Update from the President
May, 14, 2021
Dear Wheeling Family,
The words of Thomas Edison seem quite appropriate this week – “There is no substitute for hard work.” Nowhere are these words more accurate than at our University – our students, faculty, and athletes’ hard work is earning accolades.
During Commencement, we recognized several students for their achievements in the classroom and service to the community. Four students received honors for their academic accomplishments. The Henry F. Paul Medal for the highest four-year averages went to Lillian West, Bachelor of Arts, and Albert Baez, Bachelor of Science. Winners of the Wheeling University Medals for earning the second-highest four-year averages are Colton William Ray Boyle, Bachelor of Arts, and McKenna Kuzma, Bachelor of Science. The Mary Woomer Medal and Archbishop John J. Swint medals honor academic distinction and service to the University, and the winners are selected by faculty and administrators. Kendall Lydick received the Woomer Medal, while Albert Baez was the recipient of the Swint Medal. These young men and women are shining examples of the excellent students who attend Wheeling. It is a great honor to recognize each of them!
The University also recognized a member of the faculty at Commencement. The Rev. Edward Gannon, S.J. Teaching Award is given each year to a faculty member who has distinguished themselves as an outstanding teacher and scholar and exemplifies the University’s mission of service to the community. This year, Dr. Dianna Vargo, Director of Graduate Education and Accelerated Certification for Teaching programs was chosen for this honor. Congratulations on this recognition Dr. Vargo!
Our Wheeling Baseball team are prime examples of how hard work pays off! The Cardinals have had an exceptional year – compiling a school record of 27 wins, and this week the coach and players have been recognized by the Mountain East Conference. Wednesday, Head Coach Ryan Lewicki was named the MEC Coach of the Year, and eight members of the squad received All-MEC accolades. In his first full season as Head Coach, Ryan led the team to a historic turnaround that included a 27- 12 record, a MEC North Division Title, and a post-season appearance for the first time since 2011. Five members of the squad earned All-MEC First Team honors. They are Senior third baseman Luis Dominguez, sophomore utility player Jacob Murray, junior outfielder Chris Iazzetta, sophomore starting pitcher Jared Naida, and junior relief pitcher Albert Baez. Sophomore catcher Riley Cameron earned Second-Team All-MEC recognition, while junior outfielder Jack Skantze and junior starting pitcher Logan Pillars were named to the All-MEC Honorable Mention Team. In a season like no other, this baseball team, under Lewicki’s guidance, has managed to become the winningest baseball team in the program’s history!
Recently, the University received notification we will receive a third round of funding as part of the CARES Act, HEERF Funding. We will receive $2,192,758 million in this latest round of aid. The institutional portion ($1,080,724) of the funding will be used to offset costs incurred by the University to combat COVID-19, and we will distribute the remaining funds ($1,112, 034) to students who qualify.
Finally, since the fall of 2019, a remarkable amount of effort has gone into improving the physical appearance of the campus grounds and buildings. We’ve added new outdoor furniture for dining and relaxing, paved the roads and parking lots, refurbished the chapel cross and painted inside and out. This summer, we will continue our efforts to beautify this lovely campus. Before Commencement, new, outside trash receptacles were purchased and strategically placed outside of buildings, along sidewalks, and in common areas around campus. We have launched a drive to purchase new coordinating metal benches that will unify the esthetic. The Adopt-A-Bench program is a perfect way to honor a family member, classmate, team, a beloved professor, or Jesuit, your business, a birth, a wedding, or any special occasion, and help us continue our beautification efforts. Each donor’s gift will be acknowledged with a recognition plaque affixed to the bench they purchase. If you would like to Adopt-A-Bench, please contact Kelly Klubert at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
The weekend is here, and I hope you will not spend the next two days working hard! I hope you will take an opportunity to relax and enjoy time with family and friends.
With prayers and gratitude,
Ginny R. Favede, President