Update from the President
January 29, 2021
Dear Campus Community,
Since the academic year began in August, Wheeling University has worked diligently to combat the spread of COVID-19 on our campus. We find ourselves in the midst of what could be considered a challenging place with the number of quarantined students rising. Despite our best efforts, the number of students in quarantine has grown, causing concern. While we are working to maintain our students’ care in isolation, I cannot stress enough how important it is for every student and employee to follow the protocols in place. It is only through collective efforts that we can protect one another from this virus. Keeping our community safe is and remains our top priority. We recognize it is impossible to eliminate the risk of COVID on our campus. Our goal is to minimize the risk and control the spread. This only works if everyone follows the guidelines and practices strict observation of masking and sanitizing.
Last week, I put out a call to the campus to help Student Services and our Jesuit Community meet our students’ needs in quarantine. Many campus members stepped up and graciously offered to deliver meals and snacks, perform wellness checks, and oversee daily exercise. We started this morning with a virtual meeting of over 30 volunteers to assess how we best organize our delivery of meals. As always, I was moved by the willingness of so many good people. Our staff and faculty are truly shining examples of men and women for and among others. I am grateful that so many of you are always willing to help our students and be an example of what it means to live our mission to serve others. I find great comfort in such difficult times to be a part of the Cardinal Family that joins together for our campus community’s sake. Our students matter to all of us, and we want the students and their families to know we are working daily to provide for their care and well-being.
Daily I remind myself of the age-old adage that this too shall pass. I pray that we continue to come into a closer understanding of the ways we can help support and lift one another up. In this time of darkness, let us choose to be the light for others.
After months of planning, our student leaders’ Student Leadership Training took place in the Troy Theatre. The day-long training provided student leaders with collaborative opportunities to develop ideas, explore issues, and build stronger leadership skills to improve their ability to serve their fellow students in the Jesuit tradition. A session of program planning resulted in a week-long Homecoming celebration, where a king and queen will be crowned during the Wheeling vs. Fairmont State University football game on March 11, axe throwing, a grab and go breakfast in Acker, CAB trivia, and picture week. A St. Patrick’s Day celebration is also planned on the Library Plaza. I’m excited for the students to finally have an opportunity to enjoy time together and creating lasting memories.
Although we are in the throes of Winter, we are planning a Spring Campus Beautification Day. Community service is a graduation requirement, and COVID restrictions have impeded the ability to serve our community. Therefore, we are creating new opportunities within the Wheeling campus. The projects will include mulching, planting flowers, shrubs, trees, and painting. As many of you know, Wheeling’s University’s Virgin Mary and St. Bernadette statues were removed from campus in the spring of 2018. As part of our campus beautification plans, we will be creating a Virgin Mary Garden near the Chapel of Mary and Joseph with our beautiful Virgin Mary statue as the focal point.
On National Giving Hearts Day, Thursday, February 25 I plan to hold my first Presidential State of the University Address to review the past years’ accomplishments and share our future plans.
As we end this week and the first month of 2021, I offer my sincere thanks to this dedicated family at Wheeling University. Your tireless work to keep this community safe and learning never goes unnoticed. Despite the challenges and relentlessness of COVID-19, faculty and staff have continued to serve our students with grace and persistence. I am deeply grateful for your unwavering dedication to Wheeling University.
Please know that you are in my prayers each and every day. May God bless and keep you!
With gratitude and appreciation,
Ginny R. Favede, President