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Wheeling University

Historical Timeline



  • October 8 – The idea of a college is revived by Bishop John Swint, who asks the Maryland Province to begin a two-year feasibility study. He offers to provide the grounds and physical plant for the college if the Maryland Jesuits agree to operate and staff it. The study is initiated by Fr. Clifford M. Lewis.


  • July 4 – The Jesuits approve Bishop Swint’s plans for a college. The Bishop purchases the land on which Wheeling University is to be built from Mt. de Chantal later that month.


  • In the early part of the year, Fr. Lewis, the first Jesuit to take up residence in Wheeling, arrives to confer with Bishop Swint and others working to establish the college.
  • November 24 – The groundbreaking ceremony for the college is held. Construction of Swint Hall, Donahue Hall and Whelan Hall began in the spring.


  • Summer  – A Jesuit organizing committee sets up a temporary college center in the former St. Michael’s rectory and church on Edgington Lane. 
  • September 25 – The college is officially incorporated. Father Lawrence R. McHugh, S.J., becomes its first president a day later. 
  • November 21 – The cornerstone is laid for Donahue Hall, named after Bishop Patrick J. Donahue, the third bishop of the Wheeling diocese. It was a legacy left to Donahue that was eventually used to finance the building of Wheeling College. 


  • September 26 – Wheeling College, with a staff of 12 Jesuits and four lay professors, opens its doors for the first time. The first class consists of 90 students, who are offered 25 courses in 12 majors. The original opening date was set for September 11, but it was pushed back to allow for “the completion of roads and sidewalks.” 
  • October 23 – Formal dedication ceremonies for the college are held with more than 2,000 people in attendance. Festivities begin with a Solemn High Mass at St. Joseph’s Cathedral, followed by a colorful procession from Swint Hall to Donahue Hall, where the dedication took place. Speakers at the ceremony include Archbishop Swint and Fr. William F. Maloney, S.J., of the Provincial of Maryland Province. 
  • November 18 – After a week-long campaign, the first student government election is held. “Neotian Party” candidate J.D. Graziano is chosen as class president with Roger Smith as his vice president, Barbara Creamer as secretary and Charles Michaels as treasurer. 
  • November 22 – The first issue of  The Spokesman , the student newspaper, appears. The name refers to the helmsman of a riverboat, and indicates the paper’s desire to reflect and guide the thought of the new college. 
  • December 6 – The Cardinal is selected as the symbol of the college by the student body, and crimson and gold are chosen as the school colors. Along with Cardinals, other nicknames which received support were Lancers, Pioneers and Amalgamated Book Worms. 
  • December 14 – The Wheeling College Glee Club gives its first public performance at the college Christmas party in Donahue Hall. Thomas Carrigan is the first club chairman.


  • Wheeling College admits its first military veterans after an amendment to the Federal G.I. Bill allows veterans to receive aid while attending a school still unaccredited. The work of Fr. Lewis was instrumental in gaining the amendment.
  • February 3 – The “Ole Piano Role,” Wheeling College’s first formal dance, is held at the Oglebay Pine Room with a “Gay Nineties” theme and entertainment by the Hal Curtis Orchestra.
  • February 12 – The Caviar Club, the college’s dramatics society, holds its first public performance, a series of one-act plays: “Wurzel-Flummery” by A.A. Milne, “Lithuania” by Rupert Brooke and Pyramus and Thisbe,” a scene from Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”
  • Spring – The college holds its first Gambol musical.
  • October 1 – The first practice is held for the Wheeling College basketball team under the direction of coach Edward Coyne. Twenty-nine players try out, all but five of them freshmen. Practices are held in parking lots and on outdoor asphalt courts. The Cardinals play their first game December 1, 1956, losing 92-71 to a West Virginia University freshman team which includes future NBA Hall of Famer Jerry West. Wheeling College’s biggest win of the season is a 69-65 overtime triumph over Duquesne University.


  • February 11 – Bishop Swint turns over the deed to all college properties and buildings to the Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus.  
  • November 4 – A committee appointed by the West Virginia Board of Education recommends that Wheeling College be approved as a degree-granting college.


  • A dangerous hillside slippage problem is discovered which causes Donahue Hall to slowly creep forward, destroying a parking lot, snapping electric and water lines, flooding the building’s first floor and caving in some foundation blocks. A local contractor is called in to remove the hill and strip-mine the coal beneath it. Giant chunks of rock are placed along Wheeling Creek and the college is left with a $25,000 bill. In 1959, Jim Reilly, vice president of the Hanna company, discovers that Mount de Chantal has a rich field of fine quality coal, enough to bring the Academy a net profit of $25,000. The overburden removed while mining Mt. de Chantal was used to cover the rocks by Wheeling Creek, lessening the danger of flooding and giving the college graded athletic fields for football, tennis and baseball. More than 25 acres belonging to the college were seeded and graded, and the resulting athletic area was named Hanna Field.
  • February 11 – The first Founder’s Day is celebrated, commemorating the first anniversary of the formal gift of the college to the Jesuits.
  • June 10 – Entertainer Danny Thomas gives a benefit performance at the Capitol Theatre in Wheeling, with the proceeds helping to fund a dormitory project at Wheeling College.
  • September 18 – Fr. McHugh announces the official opening of a $4.5 million campaign for long-range development to finance the college “both for the present and foreseeable future.”


