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Update from the President

March 26, 2021

Dear Wheeling University Family, 

As we head into the home stretch of the semester, so many great things are happening around campus. Students are excelling in the classroom and in athletic competition. I encourage members of the Wheeling family to like and share our social media posts to help spread the good news of all the wonderful things happening at our University. By doing this, we will expand our reach to more alumni, friends, and prospective students. 

Speaking of the accomplishments of our student-athletes, the Lady Cardinal Volleyball team won the 2021 Mountain East Tournament. The entire Wheeling University community is proud of legendary Coach Christy Benner and the team for winning their eighth straight MEC title. Three teammates – Lexi Smith, Kayla Bekier, and Audrey Francis – were named to the All-Tournament Team. This team did not allow a delayed start to their season and a shortened schedule to stand in its way. I will also note our Lady Cardinals managed this while wearing masks both during practice and games. Congratulations ladies on your remarkable victory! 

Following a successful season on the hardwood, Lily Ritz of the women’s basketball team can add All-American to her ever-growing list of achievements. This week, Lily was selected as a First-Team All-American by the D2CCA and an Honorable Mention All-American by the WBCA. Lily, who was named Second-Team D2CCA All-America last season becomes the first player in school history to be named a WBCA All-American. She was one of 15 Division II consensus All-Americans that received recognition from both organizations this season. What a wonderful accomplishment for this young lady ­– Well done, Lily! 

I encourage all of you to participate in the All School Virtual Reunion, April 16-18.  There is a series of virtual gatherings that will provide you the opportunity to catch up with your former students and friends.  Register online and receive a custom Wheeling University pint glass with which to enjoy your favorite beverage and to toast our 2021 Alumni Award recipients and the Cardinal family!  (Supplies are limited so register today!) Visit Wheeling University Alumni for information and updates as they happen! 

Students from various academic programs will present their scholarly work during Wheeling University’s annual Student Research & Scholarship Symposium on Wednesday, April 7. This year’s symposium will consist of a half-day of poster and oral presentations by undergraduate students from a variety of majors. That evening, the health science programs will hold its Inter-Professional Education (IPE) event when students and faculty from nursing, physical therapy, and exercise science will work through a paper case in small inter-professional groups. Participation and presentation of research is an essential and valuable component of the educational experience at Wheeling University. I look forward to seeing the research our students have undertaken and the conclusions they found. 

Thanks to the federal Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund II (HEERF II), Wheeling will have the opportunity to provide relief for students coping with the ongoing financial ramifications of the pandemic. The funding is available to be used by impacted students to cover any component of the student’s cost of attendance or emergency costs that arise due to coronavirus, such as tuition, food, housing, healthcare (including mental health), or childcare. Federal regulations require that we prioritize aid to students with extreme need, such as students who receive federal Pell grants, however, you do not have to receive a Pell grant to be eligible for support. Students can elect to have funds applied to their student account balance or request a check.  The application for funding will be live starting March 29. 

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) continues to make adjustments to its COVID-19 protocols. Its latest recommendation is to reduce the distance between students in a classroom from six-feet to three-feet. This reduction in distance will allow Wheeling to add more students to the classrooms as well as labs. The CDC noted that in order to seat students closer, other guidelines must be maintained, such as wearing a mask, regular hand washing, and continued cleaning of classrooms. In the new guidance, the CDC recommends six feet of distance in common areas, such as lobbies, hallways, and auditoriums.   

Holy Week, which begins on Palm Sunday, is a reminder to Christians of God’s sacrifice of his son, and His love for His people. During this sacred time that commemorates the last week of Jesus’ life on Earth, let us all take time to pray, fast, and discern. With the University closed Good Friday, my next campus update will be Friday, April 9. May you have a blessed Holy Week and Easter season.  

My prayers and gratitude,

Ginny R. Favede, President
Wheeling University