Update from the President
To begin I extend my deepest thanks to many of you who have offered your prayers for a safe beginning to our Fall 2020 semester. I appreciate your thoughts, and ask that you continue to keep the Wheeling University community in your prayers daily.
I am so proud of my staff and faculty team members who have been working around the clock to ready the campus for the return of students this week.
We are excited to welcome both our returning and new students to campus in order to offer the distinct, personalized college experience for which Wheeling University is known. We are committed to offering our students as near a normal experience as possible.
What a wonderful and exciting week this has been on campus! After five long months without seeing the smiling faces of our undergraduate population, it was a welcome sight to see students returning to campus on Monday. Our one stop shop in the McDonough Center has been buzzing all week as the Admissions, Financial Aid, Information Technology, Student Accounts, the Health Center, Student Life and Athletic Training departments checked in students as they return for the 2020-21 academic year. The upperclassmen, arrive on Sunday, with in-person classes to begin bright and early Monday morning.
Today, 259 new students joined the Wheeling University family – which is more than double the number of new students from one year ago. New Cardinal Move in Day had a different look this year – no faculty/staff to assist families – however, our Student Life staff was in the residence halls to direct and aid our students as they settled into their home away from home. We have a number of activities planned throughout the weekend for our new and returning students – movie night, virtual bingo and darts on the Donahue lawn are a few of the fun activities planned.
Our Friday evening activities include the New Student Convocation, a time when faculty and staff officially welcome the class of 2024 as members of the Wheeling University community. This class is a diverse group as they come to Wheeling from 32 states and 14 countries. The Convocation begins at 6 p.m. on Bishop Schmitt Field, which allows us to adhere to social distancing guidelines. If you are unable to join us in person to celebrate with the Class of 2024, the event will be streamed live.
I am proud to report that Wheeling University remains true to its founding principles – to provide students in West Virginia and the Appalachian region with a quality, Catholic education. Thirty percent of the Class of 2024 hail from nine of the 13 states that make up Appalachia. I, along with our faculty and staff, look forward to helping these young men and women achieve their academic goals over the next four years. Many thanks to our admissions and financial aid staffs and coaches who worked so hard to enroll this next group of Cardinals!
What makes Wheeling University distinctive, is the people who work and learn here. This week, we took time to recognize and thank all of our employees during an Employee Gratitude Picnic. We honored several employees who celebrated five, 10, 20 and 25 years of service to the University. The picnic also provided me with the opportunity to lift up all our employees who have spent the last five months writing innovative course curricula, launching new programs of study, improving the physical appearance of our grounds and buildings, recruiting students, and promoting our University. This family has shown that we can overcome any challenges when we work together. I am grateful for each one of you and your dedication to our University.
Campus Ministry has received approval from the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston and our local health department to begin holding Mass in the Chapel of Mary and Joseph. Sunday Masses will begin on August 23 at 11 a.m. and 8 p.m., with daily masses to start on August 31. As we navigate the risks associated with the global pandemic, to ensure the safety of our campus community – faculty, staff, and students – all campus activities and events must remain restricted to our campus community only. We look forward to welcoming the greater community back to our campus at a time when these safety measures have been lifted. I appreciate your understanding of our concern to protect our Cardinal family.
With classes beginning on Monday, I call upon all members of this Cardinal family to follow our Return to Campus Plan. The safety and well-being of everyone in our community is our top priority. I ask that everyone wear face coverings, follow social distancing guidelines, complete your LiveSafe check daily and use hand sanitizer and/or wash your hands often. To ensure the health and safety of our campus community, we all must follow the plan and take these precautions.
May this academic year be filled with success in the classroom and personal growth for all of our students, faculty and staff. Additionally, let us all pray for the health and safety of our campus and all our communities.
We are Wheeling Strong!
Ginny R. Favede
President, Wheeling University