  • April 8 – Wheeling College students set a world record for phone-booth stuffing as 33 boys squeeze into a booth outside the cafeteria. The effort is sponsored by the “Pacemaker Party” on the night before student elections.
  • June 7 – Wheeling College graduates its first class. Fifty students receive degrees, including Clayton Hudnall, a Woodrow Wilson Fellow and a Rhodes Scholar finalist. Half the Class of ’59 goes on for further degrees. Archbishop Swint receives the college’s first honorary degree.
  • Fall – The college’s first residence halls open: McHugh, with room for 158 male students, and Sara Tracy, which can accommodate 100 female students. Females had originally stayed at Mt. de Chantal, then moved into residential homes in the area known as Della Strada, Avila Hall and Siena Hall. Male students had been staying with families who agreed to take in boarders, as well as in sections of Swint Hall and Whelan Hall. In September of 1958, the Jesuit community temporarily moved out of Whelan Hall and into the former St. Vincent’s Orphanage in Elm Grove. They return when the dormitories are completed.



  • May 5 – U.S. Senator Hubert Humphrey, the 1968 Democratic Party nominee for President, speaks to a standing-room-only crowd at Swint Hall. His topics include an end to the arms race with the Soviet Union and a war on poverty, disease, hunger and illiteracy.
  • Summer – The college offers summer classes for the first time.


  • February 14 – Wheeling College, West Liberty State College and Bethany College agree to form the Ohio Valley Collegiate Conference for the purpose of better communication among the three schools.


  • March 29 – Wheeling College is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools. The college was accredited in the minimum possible time, and students were given April 2 as a holiday to celebrate.
  • November 2 – Archbishop John J. Swint dies at age 82.
  • December 1 – The Wheeling College gymnasium is formally opened.


  • Fall – The first formal meeting of the Wheeling College Alumni Association is held. Thomas C. Jones ’60 is elected as the group’s first president.


  • November 20 – Legendary singing group “The Lettermen” perform at Wheeling College’s 10th Anniversary Dinner and Dance.


  • January – A $5 million expansion program is announced, which will include a library, campus center, theater and two residence halls. Completion is expected by the fall of 1970.


  • May 13 – Robert Arkle ’62 and John DiBacco ’62 become the first Wheeling College alumni to be ordained to the priesthood.
  • November 14 – Fr. Troy, the college’s second president and first academic dean, dies in Cape May, NJ, at age 47.


  • October 30 – Several Wheeling College students protest a Wheeling appearance by Independent Presidential candidate George Wallace.
  • December 4 – Betty Friedan, president of the National Organization of Women and author of “The Feminine Mystique,” makes a speech in the Wheeling College Field House.


  • February 8 – The Wheeling College women’s basketball team wins its first-ever game, beating Ohio University-Belmont, 35-26. Mary Fitzpatrick is the high scorer with 14 points.
  • September – A theology major is added to the college curriculum.



  • June 15 – Dr. Thomas Wack becomes the college’s first lay academic dean.
  • Winter – Student body president Jim Doherty is one of 10 student body presidents in the nation chosen by the United States National Students Association for a special tour of Vietnam.


  • February 13 – A protest calling for the end of the war in Vietnam is staged in downtown Wheeling by 50-60 members of the Wheeling College community.
  • June 12 – Andrew Novotney, Class of 1964, becomes the first Wheeling College graduate to be ordained as a Jesuit priest.
  • October 12 – The first professional basketball game ever in Wheeling is played in the Wheeling College Field House as the ABA Pittsburgh Condors top the Dallas Chaparrals, 120-118, in a pre-season exhibition.


  • In a cost-cutting move, Vincent Knipfing, dean of student affairs and housing, announces that Sara Tracy Hall will be closed for the 1972-73 school year. The closing was later extended to include the 1973-74 school year.


  • Rock-and-roll pioneer Chubby Checker performs in the Field House.


  • May – Future U.S. President Ronald Reagan speaks at the Field House.
  • September 13 – Men’s soccer becomes a varsity sport. The Cardinals win their first game, 3-2, over Linsly Academy.
  • Fall – A Bachelor of Science in Nursing program is approved.
  • Winter – “The Rathskellar” opens for business.


  • February – Due to record-breaking cold temperatures, classes are suspended for the entire month. To compensate, 15 days of class are added from March to May, and students receive a $40-$50 refund.


  • March – The men’s basketball team reaches the finals of the WVIAC Tournament before losing to West Virginia Wesleyan. Ed Graham and Paul Mulholland both make the all-tournament team.
  • Fall – Graduate business courses are added to the curriculum, and a Master of Business Administration program begins.


  • April 18 – College President Charles Currie suffers two broken legs, a black eye and facial lacerations in a helicopter crash.
  • December 1 – A 24-hour prayer vigil is held on campus for the hostages being held at the American Embassy in Iran.



  • The Laut honors program begins. It is named for Fr. Stephen J. Laut, S.J., a former English professor at the college.


  • January 30 – Wheeling College student and future country music star Lionel Cartwright headlines a Jamboree U.S.A. show at Capitol Music Hall.
  • February 3 – After a two-year absence, a revamped Spokesman reappears under the new name “Nova.” 


