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Update from the President

Dear Wheeling University Community, 

This week, the University had the opportunity to celebrate students’ achievements in two academic programs. Last Sunday, family, friends, and faculty gathered in the Performance Gym to celebrate 36 Doctorate of Physical Therapy students who completed their degrees. During the Pinning and Hooding Ceremony, each class member was formally hooded by a member of the DPT faculty and gifted the official Doctor of Physical Therapy pin from the DPT faculty. Fr. Praveen anointed the students’ hands and blessed each doctoral candidate. Before they can begin their professional careers, one hurdle is passing the licensure exam. Which we are all confident they will do with flying colors. Chair Dr. Alison Kreger and the department of Physical Therapy faculty hosted a beautiful and touching ceremony accompanied by friends and family. I know that these up-and-coming physical therapists will go forward in their profession as men and women in service, for and among others, as graduates of a great institution that has prepared them for life, leadership, and service. The graduates, families, and faculty enjoyed a small reception afterward filled with laughter, hugs, and a great deal of photo-taking.  

Yesterday, nursing students received their pins during a ceremony held in the Mount de Chantal Conservatory. Fr. Praveen opened the ceremony with a prayer and offered a blessing of the pins before they were given to each student. This ceremony is extraordinarily special because the students chose a special person – parent, friend, spouse, or child – to pin them. Jill Emery, Director of Undergraduate Nursing, read the names of the Second Degree Nursing graduates, while Dr. Karen Fahey, Chair of the department, presented the Master of Science in Nursing graduates. As each nursing candidate was pinned by their special guest, Jill read aloud beautiful letters written by each student to their families. This proves to be moving and powerful to hear their profession of gratitude and love. I can assure you there is never a dry eye in the room. Each of the graduates was given a lamp with a candle. They passed the lighting of the flame to one another that formally recognizes the students’ entry into the nursing profession and symbolizes a nurse becoming a light to their patients. All of the nurses – faculty, and students – then took the Nightingale Pledge and read the Nurses’ Prayer. Participating in this beautiful ceremony and recognizing these students for completing their degrees was a pleasure. I had the opportunity to share my thoughts with these students and offered that if Covid taught our world anything, it was indeed the value of a nurse.  

We will celebrate basketball alumni at the Wheeling vs. West Liberty Hilltoppers on January 21. We will host our Hall of Fame Inductions during halftime of the men’s game. Additionally, Alumni Weekend 2023 has been set for June 23-25. This event is open to all alumni, but this year marks anniversaries for the classes ending in 3s and 7s – and the class of 1973 will mark its Golden Anniversary. I encourage alumni to share the dates with classmates and make plans now to return home for a weekend of fun with classmates and friends. Also, if you know of a classmate deserving of the Distinguished Alumni, Lewis, O’Brien, or Magis awards, please submit the person’s name, the award name, and a brief nomination to Kelsi Chapman at

Finally, this week our first-year Students came together on Wednesday to celebrate their first semester at Wheeling and share how participating in the First Year Experience impacted them. The students had the opportunity to present their e-portfolio. The e-Portfolio will be kept for their four years and utilized as they apply for employment opportunities following graduation. At the program’s closing, Director of Student Success Center Nicholas Kjaerholt 

led a lively Q+A to allow the students to share opinions. One of our international students shared a very profound opinion– encouraging the student community to support one another. He encouraged students to attend athletic games and other campus events to show their fellow students’ support. He shared to truly be a family, we need to be there for one another. We should never be too busy to support one another. This comment hit home. As a community, we should take special interest in the student’s activities and support the work of our athletic department staff and coaches. Being a campus that cares for one another sets an example for our students and the greater community. I was touched by his thoughts, encouraging us all to follow the standard he has set. 

Luceat Lux Vestra! 

Ginny R. Favede 
President, Wheeling University