Guided by its Catholic and Lasallian heritage, Lewis University is firmly committed to fostering a campus atmosphere that is permeated by its Mission-based values of Fidelity, Wisdom, Knowledge, Justice and Association. As such, we seek to be “A Place and a People Committed to Diversity.” Accordingly, we have declared the University campus to be a Sanctified Zone, which means that Lewis aspires to be a campus where people are committed to working to end racism, bias and prejudice by valuing diversity in a safe and nurturing environment.
At a special Mass during Founders Week in 1997, the campus was first dedicated as a Sanctified Zone as the University declared its commitment to and appreciation for diversity, proclaiming the campus to be a place where respect for the dignity of each person is to be promoted. Members of the University Diversity Council formulated the Sanctified Zone initiative. That group of faculty, staff, administrators and students called upon the entire Lewis community to reflect the Mission values by helping everyone, whatever their personal background, to feel comfortable, accepted and respected at the University.
The active promotion of diversity and the opposition to all forms of prejudice and bias are a powerful and healing expression of our desire to be “Signs of Faith,” in keeping with the Signum Fidei (Sign of Faith) component of our Mission Statement. The first Sanctified Zone symbol displayed on campus featured hands reaching out to each other. The current logo features the Lasallian star which reflects the Mission-based values of Fidelity (representing many faith traditions with similar core values), Wisdom (the integration of reflection and action to work for Justice) and Association (a community of mutual respect, collegiality, collaboration and service).