  • The English as a Second Language program is founded by Dr. Robert Lado, a linguistics professor at Georgetown University. The program is later renamed the Lado Institute.


  • The Wheeling College Chapel, later renamed the Chapel of Mary and Joseph, is completed. The Most Rev. Joseph Hodges celebrates the first Mass, with the Jesuit community in attendance. Hodges dies a month later. The first public Mass is held on Christmas Eve.


  • Jazz legend Dizzy Gillespie plays at the Field House.


  • Spring – Fr. Thomas S. Acker, S.J., announces plans to add the word “Jesuit” to the name of Wheeling College. The change takes effect in the 1987-88 school year.


  • January – Men’s basketball player Bryant Houston sets the school scoring record for a single game with 48 points against Bluffton College.
  • June – “CRESCENDO,” the sculpture by Hans Van de Bovenkamp which sits in front of the Chapel of Mary and Joseph, arrives on campus.
  • Fall – The college begins a Reserve Officer Training Corps program. 


  • September 7 – Women’s soccer becomes a varsity sport as the Lady Cardinals open their season with a scoreless tie against Marietta. The women’s team would reach the six-team NAIA National Championship Tournament in 1991, 1992 and 1993.
  • October 25 – The Donahue Hall rededication ceremony is held, with participants including the Very Rev. Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, S.J., Superior General of the Jesuits. As part of the renovation, the building’s exterior balconies are enclosed with glass, and a greenhouse and mechanical rooms are installed at the rear of the building.


  • Wheeling Jesuit College is designated as the site for the Robert C. Byrd National Technology Transfer Center. Initial appropriation for the facility is engineered by U.S. Senator Robert C. Byrd. NASA also established the Erma Ora Byrd Center for Educational Technologies at Wheeling Jesuit College, with initial appropriation for the facility engineered by U.S. Congressman Alan B. Mollohan.
  • February 2 – The student newspaper reverts to its original name, The Spokesman.
  • March 8 – The men’s basketball team earns a trip to the NAIA National Championship Tournament with a 91-83 victory over Concord. The Cardinals defeat Guilford, N.C., and Drury, Mo., in the tournament before losing to Central Washington. Wheeling Jesuit turns in its finest season ever, winning 22 consecutive games, being ranked No. 4 in the nation by the NAIA and finishing the year 31-4. Mike Connor becomes the school’s all-time leading scorer with 2,045 points, and is named Academic All-American and Third Team All-American. Dave Foose ends his career as the all-time free throw percentage leader in NAIA history. Coach Jay DeFruscio earns, WVIAC, District 28 and NAIA Area 7 Coach of the Year honors.
  • Fall – Physical therapy program opens.



  • Aug. 13 – The NASA Teacher Resource Center opened.


  • Wheeling Jesuit was designated as a host site for the Challenger Learning Center. 
  • Jan. 9 – The college was accepted as a member of NCAA Division II. 
  • May 1 – The college began a $40 million capital campaign called “Summit 2000.” 
  • Dec. 12 – Alma Grace McDonough of Parkersburg, W.Va., made a $6 million unrestricted gift to the college. The money was used to build the McDonough Center, a 107,000-square-foot health and recreation complex.


  • April 13 – A groundbreaking ceremony was held for the Alma Grace McDonough Center. 
  • May 4 – Alma Grace McDonough died at age 84. 
  • June – Charlie O. Erickson (1913-1993) donated $200,000 to establish the Erickson Alumni Center in the Alma Grace McDonough Center. 
  • October – The National Technology Transfer Center opened its 1-(800) gateway telephone number to access federal technology resources. 


  • April – The Alma Mater was revised to make it more “sing-able” and more current.
  • April – A $1.3 million addition was announced for the Benedum Room and Swint Hall. The new campus store, mailroom, switchboard and security offices are located beneath this addition. 
  • April – Trenching routes were set for the fiber optics network which enabled students to connect, through the use of a computer, to the campus library or any library across the country from their room. 
  • April 30 – The faculty approved a new bachelor’s degree program in technology and a master’s degree program in technology transfer. 
  • May 11 – A new bronze college seal that said “Wheeling Jesuit College” was unveiled at the main entrance. The gift was presented by the Class of 1993.
  • July 12 – Groundbreaking ceremonies were held for the college’s new $7.9 million, 276-bed residence hall (later named Ignatius Hall). 
  • August – The College added master’s degree programs in nursing administration, physical therapy and technology transfer.
  • Sept. 3 – U.S. Senator Robert C. Byrd, U.S. Rep. Alan B. Mollohan and NASA Administrator Daniel Goldin attended the groundbreaking ceremonies for the construction of the $13.5 million Robert C. Byrd National Technology Transfer Center and the $10 million Erma Ora Byrd Center for Educational Technologies. 
  • Sept. 3 – The new addition to the Benedum Room opened for students.
  • Sept. 25 – A ribbon cutting was held for the new campus bookstore; part of the Swint Hall addition project.
  • Nov. 1 – The Alma Grace McDonough Center opened for use.
  • Nov. 22 – The college announced the formation of men’s and women’s swimming and track teams for academic year 1994-95. 
  • Nov. 26 – Inaugural men’s basketball game was held in the new Alma Grace McDonough Center. Wheeling Jesuit beat John Carroll University 98-94.


