Update from the President
December 4, 2020
Dear Wheeling University Family,
I trust that each of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving break and were able to spend time with family.
For me, the break served as a time of reflection about the fall semester and this past year. While taking long walks and during quiet time, I welcomed God into my heart and asked Him for guidance on how best to lead Wheeling University.
This contemplation reminded me of St. Ignatius’ teachings that gratitude must always be at the core of our life each day. For the past year, our community has endured so much, yet we remain focused on our central tenant to educate the young men and women entrusted to our care. Our dedicated faculty and staff instill in our students how to be good writers, engineers, health care professionals, and scientists. They also inspire students to serve others and become leaders – in other words, teach them to live our mission.
Our faculty have worked hard to reinstate majors in English, Biology, and Engineering Science, as well as develop new programs and certificates such as Construction Management, Pastoral Ministry, Healthcare Services Management, and Integrated Marketing Communications. They know that to serve our region’s educational needs, we must offer relevant majors and programs, serve the needs of businesses, and provide graduates who can and will serve Appalachia. Clearly, Wheeling University has reaffirmed its founding principles – to educate the men and women of this region so that they will remain and work in our communities.
During the break, I recalled meeting Fr. Jim O’Brien in November 2019. Over dinner at Colombiere Jesuit Community in Baltimore, he offered his long-standing belief that Wheeling University should incorporate the mission into its hiring process. He explained his reasoning quite simply – by hiring employees who believe in our mission, they will embody it through their work as educators, coaches, and staff. We have made this idea part of hiring and employment practices. Furthermore, knowing that culture and sense of family are important, I have asked Fr. Jim Conroy, S.J., rector of the Jesuit Community, to assist our effort of hiring for mission by meeting with new employees to help them better understand our mission.
Each of you are the reason we weathered this past year. You have remained committed and supportive by giving of your time and treasure. There are challenges and opportunities ahead, and the path may not always be smooth. I know the days can be long, and the work is sometimes daunting for each of us. That belief in and call to live our mission make me grateful to be a member of this wonderful family. I also trust in the power of us working together to continually strengthen our University. You can see the results of our work every day in our students’ faces and in the power of their dreams.
As we enter the season of Advent and prepare for the celebration of the Nativity, my hope for our Cardinal Family is that each of you take time to express gratitude to those around you, reflect on the blessings in your life, and allow God to guide you to be servants of our mission.
Ginny R. Favede
President, Wheeling University