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Update from the President

December 11, 2020

Dear Wheeling University Family,

With a week until Christmas, I offer today my sincere thanks and appreciation to our students, faculty, and staff for a successful semester. Wheeling University overcame many challenges to keep our students in the classroom learning this Fall. Yes, there were moments of anxiety and concern along the way. However, this family kept one another healthy and safe, and I am thankful for the role you played in this.

While so much focus has been on what has been taken away or lost in 2020, I believe it is the perfect time to acknowledge students, faculty, and staff’s many achievements. When students were sent home in March to complete the Spring semester online, our faculty and staff converted all courses to an online format in record time. They made sure our students’ educational journey remained on track. The University kept its promise to hold a safe, in-person Commencement ceremony, and we honored the Class of 2020 on Bishop Schmitt Field in July. Our COVID-19 Taskforce developed a plan so that students could return to campus in August for in-person instruction in a safe environment. We doubled our enrollment numbers from the Fall of 2019 – welcoming 250 new Cardinals this Fall. Several of our former academic programs were restored, and a number of professional certificate programs were launched. This resulted in significant interest leading to growing enrollment in Business Administration, Engineering and Biology programs. We made significant upgrades to the buildings and campus grounds —  adding new outdoor furniture, paving the parking lots, roads and painting the rooms in Ignatius and Kirby halls. Thanks to each of you, we were able to accomplish all of this.

As we prepare for the New Year, we do so with optimism. The release of a COVID-19 vaccine has everyone hopeful that we can slow the spread of this dreadful virus. Wheeling University will begin to receive COVID-19 vaccine doses for the Wheeling community starting December 27. We are prioritizing voluntary vaccinations for employees with on-campus work assignments aged 50 and older with underlying medical conditions.

Earlier this week, I introduced our new Director of Athletics, Patrick Snively, to the media during a virtual press conference. Continuing a path of excellence is a priority for Wheeling University. I am thrilled that Patrick will be joining our community as his depth of expertise in athletic administration will provide substantial value in reaching our goals. In selecting Patrick, we have hired an AD with the character, integrity, and relentless pursuit of excellence that Wheeling University has always exemplified. Patrick will promote a culture that will provide student-athletes with the best opportunity to graduate, win championships, and develop as leaders. He was the Senior Associate Director of Athletics at Fairmont State University and brings 20 years of athletic departmental leadership to our campus.

I know that many of you will be traveling to visit family and friends with the holidays upon us. Please remember our Campus Travel Policy in our COVID-19 Plan requires that students, faculty, and staff who travel outside a 60-mile radius of Wheeling University will need to self-report their travel and possibly self-quarantine before/upon return. Additionally, I ask employees traveling outside of the 60-mile radius of campus during the holiday period to provide the Human Resource Department a negative test result before returning to campus. Such testing should be done within three to five days of their return to campus. Employees who cannot provide test results will need to quarantine and use sick time and/or vacation time to cover for lost earnings until the test results are known.

As 2020 comes to an end, I would like to thank this Cardinal family for your support. Your gifts allowed the University to overcome many challenges. There are still tax advantages and time to make a year-end gift to Wheeling University. You don’t have to itemize to qualify for up to a $300 charitable gift deduction as part of the CARES Act. I encourage anyone who has not made a gift to please consider Wheeling University in your year-end charitable giving plans. Your generosity directly benefits our students!

With Christmas and New Year’s Day falling on the next two Fridays, my weekly update will resume on January 8. You can expect to receive the monthly newsletter on December 31.

I am grateful for your hard work, commitment to excellence, and passion for our beloved University. May your Christmas and the coming year be filled with the wonder of God’s gifts to the world — His Devine Son.

On behalf of the Wheeling University Community, I would like to wish each of you a holy and blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year!

May God bless each of you!

Ginny R. Favede
President, Wheeling University