  • February – The university announced the NASA Classroom of the Future, was named for West Virginia Congressman Rep. Alan B. Mollohan.
  • Feb. 16 – The Lady Cardinals basketball team clinched its first WVIAC regular season title. The team compiled a 20-4 regular season record, and senior Kathy Long was a first-team all-conference selection. Wheeling Jesuit also won the conference tournament, with Long voted tournament MVP. 
  • March 10-14 – The NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt was displayed in the McDonough Center. 
  • March 10 – Wheeling Jesuit received one of five Proud of Wheeling (POW!) awards at the Wheeling Area Chamber of Commerce’s 1994 annual meeting. 
  • May 19 – Board of Directors named Rev. Joseph A. Burke, S.J. as first Chancellor of Wheeling Jesuit.
  • Aug. 18 – Ignatius Hall, an eight-story dormitory was opened. 
  • Sept. 1 – The Alma Grace McDonough Center was dedicated. Pittsburgh Mayor Thomas Murphy was the featured speaker. 
  • Sept. 22 – The Challenger Learning Center marked its first flight with more than 30 college employees on board. 
  • Oct. 25 – Sen. Robert C. Byrd and Rep. Alan B. Mollohan dedicated the Center for Educational Technologies building. 
  • Oct. 29 – The WJU swim team hosted its first meet in the McDonough Center pool.


  • Jan. 9 – The new doctoral in physical therapy program made its debut.
  • Jan. 14 – Men’s basketball coach Jay DeFrusico became the winningest basketball coach at Wheeling Jesuit, breaking the old record of 128 career wins.
  • May – The Robert C. Byrd National Technology Transfer Center was completed and opened.
  • Nov. 28 – Wheeling Jesuit began theater renovations. The new theater cost approximately $900,000. 
  • December – First-ever winter commencement was held.


  • April – The Spokesman, WJU’s student newspaper, announced it will change its name beginning with the 1997-98 academic year.
  • May 24 – Board of Directors voted to change the college name to “Wheeling Jesuit University.”
  • June – Construction of an Olympic style track began at WJU. The ground for the new track was broken early in the month. The track surface was similar to the one constructed for the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. The $1 million project, included grandstands and a press box. 
  • June 30 – Long-time Registrar Kitty McCready retired from WJU. McCready had been registrar since 1972.
  • July 1 – The Ohio County Board of Education authorized the sale of the Steenrod School to Wheeling Jesuit. WJU bought the school for $66,000
  • July 18 – Wheeling Jesuit College officially became “Wheeling Jesuit University.”
  • August – President Acker announced that the fall 1996 enrollment of 1,527 was the highest in the school’s history.
  • Sept. 20 – It was announced that West Virginia Girls State would end its 55-year run at Jackson’s Mill and head to Wheeling Jesuit in the summer of 1997.
  • November – An announcement was made that the future grandstand at the new track facility would be named after Bill Van Horne, a dedicated former sports writer/editor for the Wheeling News-Register.


  • Jan. 20 – The first Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration took place on the WJU campus.
  • February – Dr. Michael Joseph gave WJU $27,000 to construct the press box at the new outdoor track in memory of his wife, Lenore.
  • May – The William and Mary Alyce Cafaro Student Center was added to Swint Hall. The addition included the expansion of the Ratt, the game room and additional student activity and theater lobby space. Additional construction included the expansion of Sara Tracy parking lot. The total cost of the renovations was $1 million. 
  • June 7 – West Virginia Girls State began to hold its annual gathering at WJU, after a 55-year run at Jackson’s Mill.
  • Sept. 8 – U.S. News & World Report, listed Wheeling Jesuit University fourth in its Best Values ranking for Southern Regional Universities.
  • Oct. 16 – With the flip of a switch by U.S. Sen. Robert C. Byrd, the National Technology Transfer Center’s $13.5 million headquarters and service facility was officially dedicated. At theappointed moment of dedication, a gold covering dropped from the glass and brick building’s exterior name plate to reveal its official lettering–the Robert C. Byrd National Technology Transfer Center. Byrd was joined at the dedication by U.S. Rep. Alan B. Mollohan, West Virginia Gov. Cecil H. Underwood, Edward Heffernan, acting associate administrator of NASA, and Wheeling Jesuit President Rev. Thomas S. Acker, S.J. More than 1,300 Wheeling Jesuit students, faculty, staff, and visitors from the Wheeling community attended the dedication at Emily LaRosa Field. The event also was streamed live to the Internet.
  • December – The Board of Directors approved a 30,000-square-foot addition to Sara Tracy Hall which added 64 beds on campus and a new admissions center. (Later Named Philip & Evelyn Kirby Hall).


