Presidents to president-elect

A group of 110 college presidents, including Wheaton President Dennis M. Hanno, issued a joint letter to President-elect Donald Trump, urging him “to condemn and work to prevent the harassment, hate and acts of violence that are being perpetrated across our nation, sometimes in your name ….”

The letter was published on Friday, Nov. 14, by Inside Higher Education, a web-based news organization that covers higher education. President Hanno and his colleagues at campuses across the country said the message to President-elect Trump is intentionally non-partisan in nature.

“As an institution and a community, Wheaton values diversity, inclusion and a civil and respectful exchange of ideas and perspectives. That’s central to our academic mission,” President Hanno said. “I want for our country what we have worked so hard to develop here on our campus—an open and inclusive environment, welcoming to people from all backgrounds and traditions.”

President Hanno has been active in advocating for respectful dialogue in civic life and in speaking out on the importance of diversity and inclusion. Earlier in the year, the Washington Post published an essay he wrote that illuminated the divisive nature of much public discourse. He also has been active in permitting these ideas on campus, leading the launch of Wheaton’s “Building Community Together” campaign now in its second year.

Students, faculty and staff at the college also have been responding to recent events with calls for greater understanding and civility, including the ongoing Community Conversation series of lectures and panels organized by the Provost’s Office. Most recently, the campus hosted a  “Take a Stand Against Hate and Rally for Peace,” which was organized by the Office of Service, Spirituality and Social Responsibility, the Council on Inclusion and Diversity, and the Student Government Association.