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Update from the President

Dear Wheeling University Community,

I am excited to report that again this year, Wheeling University was recognized by U.S. News & World Report as a top regional university and gave this institution high rankings for ethnic diversity and social mobility. In its annual Best Colleges Guide, U.S. News, in addition to its overall school rankings, offered the best institutions in several special categories this year. In the ranking for Social Mobility, Wheeling was listed at 90th among all regional universities in the nation. This category measures the extent that institutions enroll and graduate students who receive federal Pell Grants. Additionally, Wheeling was named the 25th best institution in the South region for Campus Ethnic Diversity. U.S. News and many other ranking services recognize that we are providing our students with a high-quality education grounded in Catholic values to succeed and excel when they graduate. The ranking also recognizes our commitment to remain true to our founding principles – making an affordable private education available to men and women with limited financial means. I hope our students, faculty, and staff take pride in this recognition – through your hard work and dedication, we achieved this success.

Wednesday, the campus celebrated the freedom and opportunities United States residents are afforded during an event to mark Constitution Day. “The Constitution and Equal Access to Opportunity,” organized by Dr. Joseph Slick from our English department, gave students and guests a better understanding of this historic document, the freedoms it protects, the opportunities it affords citizens, and what it means to fight for those freedoms. A panel discussion led by Army Major Jessica Yahn, daughter of Bob Yahn from our Engineering program, was an opportunity for students to hear from military personnel, WU Nursing Instructor and Ukrainian native Silvia Myndresku, and refugees from Afghanistan and Ukraine. Each offered unique perspectives on what this document means to them and how it inspires people far beyond the United States. Major Yahn said the Constitution symbolizes potential and universal values for people beyond the borders of this country. Instructor Myndresku said the Constitution inspired her to leave the Ukraine and seek an education. She encouraged the students to earn their degrees because an education gives them the freedom to achieve success. The conversation by the panel was inspiring and gave us more significant insights into the Constitution that many take for granted. This wonderful discussion was genuinely educational, and I am grateful to Dr. Slick and Dr. Jacqueline McGlade for such a powerful learning moment. 

Serving our students’ needs so they can succeed is a goal of every department on this campus. This week, our Counselor Tina Tordella and the Student Services Department offered a variety of information booths and activities that brought mental health awareness to our students. Fresh Check Day, created by the Jordan Porco Foundation, was a positive and uplifting activity fair for our students with music, refreshments, participation giveaways, and prizes. Each of the booths was led by peer/student volunteers. The ‘9 out of 10’ booth provided information that 1 in 10 college students contemplates suicide and offered ways students could help someone in need. ‘Know Your Limit’ promoted alcohol safety and awareness, where the Wheeling Police utilized simulation goggles to demonstrate the effect of alcohol impairment during basic activities. It was wonderful to see our students take part in Fresh Check Day and learn how they can take better care of their mental health.

Wheeling University and its Black Student Union have partnered with Ronald Scott, Jr., the YWCA’s Director of Cultural Diversity and Community Outreach, to host the organization’s Third Ohio Valley Festival for Filmmakers of Color at 6 pm, Saturday, September 24, inside Troy Theater. The Film Festival is an opportunity for directors, writers, or actors who identify as a person of color, to submit films that offer diverse messaging and a look at life through their eyes. Six short films will be shown, and those attending can vote on which film is the best in each category. The event is a fantastic opportunity to experience local cultural talent and free for students and the general public.

On September 3, we lost a member of the Wheeling family – Dr. Helen Faso. Dr. Faso was a long-time member of this community who touched the lives of so many students as a nursing professor and later as the Associate Academic Dean. In the classroom, she instilled in her nursing students the knowledge to be skilled, compassionate healthcare professionals ready to serve patients. As a dean, she counseled countless students to ensure they excelled in the classroom and earned degrees. Dr. Faso embodied our mission and, through her example, inspired her students to live that mission each and every day. To honor and pay tribute to this remarkable woman, the University will offer a special Mass in the Chapel of Mary and Joseph on Friday, October 14, at 4:00 pm at the Chapel of Mary and Joseph. I invite our students, alumni, current and former employees, and members of the Wheeling community to join us at this Mass when we celebrate this remarkable woman’s life. The entire Wheeling University community sends our prayers to Dr. Faso’s family, and we thank them for sharing her with all of us.

Once again, I offer my appreciation to everyone for the fantastic work you do on behalf of Wheeling University. It has been a very busy start to the new academic year, but the weekend is here! I hope you take some time to relax and recharge over the next two days.

With gratitude,


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Ginny R. Favede

President, Wheeling University