  • April 17 – The Rev. William F. Troy, S.J. Theater renovations were completed and the space was renamed in memory of Wheeling Jesuit’s second president.
  • April 18 – William Cafaro, founder of the Cafaro Co. pledged $1 million to the university, just four days before his death.
  • May 1 – The university acquired a new bronze statue called “Bridges” which still sits on the east side of the Chapel of Mary and Joseph. 
  • July 21 – Sen. Robert C. Byrd announced a bill he introduced in Congress that would give WJU $2.5 million for a science center (Later named the Thomas S. Acker Science Center).
  • Summer – Called “New Hall” since it opened in 1994, Fr. Acker decided to officially name the eight-story dormitory “Ignatius Hall.”
  • Aug. 21 – Fr. Acker announced the new addition to Swint Hall, called the “William & Alyce Cafaro Student Center.”
  • Sept. 5 – The Bill Van Horne grandstands at the James LaRosa soccer & softball outdoor athletic complex were dedicated.
  • September – Athletic Director Jay DeFrusico announced that men’s lacrosse and women’s golf was added to the list of sports WJU offers. The sports began in the spring of 2000.
  • October – Work began for the new female residence hall (later named Kirby Hall). 
  • October – The U.S. Senate approved a $3 million bill that would go towards the construction of a $6 million science center that was to be constructed behind Donahue Hall.
  • Dec. 2 – WJU Benefactor Mary McShain died in Killarney, Ireland. The Chapel plaza was named the John & Mary McShain Plaza in 1987. 


  • March – The Lantz family deeded their 540-acre farm in Jacksonburg, W.Va. to the university. The value of the farm was $1 million. The barn and farmhouse were later renovated for retreats. 
  • Spring – Sports management was added as a degree program at WJU. 
  • June 9 – The Ohio County Commission approved a $4.5 million bond for WJU to renovate and do minor construction at the former Steenrod School for new student housing. 
  • Aug. 30 – U.S. News & World Report named Wheeling Jesuit University the 10th Best University in the south region for quality of education and 12th in Best Value. 
  • Mid-September – Sen. Robert C. Byrd announced that a second round of funding had been secured for the construction of a new $8.5 million computer and science center (Later named the Thomas S. Acker, S.J. Science Center).
  • Fall – The university announced that every student would be required to take fine arts-based courses as part of the core curriculum. The university formed a partnership with Oglebay Institute Stifel Fine Arts Center to offer the courses.
  • Dec. 9 – The Board of Directors announced that Rev. George F. Lundy, S.J. would become the sixth president of Wheeling Jesuit University the following year, succeeding Rev. Thomas S. Acker, S.J. who would step down. 



  • Jan. 7 – Graduate students move into the former Steenrod School Building – Wheeling Jesuit’s new housing facility on Steenrod Avenue.
  • March – Jay DeFruscio returns to the coaching ranks as the Cardinals head basketball coach.
  • April 11 – The first ever student research symposium was held. About 60 students presented papers and projects in several fields of expertise. Awards were given to the top projects in 12 areas.
  • May – The Board of Directors and other honored guests recognized Rev. Thomas S. Acker for his 18 years of service to Wheeling Jesuit. At a reception, Acker, Board President Philip Kirby and past board president Dr. Donald Hofreuter were given the Clifford Lewis S.J. Award from the WJU Alumni Association. The three men were recognized for leading Wheeling Jesuit’s resurgence.
  • May – Groundbreaking is held for the future Acker Science Center.
  • May 7 – Philip & Evelyn Kirby Hall, a female freshman residence hall is dedicated.
  • May 13 – United States Attorney General Janet Reno delivers the May Commencement address.
  • July 31 – Rev. Thomas S. Acker, S.J.’s presidency ends; Rev. George F. Lundy, S.J., Ph.D. becomes sixth president.
  • September – WJU’s swimming ace Zoran Lazarovski, who represented his homeland of Macedonia, swam at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. He swam in the 200m-butterfly event, setting a personal best time, but failed to qualify for the finals. Lazarovski was the first WJU athlete to compete in the Olympics.
  • Oct. 13 – Executive Vice President and CFO Carole T. Coleman and Director of Athletics Jay DeFruscio announced that women’s fast pitch softball would return as a varsity sport in the spring of 2001. Melissa Frost, a former player and coach at Marshall University, was named head coach.
  • Oct. 28 – The campus community celebrated Rev. Walter Buckius and Rev. Joseph Burke’s 60th anniversary as members of the Society of Jesus. The celebration was marked by a mass in the Chapel of Mary and Joseph and was followed by a dinner. Because of their dedication to WJU, the Buckius-Burke Scholarship has been named in their honor. The scholarship will benefit a third-year science or theology major in need of financial assistance.
  • Nov. 1 – The Wheeling Jesuit men’s soccer team ranked number one nationally in the NCAA Division II polls for the week of Oct. 29. The team was the first ever in the universities history to receive the distinction.


  • March – Construction work begins on an addition to the second floor of the Erma Ora Byrd Center for Educational Technologies (CET) building.
  • March 16 – Rev. George F. Lundy, S.J. was inaugurated as sixth president in St. Joseph’s Cathedral.
  • July – After 17 years of working in Washington D.C., Rev. Joseph R. Hacala, S.J., returns to his home state to serve as special assistant to President Lundy and rector of the WJU community.
  • September – U.S. News & World Report named Wheeling Jesuit the 12th best master’s university in the south region.
  • October – Wheeling Jesuit University’s psychology department received funding to establish a sleep lab to allow students and faculty to conduct in-depth research.
  • December – The portrait of Sara Tracy, benefactor to Wheeling Jesuit University was dedicated. The Online RN to MSN degree program was launched for nursing majors wishing to gain bachelors and graduate degrees.


