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Update from the President

January 22, 2021

Dear Wheeling University Family, 

With the completion of our second full week of the semester, I would like to thank all those who work diligently to provide the needed support to allow in-person learning on our campus once again. While we continue to deal with the ongoing impacts of COVID-19, I am thankful that Wheeling continues to take an aggressive, proactive approach in dealing with the virus for our entire campus community’s health and safety. 

Under the guidance of Student Government Association President Tressa Swanson and supported by the Office of Student Affairs, student leaders from across campus will come together tomorrow for a day of training to better serve the rest of the student population. The Student Leadership Training will consist of eight hours of training, including Alumna Rosemary Ketchum ’19, the first transgender elected to a government office, who will serve as the keynote speaker. A member of Wheeling Council, Rosemary recently became the chief operations officer of the Edible Mountain Project with the support of Grow Ohio Valley, which works with our Appalachian Institute to manage our on-campus garden. Part of the all-day training will be with University’s Tina Tordella, the Counseling Services Director, who will offer TIPS training. Max Kimbrough, Campus Activities Coordinator will walk leaders through program planning, and Hadi Sasmita, S.J. who will provide training in Restorative Justice. I am excited to provide our students with leadership skills that will allow them to impact our ever-changing society positively. 

After months of filling out forms and numerous inspections by the state, we will open the RATT next month. In conversations with alumni, I discovered that students were responsible for the day-to-day operations of the RATT in the past. When it opens the weekend of February 5, students will once again serve as managers and bartenders. Students interested in working at the RATT should contact the Career Services Office, located in the Student Success Center, to learn how they can obtain one of the five internships available. Internships are the perfect place to learn, test your skills, and grow personally, so you can step out and apply what you know to the real world. We know internships are foundational in preparing our students for the workforce and providing opportunities after graduation. Most employers seek career-ready college graduates who have been equipped with prior experiences and skills in a given field.  

This week I find our University in a time of difficulty with the number of our students in isolation increasing, and I found the need to reach out to our Campus Ministry and ask for assistance. Our Jesuit Community, Fr’s Conroy, Hadi, and McCouch, have graciously agreed to oversee our quarantined students’ care and well-being. We’re asking all members of the Cardinal Family to assist in the effort by volunteering in some way to assist the efforts of Student Services. Volunteers are needed to help prepare and deliver meals and snacks, perform wellness checks with phone calls, and supervise daily exercise.  This opportunity calls on each of us to put into practice our mission to serve others.   

This week, we watched the peaceful transition of leadership in our country and heard a call to unite as a nation to work collectively to help those suffering around us.  In the words of Presidential Inauguration Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman, “We are striving to forge our union with purpose. To compose a country, committed to all cultures, colors, characters, and conditions of man.And so we lift our gaze is not to what stands between us, but what stands before us. We close the divide because we know to put our future first, we must first put our differences aside. We lay down our arms so we can reach out our arms to one another. We seek harm to none and harmony for all.” This is the perfect time for each of us to live our mission to be men and women for life, leadership, and service. By doing this, we can be shining examples of integrity, service, and leadership to those around us. I hope this community will answer that call to unify because we are stronger – as a country and a University – when we work together. 


Ginny R. Favede, President
Wheeling University