Update from the President
March 19, 2021
Dear Wheeling University Community,
“Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success,” said Henry Ford. This quote best describes the bond I have forged with the presidents of West Liberty and West Virginia Northern in opposition to Bluefield State College’s plan to bring an engineering program to downtown Wheeling just blocks from the WVNCC campus. Recently we three presidents have been meeting and talking to Wheeling city officials expressing concern over plans by the city and Bluefield to open an educational center in the former OVMC hospital facility and offering programs that are currently offered at our local institutions. Additionally, out of the conversations by WVNCC President Mosser, WLU President Evans and I, we have pledged to provide any unmet educational needs in this area. This work has already begun – Wheeling University and Northern are working on a 2 plus 2 agreement for engineering students. I believe this new partnership will allow Wheeling, West Liberty, and WVNCC to grow and flourish.
As May inches closer, preparations are underway for our May 1 Commencement. All students must complete an ‘application to graduate’ through the Office of the Registrar. Also, members of the Class of 2021 must order their cap and gown, graduation announcements and class rings from Jostens by the end of the day on Sunday to ensure delivery prior to Commencement. Commencement, again this year, will take place at Bishop Schmitt Field (rain or shine). To learn more about how families can register to attend and the safety protocols we have put in place, please refer to the Commencement webpage after April 1. Please note, students who completed their degrees in December are welcome to return and participate in the May ceremony as well. The entire campus community looks forward to celebrating the achievements of this wonderful group of graduates in a little over a month!
The final Lenten Prayer and Conversation event hosted by the Jesuit Community will be held Thursday, March 25. Participants attend Mass at 12:10 p.m. in the Chapel and then go to the Erickson Alumni Center for a reflective conversation with Fr. Hadi, Fr. McCouch, and Fr. Conroy on a theme presented in the homily. Lunches are provided at no cost to those who attend. To participate, please contact Fr. Hadi no later than 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, March 24.
With COVID-19 cases on the rise again nationwide, the University is encouraging students to not travel home over Easter break. We are making this request out of an abundance of caution and to reduce the risk of students being infected. The Student Life Office is planning a number of special events for students throughout Easter weekend including Bingo on Friday, an Easter Egg Hunt Saturday, Mass at 11 a.m. Sunday followed by an Easter Brunch, and a Cardinal Family kickball tournament Monday.
We had been hopeful that we would have the ability to offer COVID vaccines to our students but following a survey required by the state we were notified late yesterday that we will not receive vaccines due to the fact that there are still many vulnerable people over 65 years old who need to be vaccinated in WV. Given this information, we will not be offering vaccines to student groups at this time. We encourage any student who is a WV resident and wishes to get the vaccine after leaving campus for the summer, to sign up in the state’s vaccine system www.vaccine.wv.gov. Students who are not residents of WV can use their home state’s system. They can also find vaccine availability at http://www.vaccinefinder.org/ especially as related to supplies available at local chain and independent pharmacies.
This May, the University will launch its second Summer of Purpose program – three separate terms that offer a variety of courses. The sessions provide students, including high school scholars, the opportunity to get ahead in their coursework and do so at a discounted cost. Courses to be offered during the Summer of Purpose sessions, and registration details will be available soon on the Wheeling University website.
Collaboration does bring success. Look at the great strides our university has made through our joint efforts. As the campus enters the final weeks of the spring semester, we can ensure a successful finish to the academic year by working together.
With gratitude and prayers,
Ginny R. Favede, President