  • January – The first campus Colloquium is held. The month long program featured events dealing with diversity issues.
  • Jan. 14 – The new Acker Science Center opens for the semester.
  • February – A $798,000 second floor addition was completed and opened on the Erma Ora Byrd Center for Educational Technologies (CET) building.
  • April – More than 20 former softball coaches and players returned to Wheeling Jesuit to celebrate the resurrection of the varsity sport.
  • July – Parkhurst dining, a subdivision of Eat’n Park became WJU’s new in-service dining caterer.
  • Aug. 28 – U.S. Sen. Robert C. Byrd (D-WV) and U.S. Rep. Alan B. Mollohan (D-WV1) joined former Wheeling Jesuit President Thomas S. Acker, S.J. to dedicate the new $8.5 million science center. The new center was named in honor of the former Wheeling Jesuit president.
  • December – The Challenger Learning Center dedicated its new office complex during a luncheon and ceremony.


  • Jan. 31 – The Higher Learning Commission of W.Va. approved a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree (DPT) at Wheeling Jesuit.
  • Feb. 24 – Country music star Charley Pride appeared on Wheel of Fortune. The long time benefactor to the University won $10,000 and donated half to Wheeling Jesuit.
  • April 3 – Rev. Joseph Burke, S.J., former rector of the Wheeling Jesuit Community dies.
  • June 2 – Wheeling Jesuit announced plans to celebrate its 50th anniversary during the 2004-05 academic year.
  • June 3 – The University launched the online bachelor’s program in healthcare leadership.
  • June 23 – President Lundy announced he will leave the University on July 31 to assume a position in the New Orleans Province of the Society of Jesuit.
  • July 31 – Rev. Joseph R. Hacala, S.J. is named to succeed Lundy as WJU’s seventh president.
  • Sept. 15 – WJU welcomed its first 25 students into the newly launched Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program.
  • Oct. 29 – President Joseph R. Hacala, S.J. renamed the first floor of Whelan Hall the Schmitt Family Center in honor of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston Bishop Bernard Schmitt and his family.
  • Nov. 6 – The MBA Program celebrated its 25th anniversary during a reception for students, alumni and faculty.
  • Dec. 10 – Rev. Terrence Toland, S.J. is named rector of the Jesuit Community and special assistant to President Joseph R. Hacala, S.J.


  • May 21– University President Joseph R. Hacala announced plans to celebrate the university’s 50th anniversary.
  • June 25 – President George W. Bush watched as flight controllers in Wheeling Jesuit University’s Erma Ora Byrd Center for Educational Technologies guided seventh grade students at Southern Columbia High School in Catawissa, Pennsylvania, on a distance education e-Mission.
  • Aug. 10 – University established Service for Social Action Center (SSAC) to coordinate the extra-curricular and course-based service activities of members of the Wheeling Jesuit University community.
  • September – University announces it will add baseball to its athletic program starting in the spring of 2006.
  • Sept. 3 – University President Rev. Joseph R. Hacala, S.J., announced the enrollment of 350 students in the Class of 2008, making it the largest incoming class in the history of the institution.
  • Sept. 17 – Hurricane Ivan devastated the Ohio Valley with massive record flooding. Wheeling Jesuit holds off on its 50th anniversary celebration. WJU students help nearby communities assist with cleaning up.
  • Sept. 21 – City of Wheeling proclaimed September as “Wheeling Jesuit University Month.”
  • Sept. 23 – WJU holds “Make a Difference Day” to help those clean up after the massive Sept. 17 flood.
  • Sept. 25 – Hundreds turned out for the 50th Anniversary outdoor celebration at the LaRosa Soccer Field.
  • Oct. 29 – University held “Celebration of Re-Commitment to Mission and Installation of Rev. Joseph R. Hacala, S.J. as seventh president” in the Alma Grace McDonough Center.


  • Jan. 27 – Terry Edwards of Wheeling Central Catholic High School was named as head coach for the university’s newly established Cardinal baseball program.
  • March – Wheeling Jesuit University received two 50th Anniversary gifts from the men’s and women’s basketball teams as both teams won their respective West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference tournaments. This was the first men’s WVIAC title in the history of the university.
  • March 1 – WJU begins to offer wireless internet for students on campus.
  • May 10 – A special donation of a Rembrandt etching went on public display at Wheeling Jesuit University’s Bishop Hodges Library.
  • July 8 – University unveiled Community Alert Online, a new website providing Ohio County residents with access to local, real-time emergency information and resources for preparing for and responding to a variety of situations.
  • Aug. 12 – Rev. Christopher Fronk, S.J., was appointed Rector of the Jesuit Community at the University. He succeeded Rev. Terrence Toland, S.J., who served as Rector since 2003.
  • Dec. 7 – Chapel of Mary & Joseph endowment fund created.


