Former EWU President Mary Cullinan Dies

May 3, 2021

Mary Cullinan was Eastern Washington University's 26th President.
Credit Courtesy of EWU

Eastern Washington University’s former president Mary Cullinan has died.

Interim President David May announced her death to the campus in a statement Monday.

"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 the university's 26th president and the first woman to fill that role.  She was appointed in 2014 and was previously the president of Southern Oregon University. During her time as president, the university expanded its footprint in Spokane, with the energy neutral Catalyst Building and the EWU Spokane Campus.  

She resigned last year after a vote of no confidence from faculty and in the midst of financial hardship at the university. After she stepped down, she became a faculty member in the university’s English department.

Cullinan graduated with a bachelor’s of arts from the University of Pennsylvania and graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a MA and PhD in English literature, according to her University biography.

She is an author and co-edited an anthology highlighting women writers.

Before serving as EWU’s president, she was the president of Southern Oregon University for eight years. Prior to that role, she served as provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at Stephen F. Austin State University in Texas.

She also previously was a faculty member and administrator at California State University, CSU East Bay and California State University Stanislaus.