Inauguration iconGreetings and Call to Leadership

Greetings from the United Methodist Church
Sharon A. Brown-Christopher, Bishop of the Illinois Area Office, United Methodist Church

It was, in part, a vision of leadership - sensitive to multicultural, multiracial, and inter-religious realities, focused on the stewardship of the whole of creation and the whole of our human family, including children and the poor, developed in mind, body, and spirit, formed in a strong ethical base, and rooted in integrity-that moved John Wesley, the leading founder of The United Methodist Church, into the daily lives of the citizens of England and early U. S. America in the latter part of the 18th century with a mission centered in the formation of the person and the transformation of the nation.

As a result of this vision, the United Methodist movement during its 230 years of life has with great intention and passion founded and supported institutions of higher education throughout our nation and around the world. Today The United Methodist Church works globally in partnership with 750 centers of higher education with 123 of those being in the United States in the task of forming visionary leaders for our 21st-century world. One of those centers is Illinois Wesleyan University.

On behalf of The United Methodist Church and the Illinois Greater Rivers Conference of The United Methodist Church, I, in the true Wesleyan spirit, welcome you, Dr. Wilson, to the presidency of Illinois Wesleyan University.