  • Jan. 10 – West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin appointed J. Davitt McAteer, VP for Sponsored Programs, as a special advisor to the governor on the investigation into the Sago Mine Tragedy in Upshur County, W.Va. that killed 12 miners.
  • Feb. 9 – Wheeling Jesuit University announced it will serve as the site for an upcoming International Mining Health and Safety Symposium. It will mark the first international gathering of mining industry leaders and safety experts to discuss mine safety.
  • March 16 – A joint initiative among WJU, the West Virginia High Technology Consortium Foundation, and the Schiffler Cancer Center, the newly established Urological Research Institute at Wheeling Hospital, focused on innovative research methods directed toward the effective prevention, diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer and other urologic disorders. University students and professors played a key role in this new endeavor.
  • May – President Hacala announced the establishment of a student scholarship endowment, the Philip C. and Evelyn F. Kirby Memorial Scholarship Fund.
  • June 14 – The Acker Science Center Auditorium was dedicated to the Hawk Family and was named in honor of university benefactors, Henry and Beverly Hawk and their family.
  • Aug. 21 – U.S. News & World Report ranked WJU among the best colleges and universities for 10 consecutive years.
  • Sept. 16 – Fr. Hacala resigned as WJU president citing health reasons; Dr. James F. Birge becomes interim president.
  • Oct. 20 – West Virginia Northern Community College and the university collaborate in 2 + 2 agreement that allows students to complete two years at WVNCC and two years at WJU earning a bachelor’s degree in computer science.
  • Nov. 2 – New athletic training program begins.


  • Feb. 9 – The Board of Directors announced Rev. Julio Giulietti, S.J. will become the university’s next president.
  • Feb. 19 – Seventh President Joseph R. Hacala, S.J. dies following a short battle with amyloidosis.
  • Summer – Renovations are made to the Benedum Dining Room.
  • Aug. 13 – Rev. Julio Giulietti, S.J. officially becomes the eighth president of Wheeling Jesuit University.
  • Oct. 20 – Rev. Julio Giulietti, S.J. is inaugurated in the Alma Grace McDonough Center.
  • Dec. 15 – First Cancer Research Classic is held at the Alma Grace McDonough Center. Teams from across the nation gather to play to raise money for cancer research.


  • Aug. 21 – West Virginia University and WJU create a partnership for students pursuing a degree in engineering. Under the agreement, students who spend three years at Wheeling Jesuit and two years at WVU’s College of Engineering and Mineral Resources can graduate with degrees from both institutions.
  • July 24 – President Giulietti announces a tentative partnership with the Mount de Chantal Visitation Academy by renting building space.
  • Nov. 7 – Rev. Brian O’Donnell, S.J. officially becomes rector of the Wheeling Jesuit community, replacing Rev. Christopher Fronk, S.J.
  • Sept. 15 – WJU opens a center for professional and graduate studies in Charleston, W.Va.


  • Jan. 23 – President Giulietti announces a tuition freeze for the 2009-10 academic year.
  • May 29 – West Virginia Public Broadcasting reaches an agreement with WJU to house a news bureau on campus.
  • Aug. 5 – The Board of Directors announced J. Davitt McAteer will become interim president, replacing Rev. Julio Giulietti, S.J.



  • Feb. 8  – Sr. Francis Marie Thrailkill succeeded J. Davitt McAteer as interim president.
  • Aug. 26  – The athletic department announced that women’s lacrosse will be added to WJU’s athletic program starting with the 2011-12 academic year.
  • Oct. 22  – WJU Board of Directors announced that Richard Allen Beyer will become the university’s ninth president and first lay person in the institution’s history.


  • Jan. 1  – Richard Allen Beyer officially became first lay person to serve as president in WJU history.
  • Feb. 23  – A Master’s in Educational Leadership degree is launched.
  • September  – WJU retired its longstanding “Flaming W” logo; University’s seal colors slightly altered.
  • Sept. 13  – U.S. News & World Report ranked WJU as one of “Americas Best Colleges” for the 15th consecutive year.
  • Sept. 19  – Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston Bishop Michael J. Bransfield announced a $1.2 million dollar gift to WJU to assist with student recruitment.
  • Sept. 29  – President Beyer is inaugurated in the Alma Grace McDonough Center.
  • Oct. 14  – A new campus coffee shop, serving Starbucks Coffee, opened in Swint Hall.
  • Nov. 19  – For the first time in the university’s history, the Wheeling Jesuit University volleyball team wins the NCAA Division II Atlantic Region Championship and advances to the NCAA’s Elite Eight.
  • Dec. 13  – President Beyer & Athletic Director Danny Sancomb announced rugby will return to WJU in 2012 after an 18 year hiatus.
  • Dec. 20  – Rev. George F. Lundy, S.J., WJU’s sixth president (2000-2003), died at age 64 after suffering a stroke.


  • August  – Rev. James O’Brien marked 50 years at WJU. O’Brien is the longest-serving Jesuit in the university’s history.
  • Aug. 20  – The university will leave the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WVIAC) and joined the newly formed Mountain East (athletic) Conference. The conference change took effect in the 2013-14 academic year.
  • Sept. 24  – The Lundy Lounge is dedicated in the Acker Science Center in memory of sixth president Rev. George F. Lundy, S.J. who served from 2000-2003.
  • Oct. 23  – Plans are announced to establish the Mount de Chantal Conservatory of Music at Wheeling Jesuit University.
  • Dec. 21  – Wrestling is added to WJU’s athletic program.


