr. Rodolfo Arevalo. She was Eastern's first woman president, and stepped down in August 2020 after receiving a no confidence vote on June 22 over perceived "lack of vision" and financial issues from the Faculty Organization Senate.

Prior to coming to EWU, Cullinan was president of Southern Oregon University, starting in 2006. She was provost an vice president for academic affairs at Stephen F. Austin University for three years prior to going to Southern Oregon, and was dean of the College of Arts, Letters and Sciences and an English professor at California State University--Stanislaus.

This is a developing story with more information to follow.

Author Bio

John McCallum, Managing Editor

John McCallum is an award-winning journalist who has been with the Cheney Free Press for over 20 years. He has received 10 Washington Newspaper Publisher Association awards for journalism and photography, including first place awards for Best Investigative, Best News and back-to-back awards in Best Breaking News categories. He has been serving as editor of the Spokane Valley News Herald since March 2020.

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