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Update from the President

Dear Wheeling University Community,

This University is blessed to have caring alumni and friends who give of their time to help our community. This week, I watched Margie Cooke, an alumna and former employee, spend hours cleaning up around the Chapel of Mary and Joseph. She gathered up leaves, tree limbs, and other leftovers that Mother Nature left behind from recent storms and winter weather. Margie is a regular at our Sunday Mass in the Chapel, helping Fr. Praveen as a lecture and sacristan – something she has done for years. She deeply cares about this community and this act of kindness is an example of her continued service. I am so very grateful to Margie for taking the time from her schedule to give back to the University. On behalf of everyone at Wheeling University, thank you Margie for living our mission to serve others. 

Next month, this community – alumni, employees, and students – will have an opportunity to help the greater Wheeling area by helping the local Knights of Columbus pack food baskets. The K of C, in conjunction with Cross Catholic Outreach, will be packing 60,000 nutritious vita-meals on the morning of April 15 inside the auxiliary gym at the Alma Grace McDonough Center from 8 a.m. to noon. This action is in support of the World Health Organization’s drive to help feed the estimated 820 million people worldwide who do not have enough to eat. Of the meals packed on April 15th, 90 percent will go to places such as Dominican Republic and Guatemala, while 10 percent will be distributed locally to feed the hungry in our area. I hope that members of the Wheeling University family will take time on April 15th to help with this project. Volunteers do not have to stay for the entire event – any time that you can give on this day will be appreciated. 

I mentioned last week a fundraising campaign has been launched to raise $500,000 to resurface the track at Bishop Schmitt Field. When the drive was announced we secured $250,000 and I am pleased to report that we have received additional donations in the amount of $45,000, leaving us $195,000 to raise. The first coach of the track and field program, Mark Swiger, is helping the University by reaching out to his former athletes to ask for their support. Any gift, no matter the amount will help us achieve our goal. If you or someone you know would like to make a gift, there are three options to donate:  

  1. Make a gift through our online portal. When you select an amount, please go to the drop-down menu and select OTHER, then type in Track Resurfacing Project.  
  2. You can send a donation directly to the University’s Advancement Office. Please note on your check that it is for the Track Resurfacing Project.   
  3. Make a gift during the Spring Phonathon that is now underway. 

Students and employees may have noticed the prayer boxes that have been placed in most of the buildings around campus. These boxes allow members of the community to drop off prayer intentions. The Prayer Group will meet in the Chapel every Wednesday at noon beginning Wednesday, March 22 to pray for the intentions that have been dropped in the boxes. The mission of our Campus Ministry Office includes “offering opportunities for students, faculty, and staff to cultivate their connections to God and one another through worship, reflection, learning, and service.” Participating in the prayer group is a wonderful way to unite as a community to build a stronger connection with God. I hope that members of the campus will take time out of their Wednesdays to gather in the Chapel to pray, grow as a community, and support one another. 

Congratulations to the Wheeling Rugby team which clinched a spot in the 2023 National College Rugby 7’s Championships, which will be held in Washington, D.C. on April 28-30. The squad qualified for the national tournament after winning the Terrapin 7’s Tournament last weekend in Maryland. The Cardinals won all five of their contests. I know there are a lot of Rugby alumni in the greater D.C. area, and I hope they will come out to cheer the team onto a national championship. Once we have all the tournament details, I will share them with everyone. 

Today marks St. Patrick’s Day, and I offer the Prayer of St. Patrick as my wish for you on this special day – “The strength of God pilot us. The wisdom of God instruct us. The hand of God protect us. The words of God direct us. May thy Salvation, O Lord, be always ours this day and for evermore.” 

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! 

Ginny R. Favede 
President, Wheeling University