University News

2012-2013 Universitywide Theme

August 21, 2012

Share |
Printer friendly version

Dear Campus Community,

For more than 10 years, the Western Illinois University theme has brought engaging speakers, programs and events to campus, and has served as a springboard for thought-provoking discussions in our classrooms. Over the years, topics have included civility, social justice, civic engagement, cultural diversity, global challenges, environmental sustainability, education and science and technology.

The 2011-12 theme, "Science and Technology: Discover, Innovate, Create," brought such speakers to campus as Gary Telgenoff, the consulting forensic pathologist for the television shows "CSI" and "Bones," Leroy Chiao, an astronaut and former commander of the International Space Station, and Sherry Turkle, the Abby Rockefeller Mauzé Professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology in the Program in Science, Technology, and Society at MIT and the founder and director of the MIT Initiative on Technology and Self.

This year's theme is "War and Peace: From Personal Conflict to Global Resolution." As in previous years, the 2012-2013 theme demonstrates a continued commitment to our four core values: academic excellence, educational opportunity, personal growth, and social responsibility. Faculty and staff are encouraged to include the theme in the classroom and through campuswide programming.

As part of the Theme Speakers Series, four internationally renown speakers will be on campus to discuss topics related to this year's theme, including Haider Hamza, an Iraqi journalist, scholar and activist; Arun Gandhi, grandson of the legendary peacemaker and spiritual leader Mahatma Gandhi; Peter Bergen, a journalist who is one of the few Westerners to interview Osama bin Laden; and Joseph Sebarenzi, former head of the Rwanda Parliament and a survivor of genocide.

I would like to thank the University Theme Committee, under the leadership of Michelle Janisz, director of the Office of Student Activities, Heather McIlvaine-Newsad, professor of anthropology and Cynthia Struthers, associate professor in the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs, for their continued efforts to expand the theme and related programming. I look forward to seeing you at the numerous events supporting this year's theme.


Jack Thomas

Posted By: WIU News (
Office of University Relations