University News

WIU President Jack Thomas: Cultivating Peace

August 24, 2017

Printer friendly version

Dear University Community,

As the first week of a new academic year is underway, I would like to take this opportunity to remind the University community, as well as visitors and guests, of our University's commitment to equity, civility, and diversity.

It is our expectation that all members of the University and local community behave in a respectful manner and treat others with courtesy and mutual respect, even when messages, opinions, and feelings may vary greatly from your beliefs. We all have a right to express our opinions and our values. However, these expressions, and subsequent discussions, should be thoughtful and civil. There is much thoughtless behavior, violence, and unkindness throughout the world. Let us at Western Illinois University practice the exact opposite. Should you choose to engage those who make the choice to spew hateful rhetoric and discourse, do so peacefully and rise above their hate as these individuals are seeking a reaction to further fuel their fire.

We embrace the fact that we live in a country where everyone is free to express their beliefs and their values. Our differing views and our individuality are what make our University, our region, our state, and our nation a wonderful place to live, learn, and work. At Western Illinois University, we strive to make the world a better place through working together for the common good.

I invite everyone to join together with me, along with many other University and community officials, at the annual Community-University Partnership Program (CUPP) Welcome Back Block Party from 5-7 p.m. on the front lawn of Sherman Hall Tuesday, Sept. 5. This is an excellent opportunity to get to know members of your community.

This year's University theme, "Cultivating Peace at Home and Abroad: Our Social Responsibility," is most timely given recent events throughout the world. At WIU, discussions are encouraged and differing points of view help us to learn from one another. However, we will not tolerate acts of hate, racism, violence, and unrest.

We must work together to encourage a respectful, civil, supportive, and peaceful community. Above all else, be kind and help your fellow citizens.


Jack Thomas
Western Illinois University

Posted By: University Communications (
Office of University Communications & Marketing