  • Jan. 19  – The university announced the creation of a new four-year engineering degree.
  • Feb. 20  – A multimillion dollar campaign was announced to renovate the outdoor athletic field. The field will be named “Bishop Schmitt Field” after seventh Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston Bishop Bernard W. Schmitt.
  • March 7  – The Board of Trustees announced that Rev. James J. Fleming, S.J. will become the institutions 10th president effective July 1, 2013.
  • April 3  – President Beyer announced that the WJU Physical Therapy Department will move from the McDonough Center to the Stone Center in downtown Wheeling.
  • May 13  – The university created the College of Arts & Sciences and College of Health Sciences naming Dr. Helen Faso & Dr. Robert Phillips deans of the two colleges.
  • May 28  – WJU received a $35,000 grant from the Congregation of St. Joseph to open a patient simulator lab in Donahue Hall.
  • July 1  – Rev. James J. Fleming, S.J. became 10th president.
  • Summer  – Father Fleming announced a partnership with Double J Realty to construct a 36-unit housing complex on Washington Avenue for adult & graduate students.
  • Sept. 9  – Work on Phase I of the athletic field renovation project begins. Phase I included new artificial turf and markings for various sports.
  • Oct. 5  – Rev. James J. Fleming, S.J. is formally installed as president by Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston Bishop Michael J. Bransfield at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Wheeling.
  • Nov. 17  – The Mount de Chantal Conservatory of Music opened on the ground floor of the Center for Educational Technologies (CET) building on campus.
  • Dec. 13  – The WJU Volleyball team advanced for the first time in university history to the NCAA Division II Final Four.


  • Late February  – Site work began in a public-private partnership with Double J Realty to build graduate student apartments on Washington Avenue.
  • March 11  – Bishop Schmitt Field is blessed by Fr. Bill Rickle; the first game on the new turf took place at 4 p.m. with WJU women’s lacrosse vs. Edinboro.
  • March 29  – WJU holds its first ever “Community Day” celebration and kicked off the first student scholarship fundraising dinner called “Gaudiosa.”
  • Aug. 23  – The 36-unit Cardinal Housing Complex was completed and opened on Washington Avenue for graduate and adult students.
  • Oct. 17  – Bishop Schmitt Field was dedicated by The Most Rev. Michael J. Bransfield, bishop of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston.


  • June 27  – The bell that stood on the campus of Mount de Chantal Visitation Academy was placed and dedicated behind the Center for Educational Technologies building.
  • August 28  – Wheeling Central Catholic High School played their first home football game on Bishop Schmitt Field.
  • December 12  – The WJU Women’s Volleyball team became the first team in university history to win the NCAA Division II Championship. The lady Cardinals beat Palm Beach Atlantic 3-0.


  • Jan. 7  – Women’s Rugby is added to WJU’s athletic program, creating the 22nd sport at the university.
  • Feb. 23  – For the first time in university history, the WJU Men’s Basketball Team was ranked as the No. 1 Division II team in the nation by the National Association of Basketball Coaches.
  • March 12  – Wheeling Jesuit University hosts the NCAA Division II Atlantic Region Basketball Tournament for the first time at the McDonough Center.
  • May 2  – A groundbreaking ceremony was held for the Fitzsimmons Family Press Box at Bishop Schmitt Field.


  • January  – Dr. Debra Townsley, Ph.D. appointed president.
  • February – Formalized the Declaration of Shared Purpose  for Wheeling Jesuit University with the Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, and the Jesuit Community at Wheeling Jesuit University
  • April 25  – WJU morns the passing of Rev. Walter Buckius, S.J. Fr. Buckius served Wheeling Jesuit and the greater Wheeling community from 1973 until his retirement in 2011.
  • May  – The Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, through the generosity of Most Rev. Michael J. Bransfield, has acted to help stabilize the financial operations of the University.
  • May 6  – WJU graduates is first class of Engineering Science students.
  • May 30  – Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) program is now offered completely online.
  • June 5   – WJU announces partnership with Oglebay Institute to oversee the university’s performing arts program.


  • March 4 – Men’s Basketball claims first Mountain East Conference Tournament Title against University of Charleston with an 80-65 victory.
  • March 7 – Wheeling Jesuit launched the Fr. Clifford Lewis S.J. Scholars Program, which offers an affordable, lower cost tuition to commuter students from 12 counties in three states.
  • June 4 – Wheeling Jesuit’s Board of Trustees announced their search for WJU’s next President.
  • July 25 – Wheeling Jesuit announces the appointment of Dr. Michael P. Mihalyo, Jr. as its 12th President. Mihalyo replaces Dr. Debra Townsley, who’s appointment ended July 15th.
  • August 6 – Wheeling Jesuit mourns the passing of Dr. Benjamin Stout, Professor of Biology. Dr. Stout has been a faculty member at WJU for 26 years in Biology, specializing in environmental science and sustainability.
  • September 7 – Wheeling Jesuit University partnered with the city of Wheeling to host a welcome-back party for all students, employees, and members of the community at Centre Market. The event, “CardinalFest 2018,” took place on Friday, Sept. 7, from 5-8 p.m.
  • September 8 – For the first time in the history of Wheeling Jesuit University, collegiate football action took place on Bishop Schmitt Field. WJU faced Hocking College on Saturday, Sept. 8, at 1 p.m. in the first home exhibition contest of the season.