Saying Goodbye to President & Mrs. Wilson

Dr. Richard F. Wilson took office as Illinois Wesleyan's 18th president on July 1, 2004. A native of West Virginia, Wilson earned his B.S. Degree from Alderson-Broaddus College in Philippi, West Virginia, where he majored in education and mathematics. He pursued advanced degrees at the University of Michigan, where he earned both the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Higher Education. In 1978, Wilson began a 26-year tenure at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, having held the positions of Associate Chancellor for Development and Vice President of the University of Illinois Foundation. He is a member of both Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Beta Phi national honor societies. Photo taken 9 April 2005

Dr. Richard F. Wilson took office as Illinois Wesleyan’s 18th president on July 1, 2004. Photo taken 9 April 2005

Richard F. Wilson has served as President of Illinois Wesleyan University since 2004. Over the last 11 years, Wilson has led two strategic planning efforts, the first completed in 2006 and the second completed in 2014. He also strengthened the University’s financial health over the course of a very challenging decade economically.

These efforts have resulted in progress on many important initiatives, including increased attention to assessment of student learning in academic programs; expansion of efforts related to community engagement, global awareness, and social justice; growth in domestic and international student diversity; and increased commitment to sustainability, including construction of the first LEED certified building on the Illinois Wesleyan campus.

He made the Transforming Lives fund-raising campaign a priority and helped secure more than $141 million toward the campaign’s original goal of $125 million. The results of the campaign included a dramatic increase in support for student scholarships, 20 new endowed professorships for the faculty, and several new facilities on campus, including State Farm Hall, Minor Myers Welcome Center, Joslin Atrium, Egbers Plaza, Tucci Stadium, and Joyce Eichhorn Ames Art Building Rotunda.


The campus community is invited to a farewell reception for Dick and Pat Wilson. There will be remarks at 4 p.m. in the Joslin Atrium on Tuesday, 20 October.

As we prepare to bid President and Mrs. Wilson adieu, let’s take a look back over his presidency, through the eyes of IWU’s historical records, held in The Ames Library.

President Wilson’s inauguration is announced in The Argus…

The Argus welcomes President Wilson…

Find more articles relating to President and Mrs. Wilson through our digital Archives holdings, available in the following.

Wesleyana Yearbooks

The Argus and other student and alumni publications

Historical Photographs

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