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Update from the President

June 12

Dear Wheeling University Community,

Since March, COVID-19 has changed all our lives and how we operate. It has made all of us look for innovative ways to interact and conduct business. Wheeling University is no exception. This Cardinal Family has joined together with a sense of urgency and generosity to find solutions to the challenges caused by the Coronavirus outbreak – your hard work and selflessness are inspiring.

Like all colleges and universities, Wheeling University had to adapt and change the way in which we recruit students when the pandemic hit. Early on, we adjusted our open houses and orientations to a virtual format. Recently, we began production of a virtual tour that students and families can access from our website. The virtual tour will not only promote our beautiful campus, but it will also allow students who are unable to travel, due to COVID-19 restrictions, a way to visit via a video tour. I look forward to sharing this new feature with you once it is completed. 

As we prepare for our first-ever Commencement on Bishop Schmitt Field, we are learning some members of the Class of 2020 are experiencing financial hardship and may not be able to return for the ceremony. The President’s Fund for Excellence was established with this very reason in mind. I hope our alumni, employees, and friends will support our efforts by adopting a student and covering their travel expenses to attend Commencement. Our community has been very generous thus far and I hope each of you will consider supporting our graduating seniors. Your gift, no matter the amount, will make an impact. 

While June is normally a time when we prepare for our annual Alumni Weekend, the Coronavirus forced us to postpone this event. I am pleased to announce we are rescheduling Alumni Weekend for October 9 – 10, also the date for our annual Homecoming. I see this as a great opportunity for our alumni to interact with students, as well as take part in any sporting events held during the weekend. This is also a chance for our students to get to know and network with our alumni. Additionally, the Class of 1970 will celebrate its 50thReunion and the classes of 0’s and 5’s will also celebrate milestones. More details on the events for the weekend will be provided soon. I hope you will mark this date on your calendar and plan to attend. As always Alumni Weekend is open to all alumni. I look forward to welcoming you back to campus in October.

The MEC announced its plans for the return of Fall sports competition. The Return to Competition Plan is contingent upon state and local public health conditions and associated restrictions, as well as any potential adjustments to NCAA championship schedules and/or legislation. Due to the one-year NCAA mandated reduction of maximum contests in all Division II sports, the MEC’s plan for 2020-21, which we will follow, includes the elimination of non-conference play for football, men’s and women’s soccer, women’s volleyball and men’s and women’s basketball. The Cardinal football team can begin practice on August 17, while the volleyball squad can begin workouts on August 24. Competition for the two sports will begin as early as September 10. Other than the elimination of week one for football, there will be no changes to the dates and locations for this fall. The modifications to the schedules for the soccer, volleyball, and basketball teams will be announced in the coming weeks, which I will share when they are released.

Wheeling University learned Friday of the passing of former faculty member Dr. Chester Giza. Dr. Giza was a member of the chemistry department from 1967 to his retirement in 1989. Details about his services can be found here. I hope you will keep Dr. Giza’s family in your prayers.

Finally, Will Ryan, our head men’s basketball coach has resigned to accept the head coaching position at the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay. While we are happy for Will and his family to return to their home state, we are saddened by his departure. After being picked to finish last in the MEC this past year, his squad went 11-11 in the conference and earned the No. 5 seed in the tournament. He is an extraordinary man and a brilliant coach. I wish him nothing but success at the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay. We have begun a national search and we hope to fill this vacancy as soon as possible.

From the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Wheeling University community has come together in extraordinary ways. I wish to thank you once again for how you have enabled our University to respond. I am deeply grateful for all of you.

With gratitude,

Ginny R. Favede
President, Wheeling University