University News

Thomas: 2011-12 Theme Letter

August 15, 2011

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Dear Campus Community,

Since its inception in 2002, the Western Illinois University theme has brought the campus and area communities together for numerous activities and programs. These events have resulted in discussions inside and outside our classrooms and have provided a platform for all voices to be heard on such significant topics as civility, social justice, civic engagement, cultural diversity, global challenges, environmental sustainability, and education.

The 2010-11 theme, Teaching and Learning for a New Era, was supported by an impressive array of events, including presentations by educational futurist Anya Kamenetz and cultural anthropologist Michael Wesch. Many activities were organized by student organizations and departments, such as the 2011 Environmental Summit.

This year's theme is Science and Technology: Discover, Innovate, Create. As in previous years, the 2011-2012 theme demonstrates a continued commitment to our four core values: academic excellence, educational opportunity, personal growth, and social responsibility. Faculty and staff should work to incorporate the theme in the classroom and through campuswide programming. The theme, and the First Year Experience reading, "And Then There's This" by Bill Wasik, can be used as a catalyst for discussions of our roles and responsibilities in this time of rapid technological and scientific advancement.

The University Theme Speakers Series promotes awareness of contemporary issues in the fields of science and technology. During the year, several remarkable individuals will be on campus to speak, including Gary Telgenoff, the consulting forensic pathologist for the television shows "CSI" and "Bones."

I would like to thank the University Theme Committee, under the leadership of Ann Comerford, director of the University Union, and Colin Harbke, associate professor of psychology, for their continued efforts to expand theme and related programming. I look forward to seeing many of you at these events.


Jack Thomas

Posted By: WIU News (
Office of University Relations