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Update from the President

Dear Wheeling University Community,

Work continues around campus as we prepare for the coming academic year and several summer camps. First, this week, we had a fantastic New Student Orientation with over 150 students and family members of the Class of 2026 joining us here on campus. It was a gorgeous summer day, and the campus looked perfect! I’m so proud of the work our orientation crew does! VP Andrew Lewis, Director Jenn Board, Faculty, TeAnn and Nick from Student Success & Career Development, Donna White, and Aladdin Dining Services did a fantastic job. It’s a huge undertaking, and these folks always go above and beyond. It’s one of the many reasons Wheeling University is so very special. We have the best employees who work hard and care about our students.

Air conditioning issues continue in various buildings this summer, but we are working diligently to resolve them. A portion of Acker Science Center was cool, while no air was flowing in another section which resulted in unbearable temperatures in faculty offices and classrooms. Our technicians have identified the problem, which appears to be working now. A temporary chilling unit now sits outside the side entrance to Kirby Hall. HVAC issues have been the bane of my existence lately! I don’t know what I would do without Wheeling Charleston Diocesan’s Facilities Director John Reardon who continues to champion issues for me. Thank you to everyone for your patience as we address these problems.

We are also fixing all the skylights located above the lobby in the Alma Grace McDonough Center. These skylights have been leaking for some time, so bad that large trash cans had to be placed around the lobby to catch the water dripping during heavy rains. Once the leaks are fixed, the affected drywall will be replaced and repainted. I cannot wait for Panhandle to get this project completed! It’s been an ongoing commitment to improving our facilities, and it’s always exciting to check off an item on my list!

Later this month, the campus will welcome OVAC Rudy Mumley All-Star Football and All-Star Band Camp participants. In all, more than 200 high school football players, coaches, band members, and Queen of Queen candidates will make Wheeling University home for a week as they practice and prepare for the annual event. When they break camp, they will make the short drive to Wheeling Island Stadium, where the 76th All-Star Game will be played. Our maintenance team, housekeeping staff, Conference Service office, Residence Life staff, Athletic Department, and food service provider, Aladdin, are working hard to prepare for the campers’ arrival on July 17. We are incredibly excited to host the OVAC and have these impressive young men and women on our campus in just a few short weeks. It will be a joy to have these students as part of our Cardinal family this summer. It is obvious that we are thrilled to become the new home of this OVAC  program.

Last Sunday, this community celebrated and honored our departing Jesuits. Fr. Rich McCouch offered the 10 a.m. Mass, which was attended by current students, alumni, current and former employees, members of the Congregation of St. Joseph, and friends from the Wheeling community. Afterward, many who attended Mass joined Fr. McCouch and Fr. Hadi at a reception in the Benedum Room. Those attending took photos, shared stories, gave hugs, and expressed their gratitude for these three wonderful men. Their impact on the University, the greater Wheeling area, and the Congregation of St. Joseph through the years has been immeasurable. I will be forever grateful to Fr. Conroy, Fr. McCouch, and Fr. Hadi for their support and guidance since my arrival in 2019. Each of these men have taught me so much, especially the value of a Jesuit education and how to be a woman for others. Thank you for impacting so many lives through your actions and words – you are what we try to instill in our students … what it means to be a person in service to others.

I want to remind the community that there will be a 10 a.m. Mass this Sunday in the Chapel of Mary and Joseph. Fr. Carlos from St. Michael’s Parish will be the celebrant. In addition, I am working with Bishop Brennan to bring a new diocesan priest to campus as our new Campus Minister. I’m also working with Shirley Carter, a previous WJU Campus Ministry employee, to figure out how we bring her to Wheeling along with our new priest to establish and develop a new campus ministry program. Shirley was previously in charge of campus retreats and brings a wealth of knowledge with her. Keep our campus ministry in your prayers as we work to fill in the important role our Jesuits have served for Wheeling since its founding.

Our July 9th Employee Picnic is quickly approaching, so anyone planning to attend, please email to make your reservation – and please bring your family too! We will have a bounce house for the kids, games, a corn hole tournament, plenty of great picnic food, and lots of cold beverages. Bring a dessert to share if you’d like!

As we enter this Fourth of July holiday weekend and celebrate the birth of our nation, may we take time to remember the many men and women who sacrificed so much for our freedom.

Wishing you a safe and happy July 4th!

Ginny R. Favede, President
Wheeling University