Inauguration of Eric R. Jensen

Elyse Nelson Winger


Elyse Nelson Winger

University Chaplain


We gather together at the advent of spring

electric blue flowers

brazen pink magnolias

downy buds and greening grass

all declare: new life begins


We gather together on this campus awash in re-birth

not only of earth but

of ideas and ideals

for today we commence a new season at our University

as we inaugurate the President of Illinois Wesleyan


May the chorus of voices this joyful, hope-filled hour

inspire renewal among us and

ready us for the work ahead

When the world deals death

may we proclaim new life

When the world divides

may we proclaim community

When the world doubts the value of critical inquiry

may we proclaim the necessity of our liberal arts


And like the living things across our landscape

that in glorious diversity herald the advent of spring

may we—across disciplines and generations,

religions and cultures—

celebrate this new season of

learning, leadership and life together