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Update from the President

June 5

Dear Wheeling University Community,

As our country continues to battle the impacts the Coronavirus has had on all our lives, we are now faced with the painful and extreme unrest caused by the death of George Floyd. I know this event, coupled with the COVID-19 outbreak, is causing more anxiety for each of us. While our campus is nestled in a safe area, many of our own family members, as well as students and alumni, are living in areas where protests have turned violent. I hope and pray you remain safe, and that your community is not impacted by the violence we are witnessing on TV and social media.  

Last week, I released our re-opening plan for the Fall 2020 semester. Currently, the Athletic Department is working in conjunction with Wheeling University’s COVID-19 Reopening Committee and the Mountain East Conference to develop a plan to return sports safely utilizing all federal, state, and NCAA guidelines and best practices. An on-going, coordinated effort to implement effective resocialization of sport action plans, placing the highest priority on the safety, well-being, and experience of student-athletes and all involved in collegiate athletics, will continue. Our intention is to have these plans in place to be able to commence our 2020-21 seasons when public health officials and medical professionals suggest that we can do so. While schedules may ultimately need to be adjusted, we will release these adjustments along with our fellow MEC members. Guiding all this effort is our steadfast commitment to the health, safety, and welfare of everyone in the Wheeling community, from our students and employees to visitors on campus. We will continue to update you with more details when information is available.

Plans for our Summer Commencement are coming together. There is tremendous excitement among our students for this year’s ceremony. About 70 percent of our graduates will be in attendance. It gives me great pleasure to announce the Class of 2020 valedictorian is Kenzie Schroer of New Knoxville, Ohio. Kenzie is an Accounting and Business Administration major. The Class of 2020 salutatorian is Andres da Silva Savino of Caracas, Venezuela. Andres is an Athletic Training major. These two outstanding students will speak during the Commencement ceremony in July.

Also related to Commencement, I want to remind students that they are permitted to wear honor society and club cords, medals, and stoles during the ceremony. Some examples of clubs and societies that offer such items are Black Student Union, Ignatian Honors College and Alpha Sigma Nu. To find out more or to order your cords, medals, or stoles, contact Andrew Lewis in the Student Services Department.

Under the leadership of Dr. Ed Shahady, class of 1960 and Col. Phil Rusciolelli, class of 1968, planning has begun for this year’s 50 Year Club Lecture which will feature Fr. Jim Conroy, S.J., Fr. Hadi Sasmita, S.J. and Fr. Rich McCouch, S.J. More details about the lecture will be announced soon.

In light of the death of George Floyd, The Most Rev. Mark E. Brennan, Bishop of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, has issued a statement, calling on all of us to unite in prayer for peace.

I believe the Bishop’s message provides a model that each of us should live by. Now, more than ever, we must turn to prayer and ask God to give us the grace to overcome the challenges we are facing at this time. 

With appreciation,

Ginny R. Favede
President, Wheeling University