Illinois Wesleyan University, an independent, residential, liberal arts university founded in 1850, strives to attain the ideal of a liberal education while providing unique opportunities with its distinctive curricula and programs. A liberal education at Illinois Wesleyan fosters creativity, critical thinking, effective communication, strength of character and a spirit of inquiry; it deepens the specialized knowledge of a discipline with a comprehensive world view. It affords the greatest possibilities for realizing individual potential while preparing students for democratic citizenship and life in a global society. As the University pursues this ideal for all its students, it helps students to follow a wide range of career and life paths, offering diverse curricula in liberal arts, fine arts and professional programs as well as opportunities for interdisciplinary study and off-campus learning. The University through its policies, programs and practices is committed to diversity, social justice and environmental sustainability. A tightly knit, supportive university community, together with a variety of opportunities for close interaction with excellent faculty, both challenges and supports students in their personal and intellectual development.