Eastern Oregon University > Current News > Oregon Senator Hansell visits EOU to pay it forward

Oregon Senator Hansell visits EOU to pay it forward

Oregon Senator Hansell visits EOU to pay it forward

LA GRANDE, Ore. – Eastern Oregon University hosted Oregon State Senator Bill Hansell and his wife Margaret who visited EOU to meet with Pacific Islander students and discuss their recent trip to the Marshall Islands.

Hansell’s affinity for the Marshall Islands was displayed as he shared stories from their visit to the Pacific Island this past summer. During their meeting with the students, the Senator presented the Navigators Club with a cash donation they received during their trip. 

The Navigators Club at EOU aims to create awareness concerning the different cultures of people who originate from the Pacific Islands and to unify people through events, activities, and other school functions, including its annual “Island Magic” show.

“I was surprised, but I was very grateful. We’ve been planning a lot of fundraisers, and it was nice to have that support, especially from the senator,” Losii Daniel, President of the Navigators Club said after the meeting. 

Hansell said the main reason for his visit to EOU was a donation given to him and his wife during a visit to the Marshall Islands. Hansell said he wanted to pay it forward. 

“The thing that was the catalyst was the offering that was taken for us in the church,” Hansell said. “We asked ourselves, where can we give this? We knew of the student group in La Grande. So I wanted to make sure that the group is still functioning every year.”

In his discussion about diversity and inclusion, Senator Hansell highlighted the need for equal opportunities and the removal of barriers that hinder educational progress. Hansell has advocated for the Pacific Island population during his time in the legislature and helped pass bills to support health care and provide in-state tuition for students. He praised EOU for its work with the significant population of students from the Marshall Islands and throughout the Pacific Islands attending the university – one of the largest in the nation.

To learn more about student diversity and inclusion at EOU, visit eou.edu/mc.