The last First Night with University President Glassman


Rob Le Cates

Abbey Vollmer, a junior communications disorders and sciences major, and volleyball player TaKenya Stafford, a sophomore journalism major, dance the Cha Cha Slide during First Night at O’Brien Field Sunday night.

Madelyn Kidd, News Editor

Eastern’s First Night of 2022 on Sunday night is marked as University President David Glassman’s last First Night before he retires.

The 2022-23 academic year is set to be Glassman’s last year as president of Eastern and Sunday night was the first of many last events for Glassman.

“It’s really sad for me to think that this is my last first rally,” Glassman said. “But this one has really been exciting, a lot of energy, so glad to be here. And I thought everybody had a great time.”

Glassman is excited for this year and for classes to start.

President Glassman cheers along with the crowd after getting them ready for First Night’s events on Sunday night in the O’Brien Field Stadium. (Ashanti Thomas)

“I think this is gonna be a great year now that we’ve got COVID pretty much behind us, and people are out and they’re engaging with one another,” Glassman said. “I think it’s gonna be a very, very special year.”

Vice President of Student Affairs Anne Flaherty said the emphasis on Eastern’s marching band for First Night and throughout the year sets Eastern to be different from other institutions.

“I love the emphasis of the marching band and the spirit they bring,” Flaherty said.

Flaherty also enjoys the competitions throughout First Night among the students, including musical chairs, a dance off and a tricycle race. Although the mom in her was worried about students getting hurt during musical chairs.

“I was a little nervous about the musical chairs,” Flaherty said. “I was worried about students being safe… I went into mom mode. I thought a student was falling and getting hurt, and I wanted to go grab them. But the competition’s fine.”

Head Football Coach Chris Wilkerson is excited seeing the turnout for First Night and the home games for volleyball and women’s soccer games this weekend.

“It’s awesome to see so many of you,” Wilkerson said. “I’ve seen the students come back to campus and watch the other teams working hard and see the soccer team with a big dub today, saw the volleyball gym packed yesterday. You guys are part of the greatest community in the world.”

After winning musical chairs, Carlos Cortez, a junior exercise major, hugs his competitor and celebrates winning a Dominos gift card at First Night Sunday night at O’Brien Field. (Rob Le Cates)

Many students shared Glassman and Flaherty’s excitement about the school year starting.

Sheldon Turner, a freshman accounting major, is excited to be getting a higher education.

“I feel great,” Turner said. ” A blessing to be able to get a higher education.”

Ka’Davion Coleman, a sophomore accounting major, is ready to start classes.

“[I’m] ready to get back into the motion of the semester betting what flaws I had last year,” Coleman said.

Adan Hernandez, a freshman physical therapy major, said he came to First Night to get to know the community.

“I wanted to get to know the area, the team, the people and see the culture,” Hernandez said.

Da’Sean Roberts, a freshman television and video production major, said he came to First Night since it was something to do on Sunday night.

“We ain’t been doing much anyway,” Roberts said. “So Sunday was really kind of dry, so I came out today. It’s kind of nice right now.”

Students yell to try to catch t-shirts being thrown into the crowd at the First Night Spirit Rally Sunday night. (Ashanti Thomas)

Madelyn Kidd can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].