President's Message on Campus Events Related to Gender Diversity

We are a Catholic university that welcomes Catholics with a broad range of perspectives, as well as people of other faiths and no faith. As a community, we are committed to our seven convictions: pursuit of truth, academic excellence, faith and reason, dignity, diversity, personal attention and gratitude. (Please see our conviction statement approved by the Board of Trustees on Oct. 21, 2004, at

On Dec. 11, several events will take place on campus to explore topics related to gender identity. Faculty, staff and/or students have been involved in planning these events to address the community’s interest in exploring the many facets of this topic.

Based on our convictions, we embrace the roles of faith and reason in our never-ending search for truth, uphold the opportunity for all of these events to take place, and expect them to be conducted in a positive and respectful manner.

Based on our convictions, we also unequivocally affirm that everyone in our community, including our transgender faculty, students and staff, are important, vibrant and full members of the St. Thomas community.

We know there will be events that will make some individuals uncomfortable.

St. Thomas seeks to develop our students as morally responsible leaders who think critically, act wisely and work skillfully to advance the common good. Therefore, our students should have the opportunity to engage with diverse perspectives and ideas. It is these encounters with diverse viewpoints and perspectives where our students learn to sharpen their points of view and build their intellectual and moral foundation. For those students seeking further discussion beyond these events, there are a number of resources available on campus, including our Student Affairs and Campus Ministry teams.

Our campus must be a place that welcomes debate and supports academic freedom. We recognize that our community has many different perspectives and trust that the events taking place on Dec. 11 will serve to constructively engage our community on an issue of importance.