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.
Illinois Wesleyan University will build on its achievements as an eminent, national liberal arts institution offering each of its students an education of the highest quality with distinctive opportunities for intellectual development in all majors and programs. Emphasizing the liberal arts as the core of every student’s education, the University will also provide opportunities for professional or pre-professional preparation in selected fields. Guided by the promise of its motto, “Scientia et Sapientia” (knowledge and wisdom), the University will stimulate a passion for lifelong learning, seeking to help its community members make connections among ideas, values and experiences so that they may understand and act more effectively in the world.
As a residential university of about 2,100 undergraduates, Illinois Wesleyan will provide an intellectually and artistically vibrant environment, with rich co-curricular offerings to complement the University’s primary academic mission. The curriculum and co-curriculum will promote a strong sense of Illinois Wesleyan’s place in the local and in an interconnected global community, and the University will demonstrate a meaningful commitment to social justice and environmental sustainability. To secure the compelling educational and social benefits of diversity and to counter the particular legacy of discrimination in our society, the University will strive to attract and retain students, faculty, staff and Trustees from a wide range of experiences, viewpoints, cultures and backgrounds, with special emphasis on racial and ethnic diversity. In this setting, all members of the University community—students, faculty, staff, parents, alumni, Trustees and friends—will be valued contributors to campus life.
Illinois Wesleyan will be highly selective in recruiting and retaining talented, intellectually curious students who have a strong motivation to pursue the best education that the University has to offer. All students will have opportunities to work closely, and often collaboratively, with faculty and staff, and all will be challenged to engage in multicultural interactions of national and international dimension. Students will be encouraged to develop their capacities, cultivate their individual talents, and pursue multiple interests, in a manner that fosters self-confidence coupled with humility. The University will strive to graduate individuals who are socially aware, environmentally informed, ethical and engaged citizens, who make significant contributions to their local, national and world communities.
The Illinois Wesleyan faculty will be excellent teachers, mentors and advisors, who are actively engaged in the discovery and creation of knowledge and art. This talented faculty will be recruited from nationally and globally diverse backgrounds. The size of the faculty and the resources dedicated to its work will be sufficient for the University to sustain a rigorous scholarly, creative and academic environment equivalent in quality to that of the best liberal arts colleges in the nation. The faculty’s work will be supported by a strong and varied array of faculty development opportunities.
Illinois Wesleyan’s staff will be united in the common goal of supporting the University’s core mission. Recognizing the vital contributions of its staff members, the University will cultivate a working environment in which all staff are supported in their work, can develop and use their talents, have opportunities for advancement and enjoy respect and recognition.
The University will aspire to create an extended University community—including not only those on campus, but alumni, trustees, parents, donors and friends in the local community and from around the world—that is welcoming to all and committed to Illinois Wesleyan’s core beliefs, which emphasize the spirit of inquiry, intellectual integrity, breadth of knowledge and understanding, tolerance of dissent, respect for cultural diversity, and strength of character. The University will work to create a community in which all members have a lifelong sense of belonging, value Illinois Wesleyan’s best traditions, and respect and support the University. To this end, governance of the institution will be open and accessible to active, well-informed participation from all constituencies.
All campus grounds, facilities, library resources, information technology resources and support services will be of high quality and will provide an atmosphere that inspires the pursuit of learning and promotes human and environmental health and well-being. The University will demonstrate its commitment to physical accessibility and financial affordability for all students. To achieve and sustain its vision, Illinois Wesleyan will continue to strengthen its financial base.
— Endorsed by the Strategic Planning Steering Committee, November 11, 2004
Basic profile introduction or short profile:
Founded in 1850, Illinois Wesleyan is a nationally recognized, highly selective liberal
arts university. Wesleyan’s liberal arts curriculum and nationally regarded
professional programs are designed to encourage its students to think and study
broadly. The University is exclusively undergraduate and enrolls approximately
2,000 students from across the nation and around the globe.
The following paragraphs may be included with the above, depending on the goal of the communication:
When describing the University for admissions or the media, the following can be added:
Illinois Wesleyan offers 80 majors, minors and areas of study in the liberal arts, including eight highly regarded pre-professional programs, and professional programs in business, the fine arts and nursing. University graduates can be found in all 50 states and 52 countries around the world.
Located in Bloomington-Normal, with a combined population of 125,000, Illinois Wesleyan is approximately midway between Chicago and St. Louis.
When diversity, fundraising or history is a key message, the following can be added:
Wesleyan’s first graduate James H. Barger, son of founder Rev. John S. Barger,
received his Bachelor of Science degree July 3, 1853. Hannah I. Shur, the first
woman to enroll at Illinois Wesleyan, earned her degree in 1872. The University
welcomed its first female faculty member in 1873, when Jennie F. Willing joined
the faculty as professor of English literature. In 1880, Gus A. Hill earned a degree
from the school of law, just six years after it opened and 13 years after the Board
of Trustees opened Illinois Wesleyan enrollment to African-Americans. Two
Japanese students, Y. Osawa and K. Tanaka, became Wesleyan’s first international
graduates in 1890.
