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50 Year Club

Al Reed created the idea for the Club during the class of 60 reunion planning.  The other members of the planning committee composed of Phyllis Faber Kelly, John Mensore, Carolyn Cannon, Sandy Piper Sonneborn, and Ed Shahady enthusiastically endorsed the idea. Al Reed provided the structure for the first diploma ceremony that was conducted in June of 2010 during the 50 year reunion of the class of 60.  

The Club is an adjunct organization of the Alumni Council. Its functions include honoring the 50 year graduates, conducting an annual lecture during the 50 year reunion, creating and assisting with the senior ambassador program,  the Alumni Scholar in Residence program, assisting 50 year classes with planning their reunion and encouraging a class gift from each graduating class.  

The Club conducts a yearly ceremony at the time of the reunion to honor the 50 year graduates. The President of the University provides certificates to each member of the class. Members of the class who are unable to attend will receive a certificate by mail. Read our recent newsletters for more about the 50 Year Club.

The 50 Year Club lecture provides an opportunity for alumni to hear from faculty and an alumni member about a topic of general interest. The 2011 topic was “what’s new about educational programs at WJU” and “Jesuit values at WJU – are they still here?” The topic for 2012 was “Value of a liberal arts education – is it important.” The 2013 topic was “WJU – Mission, Identity, and Service.” The 2014 topic was “Catholic Social Thought.”  

Being a senior ambassador is an honor and a responsibility. Ambassadors volunteer to aid the university with fundraising, enrollment, and student mentoring.  

Several newsletters have been published. These newsletters contain some excellent stories from alumni about their time at WJU (Wheeling College). Some are serious and many contain some very humorous memories. Take a look at the newsletters to bring back many of these memories.  

Assisting the 50 year class with their reunion and planning of their class gift is available if desired by the reunion planning committee.

Alumni in Scholar Residence

The Alumni Scholar in Residence is a visiting professor program where an alumnus/a spends a week on campus teaching classes in his/her discipline. This program was initiated by the 50 Year Club as the Senior Scholar Program. The University Faculty with the leadership of former Academic Vice President Steve Stahl and Father Fleming suggested a change of name to Alumni Scholar in Residence in order to not limit the choices to senior alumni. The scholar will be a visiting professor to the University for up to one week and all expenses will be donated by the scholar. Activities include lecture/discussions in classes that the scholar has experience and an evening forum on a topic of public interest. The surrounding community, alumni, students and faculty are all invited to attend the evening public forum. A committee composed of alumni and faculty will make recommendations to the WU administration of the individuals who will be considered as future Alumni Scholars.

Previous Alumni Scholars in Residence

  • 2016 – John N. Stopper, Jr. (’75)
  • 2015 – Christina R. Richey, PhD (’04)
  • 2014 – The Hon. James T. Smith, Jr. (’64)
  • 2013 – Dr. Richard (Dick) Riley, Jr. (’84)
  • 2012 – Joan Doverspike Davison, Ph.D. (’78)
  • 2011 – Dr. Edward Shahady (’60)

50 Year Club Class Gift

Start thinking about your class gift to the University!

The class of 1964 is the model for all of us to consider. They started planning at their 45th reunion. They set a goal to raise $250,000 by 2014 for a scholarship for future WJU students. Many have pledged a certain amount per month. Thirty dollars a month for 5 years would result in an $1800 gift and $15 a month for 5 years would be a $900 gift. 

Most of us are at a time in our lives that we can look back and realize our Jesuit education formed the foundation for our success. It is now time to give back. A little bit every month from every member of your class will make a significant gift for your 50th. Let’s follow the lead of the class of 1964. Let’s start the ball rolling.

Class member and scholarship supporter John Aluise said, “At this time in my life, I now can share some time, talent and treasure for the benefit of the institution that had significant influence upon my values and my professional growth. The commitment that the Class of 1964 made to establish an endowed scholarship will enable Wheeling Jesuit University to continue to shape the lives of young men and women. I strongly encourage my fellow alumni to return some of their time, talent and treasure to a most worthy cause. We have been touched for a lifetime. Give a gift that can touch beyond your lifetime”. John is a leader by example. In addition to the above contributions, the Aluise Family established a scholarship for a Huntington area student to attend WJU.