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Update from the President

Dear Wheeling University Community,

The new academic year is here! While classes don’t start until Monday, today we welcomed the Class of 2026, and it was an exciting day for the students and the campus. Watching the students arrive and meeting their family members was as exciting as ever. Late this afternoon, while our students were at residence hall meetings, the faculty, staff and I had the opportunity to meet the parents at a reception held in the Benedum Room. This is an excellent opportunity for the parents to talk to faculty and get acquainted with other parents. I am so grateful to all of our amazing faculty and coaches who joined this evening’s reception. I heard over and over again how impressed our new parents were to have such involved faculty who are engaged and present. The highlight of the evening was our Student Leadership’s attendance at both the reception and Convocation. Members of the Student Government Association under the direction of President Batson Sheets, Campus Activities, Senate, and the Black Student Union under the leadership of President Brennon Reid were terrific ambassadors who spent the evening greeting and chatting with our new families then attended the Convocation ceremony to support their new classmates.

Move-In Day for the incoming class was highlighted with an academic Opening Convocation this evening. Opening Convocation is Wheeling’s traditional way of celebrating the start of the academic year, similar to how commencement serves as the closure. The ceremony featured faculty and administration in academic regalia, who officially greeted and formally accepted the students to the University learning community. The Convocation featured greetings from Student Government President Batson Sheets, and Faculty Council Chair Dr. Kristine Grubler. After a late-night dinner and a good night’s sleep, the class will head to various organizations in the Wheeling community on Saturday for Welcome Week’s Make a Difference Day – their introduction to our mission and what it means to be a person in service to others.

Our student leaders spent the week in training to prepare for their roles as resistant assistants, Student Government officers, and club leaders. On Monday, Wheeling Alumnus Jerry Schroer, ’86, president of The Schroer Group in Canton, Ohio, offered the group insights into how to be an effective leader. He noted that being in such a role takes many characteristics, such as trust, respect, humility, and faith. In addition, Mr. Schroer generously provided each student with a copy of the book Heroic Leadership by Chris Lowney – a book he said helped him in his professional career. I cannot thank Mr. Schroer enough for giving of his time and talent to help our students – what an extraordinary example of someone who embodies our mission.

Before the academic year began, University employees gathered as a family to meet new employees and recognize those individuals who marked employment milestones. It was my pleasure to present service awards to eight employees during our annual Employee Appreciation Lunch. Five Year Service Awards were given to Head Football Coach Zac Bruney; Director of Counseling Center Tina Tordella; Assistant Professor of Physics, Engineering and Mathematics, Dr. Neetika Sharma, Head Track and Field Coach Patrick Stanton; and Instructor of Nursing, Silvia Myndreski. In addition, Dr. Rhonda Haley, Clinical Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy and Director of Clinical Education, was honored for 10 Years of service. Head Volleyball Coach Christy Benner was recognized for 20 Years at the University, and my Executive Assistant, Melissa Rose, received her 25-Year Award. Wheeling University is blessed to have so many dedicated employees who go above and beyond each and every day to make sure our students learn and grow.

This week, recent graduate and men’s basketball standout Jarret Haines signed a professional contract with the Ireland Superleague Club Maree B.C. Galway. During his three seasons with the Cardinals, Jarett excelled on the court, scoring more than 1,200 points and earning honors from the Mountain East Conference. I am genuinely excited for this young man as he starts this new chapter, and I wish him nothing but success. Although Jarret will be greatly missed on the court this year, I enjoyed watching him play, and outside of his wonderful parents, I consider myself his biggest fan.

With the start of a new academic year, I want to remind all employees that may be planning activities or meetings to use our online reservation system – MIDAS – to reserve rooms. Simply log onto the site and fill out the form. This system helps the Conference Services Office better prepare for your activity. Also, reserving a room/facility through MIDAS eliminates double bookings and ensures all of your needs are met. Thank you for your cooperation.

The start of each academic year is a time of excitement and promise. I encourage our students to harness that excitement so that they achieve the goals they have set – may each of you make the most of every opportunity that comes their way throughout the year!

Luceat Lux Vestra!


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Ginny R. Favede, President
Wheeling University