When fundraising is a key message, the following can be added:
More than 160 years later, the University holds true to the ideals of its founders,
thanks to the support of its loyal graduates and friends.
For a timeline of major events, see University Timeline: Illinois Wesleyan and the World under Appendices.
Defining the Liberal Arts
The following defines how we view a liberal arts education at Illinois Wesleyan.
The Liberal Arts at Illinois Wesleyan
A liberal arts education at Illinois Wesleyan allows our students to discover the interconnectedness of knowledge through a challenging course of study beyond their majors. We place emphasis on developing their critical thinking and communications skills, strengthening their cultural literacy, and helping them to become more globally aware and ethically grounded. Illinois Wesleyan prides itself on producing graduates who are well-rounded, broadly educated individuals with a spirit of inquiry who can successfully adapt to the demands of a rapidly changing, complex world.
University Core Messages
The core messages below summarize key findings from the Strategic Plan’s Identity Research conducted by The Lawlor Group in 2007.
These core messages represent important unifying themes that when consistently delivered will enhance the impact of our communications and reinforce key aspects of our institutional identity. When communicating these messages it is important to think about how they can be visualized so that photos or video can reinforce them, e.g. our diversity should be pictured in publications, even if it is not specifically referenced in content. By having and using these consistent themes we can avoid sending mixed messages about the University.
Successful alumni who make a difference across the nation and around the world. This message speaks to the outcome (success) of an Illinois Wesleyan education, the kind of graduates that we produce (engaged) and our national and global presence (alumni in 50 states and 52 countries) that connotes a national reputation.
Tradition of academic excellence in teaching, scholarship, research and artistic endeavors. Academic excellence is especially important for a private institution such as ours. This message speaks to our long history of academic excellence, which is at our core and represented in all that our faculty and students do.
Distinctive curriculum with a liberal arts focus and strong professional programs. It is our curriculum, with its strong liberal arts focus that extends across well-regarded professional schools and programs, which helps to distinguish us from more limited liberal arts institutions and positions us to compete with larger institutions.
Committed to individual attention for students inside and outside the classroom. This message helps to differentiate us from larger schools that we often compete with, and it communicates a key aspect of the Illinois Wesleyan experience that is highly valued by our students and graduates.
An engaged and welcoming community that values diversity in people, ideas and experiences. This message helps to communicate the character, personality and values of the institution and its people.
Use of the University Name
To avoid constant repetition of the full University name in writing about Illinois Wesleyan the following guidelines are suggested.
Illinois Wesleyan University is generally the preferred first reference. The full University name clearly establishes institutional identity. It is the most complete and formal first reference, making it generally the best first reference for external communications. However, for informal communications, and communications within the Illinois Wesleyan family, there are other acceptable first reference alternatives.
Illinois Wesleyan is also an acceptable first reference and generally the best second reference. This is especially the case when the full name has been established via letterhead, the full University name or logo appearing on a publication cover, in previous sections of a document or publication, etc. Illinois Wesleyan also is a bit less formal than the full name.
IWU can be an occasional first reference and acceptable second reference, depending on the audience. The initials are best used for internal audiences, younger alumni and informal communications directed at those with close ties to the University. For most external audiences, use of the initials could cause confusion with Indiana Wesleyan (IWU) and Iowa Wesleyan (IWC), or make us appear more like public universities that commonly use their initials, e.g., ISU and WIU.
Wesleyan is an acceptable second reference, but not a first reference. Use Wesleyan in communications directed to the University family, after the full name has clearly established which Wesleyan is being referenced or when trying to communicate in an informal or personal manner in speeches, alumni materials, etc.
The University is an acceptable second reference. It can be used internally or externally after the school name has been established.
Specific to the University
The Ames Library
Capitalize “The” in all cases. See also University buildings and facilities.
Capitalize when referring to specific event.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Gospel Festival
Capitalize when referring to specific event.
Capitalize when referring to specific event.Gateway Colloquium
Capitalize in all uses. Can also use “Gateway” after first reference.Honorary organizations:
Capitalize when referring to specific event.
John Wesley Powell Research Conference
Capitalize and use full name upon first reference.
Kemp Foundation Award for Teaching Excellence
Capitalize when referring to specific award.
Office of University Communications
WESN Radio Station
Minor Myers, jr.
Former IWU President. Lowercase “jr.” in all instances. Comma needed.
See also Minor Myers, jr. Welcome Center under University buildings and facilities.
Capitalize when referring to specific event.
Illinois Wesleyan University Magazine
The Park Place Economist
Richard F. Wilson
Illinois Wesleyan University president, include middle initial.
Robert S. Eckley Quadrangle
Capitalize proper name. The Quad is an acceptable second reference.
Formerly Fall Festival, capitalize when referring to specific event.
University buildings and facilities:
For a visual listing, see University Map: Campus Buildings and Sites under Appendices.
University departments, programs and schools (official titles):
University living units (fraternities, residence halls, sororities):
University offices and programming: