Update from the President
December 11, 2020
Dear Wheeling University Family,
Congratulations to the entire Cardinal family for successfully completing the semester! Each of you – students, faculty, and staff – are to be commended! Thank you for an exceptional semester, an exceptionally positive spirit, and an amazing level of hope and enthusiasm. It carried us through to the end. I am grateful to each of you. Your effort and commitment to others has been a blessing in the most difficult of times.
I encourage our students to use the Christmas break to rest and be ready to tackle the Spring semester when you return in January. Additionally, please stay safe and do not let your guard down while at home – continue adhering to the Coronavirus safety protocols. So, enjoy the break; we are already looking forward to your return to campus next month!
During winter break, we will begin planning for the Spring semester. We will review our COVID-19 Campus Plan to ensure we are adhering to the revised CDC guidelines. Our housekeeping staff are busy sanitizing and deep cleaning all residence halls, classrooms, labs, and common areas, as well as the McDonough Center athletic facilities. Due to COVID-19, many students have indicated they would feel safer in a single room. In response to their concerns, we are preparing to open Sara Tracy Hall to allow for additional single room housing options. Shuttered for a couple of years, our physical plant and housekeeping teams are preparing those rooms for our students with new paint and a thorough cleaning. Additionally, graduate students will once again have the opportunity to live in Steenrod Hall, an affordable housing option close to campus.
The Cardinal athletic teams will be returning to competition starting in January. The Mountain East Conference (MEC) recently announced that Winter sports can begin on January 7. Our coaches, student-athletes, and fans met this news with great relief and much excitement. At this time, Winter sports will begin without spectators; however, the policy will be revisited in mid-January. The MEC Board also approved schedules allowing for Fall sports to compete in the Spring. The Conference plans to conduct all Spring competition as scheduled in accordance with the NCAA mandated one-year reduction of allowable contests. All schools will be required to follow all state, local, and NCAA guidelines related to COVID-19 surveillance testing.
As the Spring semester draws near, the University continues to accept transfer students for those looking for an alternative to online instruction only. Wheeling has worked hard to continue face-to-face learning, as well as advance our hybrid and online course offerings. Providing students, a near-normal college experience is our priority, and I encourage anyone seeking such an opportunity to contact our Admissions team. Students can apply online anytime. It is a busy time in the office as we have admission decisions going out on a daily basis. Once admitted, students are able to talk specifically about financial aid, housing, and other next steps.
Wheeling University will recognize its 2020 Doctor of Physical Therapy class on Sunday, December 13. The University plans to host its first-ever pre-recorded virtual commencement ceremony due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The official Doctor of Physical Therapy Ceremony – Hooding and Pinning will include pre-recorded messages and short videos to replicate a customary graduate commencement ceremony highlighting our graduates. The ceremony will also feature presentations and awarding of degrees by faculty, a blessing offered by Fr. Richard McCouch, S.J., and anointing of the hands. The ceremony will be viewable on the University website beginning at 5 p.m.
Mike Conner recently joined Wheeling University as our Director of Facilities. Conner brings more than 20 years of experience in maintenance and facilities management to our campus, having worked in similar capacities at Wheeling Island Racetrack and Casino and Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel since retiring from the Navy.
If you are in need of Christmas gift ideas for the Cardinal fan in your life, we’ve got you covered. Check out our Cardinal Gift Guide for all your holiday needs. The new Wheeling Cardinal ties will make any dad, grandfather, or brother a great gift!
I would like to thank each of you who have supported Wheeling in some way this past semester. We are very proud of the fact that we completed the entire fall semester in person without having to go remote for even a single day. In a year like no other in our lifetime, I believe 2020 has brought out the very best in our Wheeling family. You are the bedrock that has carried us through this uncertain time. When needed most, you exhibited creativity, courage, and an unwavering concern for each other. You are shining examples of what it means to live our mission.
Ginny R. Favede, President