This email was sent by President Matthews to the Eastern Community in March 2022.

Dear Eastern Community,

Welcome to the month of March, the one that “comes in like a lion, goes out like a lamb.” With the hope of Spring ahead, we come to our last core value N - iNnovation. Now, close your eyes and see if you remember the core value associated with each letter in EASTERN. If you can’t, please read on. If you can, please read on, too. (You can read descriptions for each core value on this webpage.)

You may be wondering, “Why didn’t they, the secret people who make these kinds of decisions, just choose a word that started with N for the last word?” Honestly, we discussed this at length! However, we kept coming back to the importance of the word “innovation” for our community, especially during this season, and we thought it was fittingly innovative that an innovative edit was innovatively utilized because like it or not, we can’t get it out of our head. And despite the length of the previous sentence, that’s good.

Here’s how we’ve defined iNnovation:

In Isaiah 43, we read about the creativity and care of God. In verse 19, the LORD declares: “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” We also read in 2 Corinthians 5.17 that “if anyone is in Christ, that one is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”

Our God is not just an accessible God, but a God of new ideas, explosive creativity, and timely innovation. And we get to be imitators of Christ (Ephesians 5).

Our new LifeFlex programs reflect innovation in our EU community, providing excellent, affordable, and flexible education that meets the needs of working adults. Several key members of our community worked together to design three revolutionary graduate programs:

  1. Master of Science (MS) in Data Science
  2. Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Organizational Leadership
  3. Master of Social Work (MSW)

These programs are fully online, predominantly self-paced, and fall far below the price tag of other universities. Since the launch of the first program in Fall 2020, approximately 2,000 students have enrolled in our LifeFlex programs.

Not only do these programs reflect creativity and innovation, but Eastern’s desire to provide accessible and affordable education for all – a heartbeat that echoes the very present, personal care of Christ.

During this month, I invite each of us to reflect on ways that we can incorporate innovation and creativity into the ways we love and serve in our spheres of influence. Take a moment to reflect on the following questions, journal your thoughts, or use them for discussion at team or group meetings. 

March Reflection Questions: N - iNnovation

  • Do I believe that innovation is important?
  • If not, should I reconsider that belief?
  • In what ways can I grow in creativity and innovation that would positively affect my personal and work life?

Let’s encourage one another and lift each other up as we lean into iNnovation this month. Thank you for contributing to the thoughtfulness and creativity Eastern Community. Remember, helpful ideas can be shared at

Have a great month!

With appreciation, 


Dr. Ronald A. Matthews


P.S. Core Values Cards: We still have some extra core values cards in the President’s Office if you don’t have one yet and would like one. Feel free to place the card on your wall or near your desk to help familiarize yourself with these values. (You can also download and print it here.)