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Kansas Wesleyan University

The following message was sent to campus by President Thompson at 10:41 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 8, following a 9 a.m. university-wide meeting to share information.

Coyote Family:

Scriptures say to rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn. Today is a time of mourning, the likes of which our campus has not seen in some time.

Dr. Eileen St. John, head of the teacher education department, passed away in her office this morning. Dr. St. John was a leader on campus and a family-oriented individual, who gave her all to her students every day. She will truly be missed, and we will post additional information remembering her life and her effect on KWU in the very near future.

This is a time that many of us have never faced, but I want you to know that we will get through it together, as a family.

Chaplains are available right now in the SAC, Shriwise Dining Hall, UUMC and at 1808 Highland (the Campus Ministry house). In addition, the community is supporting us by offering counselors from USD 305 and other organizations. People grieve differently, in different ways and at different times, and we want you to know that we respect that. Services will be available for some time and at different locations through the KWU footprint. If, at any time, you have a question about the location of those services, you may visit with Student Development or Human Resources.

Classes are cancelled for Thursday and Friday, and all activities – to include Athletics – that are scheduled through Sunday will be postponed. In addition, Pioneer Hall is locked down today, Thursday, Feb. 8.

Additional information regarding coursework or activities will be sent, as needed, in the coming days.

I also want you, and everyone, to know that there was no danger to campus at any time, and there is no danger now. The campus is secure and for that, we are grateful.

In conclusion, we are all processing this terrible news together. We will view it in different ways, and at different times. Please give each other grace, patience and kindness as we mourn the loss of one of our own.

In mourning,


This page was edited at 11:30 to reflect that above statement was sent by President Thompson.