September 2, 2022
Update from the President
Dear Wheeling University Community,
Our students have arrived, and the first week of classes is officially in the books! It has been an exciting week around campus – from helping new students settle into their new surroundings to welcoming back our returning students. Monday morning, Student Government President Batson Sheets, Black Student Union President Brennon Reid, and I offered muffins, donuts, and coffee for the first day of classes in front of the Chapel. In addition to supporting the new students on their first day of classes, we offered directions to classroom locations. This was a fantastic way to meet and interact with new and returning students. By the end of the week, it is wonderful to see how the students have settled into this community.
Saturday, we had the opportunity to introduce our new students to our mission of being men and women in service to others during our annual Welcome Week Make a Difference Day. Under the direction of Student Services Vice President Andrew Lewis, groups of new students spent the day serving at non-profit organizations in the Wheeling area. On Wednesday, Director, Student Success Center Nic Kjaerholt hosted a very impressive opening day for First Year Experience. FYE integrates students into the community and establishes a solid foundation on which their other courses will be built. Tom Breiding of our Appalachian Institute and I had the opportunity to provide the FYE group with the history behind our mission and why serving others is essential to their Wheeling education. Tom presented via music and narrative – a historical perspective on the plight of the people of Appalachia through the years. He explained the rise and fall of the coal, steel, and gas industries and their impact on the local lands, labor, culture, and environment. Tom was by far the star of the program. He is a gifted orator and an outstanding vocalist and musician.
I shared how Wheeling’s mission challenges them to go beyond what is expected, interacting with the world with generosity, excellence, and empathy. I was able to relate their community service performed during Make a Difference Day impacted more than the agencies they served. For example, I explained how removing items stored in a vacated YWCA indoor pool will allow the organization to better serve women and children in need, or how packing meals at the Greater Wheeling Coalition for the Homeless ensured that people at homeless encampments around the city had a meal that day. Tom and I wanted the students to see what they did last Saturday had an enormous impact on many people in the Wheeling community. When they understand the broader picture of their work, the students will realize how important service is to their growth as a person.
I am excited to watch them grow, develop relationships with their surrounding communities, and share their talents and skills to help and serve others. Here, we genuinely believe we are changing the world one student at a time. Knowing two hundred new Cardinals spent their first days on campus serving the Wheeling community gives me great hope for our future to know our students can change society and the world for the better.
The University is hosting several October events, including Homecoming and Family Weekend, which is scheduled for October 7-9 and features three days of activities for parents, students, and alumni. The full schedule of events for Homecoming and Family Weekend is available, so you can register now! Alumni Weekend is October 21-23 and is open to alumni of all ages. Kelsi Chapman ‘21, our Alumni and Family Engagement Graduate Assistant, is working with Alumni Council President Jenn Elias to plan three fabulous days of events for our alumni. At Friday night’s 50-Year Club Induction Ceremony, the classes of 1970, 1971, and 1972 will be inducted into this remarkable society. Also Friday, the classes of 1995, 1996 and 1997 will celebrate their 25th anniversary during a special reception. The schedule of events will be posted on our website this week, and a registration link will follow soon after. This will mark our first Alumni Weekend since 2019, and we are all very eager to welcome our alumni back to campus to celebrate as a family!
As a reminder, the University is open on Monday, meaning classes are in session, and all offices will be staffed.
Thank you once again to everyone who played a role in Welcome Week activities. Whether you handed out residence hall keys, helped move students into their rooms, or spoke at one of the events, your efforts helped make our students and families feel welcome and part of the Wheeling University community.
Have a great weekend!
Ginny R. Favede
President, Wheeling University