Every supporter of Eastern Washington University has different reasons why they put extra effort into helping their fellow Eagles.
Vic Wallace Sr.’s reasons go all the way back to 1974 when he arrived in Cheney after retirement from the Air Force.
He joined the University Police Department and remained on the force for 20 years and 10 months, working his way up from sergeant to lieutenant and finally being named as chief in 1991, a position he held until 1995.
“I retired on my youngest child’s 19th birthday,” he said.
Vic has continued to be a familiar face on campus, and, even in his 80s, has made an effort to attend every game and every practice for every sport, often accompanied by his daughter Chrissy. They both enjoy cheering for the Eagles and meeting and greeting players at every opportunity, especially newer students.
He also challenged the community to support the Eagle Athletic Association in the memory of Carilon, his high school sweetheart and wife of 44 years.
“My goal was to give back $50,000 for scholarships,” he said. “This goal was met, and now is growing beyond that.”
He’s served annually as a “team member” for athletic fund drives, and has made it a point to visit Roos Field daily during the two-month installation of the red Sprinturf surface.
EWU has continued to find ways to show its gratitude to Vic for his years of support. In 2013, he received the Eastern Athletics Hall of Fame Service and Contribution Award, an annual honor that recognizes longtime commitment to the school along with contributions to other endeavors in education, coaching and the community.
Q. Why have you continued to help EWU?
A. When I was part of the staff, I wanted to help students to get their education. By supporting the students this lets them we know care for them and their efforts to get their education. I also became more involved with Athletic Department after my wife’s death in 1999.
Q. Has there been anyone who was particularly inspirational for you at Eastern?
A. One of more inspirational people was EWU President Rodolfo Arevalo, who retired in 2014. He was so sick here with cancer. He beat it, and was always in a happy mood when we spoke.
Q. How did you and your family end up in Cheney?
A. I was born and raised in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. In 1953 I moved to visit my aunt in Miami. Due to racial problems there, I joined the Air Force a year later. I became an Airbone radio operator on a C-47. I started at Lackland in Texas, and then we were assigned to Oslo, Norway, right out of radio school.
I married my high school sweetheart in January, 1955. Six of our children were born while in the Air Force. Our children include Valencia and Patrice, both born in Miami; Vic Jr. and Michael, born in upstate New York; Adrienne, born at Ramey Air Force Base in Puerto Rico; and Jeffery, born at Moody Air Force Base in Georgia. Chris, the youngest, was born at Sacred Heart. There are also 12 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Q: When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A: As a kid growing up in the Virgin Islands, I wanted to become a pilot.
Q: Do you have a favorite fun activity in the Spokane area?
A: It used to be going to the movies, earlier in life.
For more information about Eastern programs or athletics, visit www.ewu.edu.