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Update from the President

Today brings another great week to a close. Wheeling University enjoyed a beautiful fall day adorned with beautiful fall leaves and sunshine. Our campus is so stunning in the fall. Our students are so incredibly happy; it is difficult to realize that we are amid a global pandemic. I extend my congratulations to our students, faculty, staff, and administration team for doing a fantastic job during this global pandemic. Our campus has remained fully open with residential students, and in-person classes, providing as close to a normal collegiate experience of just about any campus in the nation.

As we wind down to Thanksgiving break, please remember to register for the Spring semester. I encourage you to utilize your Winter break by getting ahead academically to earn a few extra credits by registering for our “Wintermester.” The term begins December 12 and runs until January 10, 2021. You can find a full list of courses, as well as register, for classes in Academus. Pricing is the same discounted format as our Summer of Purpose.

A reminder that the flu shot clinic will be held for all students and employees from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Friday, November 20, in Troy Theatre. A small fee will be charged to those whose insurance coverage is not accepted.

World Kindness Day was celebrated on campus today. Student Life encouraged everyone to don a cardigan in honor of Fred Rogers and to express kindness with “random acts of kindness.” This day, celebrated on November 13 of each year, aims to help everyone understand that compassion for others binds us all together.

Surveillance Testing continued this week, and at this point, we have zero positive tests. Our newly strengthened efforts are working.  We are not the only college to be facing this. We have learned from our peers and are replicating many of their strategies which have worked successfully to flatten the curve and allow the college to continue to deliver in-person instruction with few positive cases.

I want to extend my heartfelt gratitude to VP Andrew Lewis’s team overseeing quarantine and testing. I joined Residence Life’s Hilary Fleishmann in delivering quarantined meals recently. I can assure you this effort is not for the faint of heart! Three times a day every day for weeks, this team has loaded up meals from the dining hall and pushed the meals on a large wheeled cart throughout campus delivering meals, snacks, and care along the way.  Testing alone is somewhat of a very streamlined effort. Under the supervision of Campus Nurse Judy Bilyeu, the Health Services Center has taken steps to ensure the process is as streamlined and efficient as possible. Father Hadi and Father McCouch ensure that our students participate in socially distant exercise daily. I am so proud of their efforts and how well they have joined together to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic that impacts our campus. The students I have spoken with shared that they appreciated the personal outreach and were also grateful for the support they have received from their faculty and staff.

It is difficult to believe that we are eleven days from sending our students home for Thanksgiving. We are so very close! We approached Fall Semester with the goal of offering our students as near a normal college experience as safely possible.  With just over a week away from successfully completing this semester fully in-person with most of our students living on campus, I cannot begin to describe the pride I feel for this campus community. With just a few bumps in the road, we have managed the COVID-19 crisis and maintained a residential in-person environment. My hat is off to the faculty, staff, and students who have worked very hard to make this a reality! This campus community, our Cardinal Family is truly a circle of strength and love founded on faith, joined in love, kept by God.

The restrictions placed by West Virginia law have prohibited the indoor gathering of large groups. These are the measures that have been taken to ensure the safety and well-being of our students, faculty, and staff. As such, we are unable to hold an in-person 2020 Doctor of Physical Therapy Commencement Ceremony and Hooding; rather this ceremony must be held virtually on Sunday, December 13.  The program will begin at 5 p.m. and include messages from campus leaders, presentations of degrees, a hooding, pinning, and anointing of hands by Fr. McCouch. I continue to be deeply pained by the loss of so many wonderful moments our students are being deprived of by COVID-19. I want to assure our soon to be Doctor of Physical Therapy graduates that you matter to this university and that we are committed to a formal ceremony conducted in a virtual format with all the pomp and circumstances due to you. Your regalia, including cap, gown, hood, and pin will be mailed to your homes during the week of November 30th. The information for the Doctor of Physical Therapy Commencement Ceremony & Hooding is posted on our website with a link to view the ceremony.  We will keep you updated as plans progress and look forward to celebrating your achievements with you.

The Office of Student Services, along with our partner Aladdin Food Services, is excited to announce our traditional “Late Night Breakfast” on Monday, November 16, 9:00 p.m.-11:00 p.m.! This time-honored tradition wouldn’t be possible without help from our faculty, staff, and volunteers. “Not the best in the kitchen?” you could serve our students in the “already prepared” hot food line. “Feeling a little creative?” You could whip up a creation in the ice cream sundae line! Want to hang out alongside some co-workers, you’re bound to like a “WAFFLE-LOT?” Then, perhaps the Belgian waffle line is for you! Student Services encourages you to come cheer on our hard-working students and join us in the dining room to show your support. Please email Christie Nieman at to reserve your spot.  The entire Student Services Team is looking forward to seeing you in the Benedum Room on Monday!

We are a few short weeks away from the official reopening of the infamous campus pub, the Das Rathskeller “the RATT.” The remodel has been a slow process, but it now features gallery walls of Wheeling University and Wheeling Jesuit University teams, athletes, students, and fans!  Three flat-screen TVs allow patrons to catch a game or a quick bite to eat with friends. The Ratt features a new menu, including wings, pizza, and more. The Ratt also features a beautifully refurbished pool table gifted to Wheeling University by Charlie Schlegel of the Ye Olde Alpha.

The year 2020 continues to be unlike any other year in the 66-year history of Wheeling University. However, our Cardinals’ spirit and fortitude have remained the one constant and is something I am incredibly proud of!

With gratitude,
Ginny R. Favede
President, Wheeling University