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Update from the President

May 22

Dear Wheeling University Community,

Unprecedented times require unprecedented collaboration, cooperation and planning, and thanks to YOU– our dedicated faculty and employees — we are accomplishing great work to overcome the challenges the Coronavirus has brought.

Daily meetings are being held in a variety of areas to plan for the upcoming academic year and to help ensure Wheeling University remains strong and resilient in the midst of this time of continued uncertainty. 

Our Commencement Committee is hard at work planning for our July 25 ceremony. I am pleased to announce that Wheeling Mayor Glenn Elliott, a Georgetown University law school graduate, will serve as our speaker. Mayor Elliott is a product of Jesuit education and understands the Ignatian principles we continue to instill in our students. I believe he will offer the Class of 2020 some beneficial insights to take with them in life. With the help of members of the senior class and SGA, we are mapping out the details of the ceremony, and how best to honor this very special class. I will continue to update the community on the specifics of the ceremony as they come into focus. 

Baccalaureate will be held the evening before Commencement – Friday, July 24. Like Commencement, Baccalaureate will take place on Bishop Schmitt Field. I am working with the Diocese to ensure that Bishop Brennan and other priests from the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston can join Fr. Jim Conroy, Fr. Hadi Sasmita and Fr. Rich McCouch, to celebrate this Mass with our students and their families.

We have begun recognizing the members of the Class of 2020 on our social media platforms. I would like to remind any graduating senior who hasn’t sent their information and photo to Kelly Klubert at, to do so soon. It is important to me that we honor each member of the class, so please take a few moments to send us this information if you haven’t already.

The campus community is preparing for our June 12th Virtual Cardinal Orientation for deposited students, which will feature a live GoToMeeting session with Admission, Academic Affairs and Student Life personnel. To comply with social distancing rules, we have decided that it is best to provide a virtual orientation at this time. Orientation packets will be mailed to all participants prior to the event. On June 12, emails will be sent to the prospective students that will include videos and how to join the GoToMeeting session. 

We hope to begin having Sunday Mass in the Chapel of Mary and Joseph soon. Fr. Hadi Sasmita is working with our Director of Physical Plant, Bruce McColloch, on properly spacing the seats inside the Chapel. As part of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston’s guidelines, all churches must comply with social distancing requirements. I promise to keep the Community updated on this date.

Last Friday, May 15, on the Feast of Isidore the Farmer, patron of farmers and farm laborers, Fr. Rich McCouch, S.J. offered a blessing for our campus garden. Fr. Jim Conroy, S.J., Fr. Hadi Sasmita, S.J. and members of the faculty and staff gathered at the garden, located behind Sara Tracy, for this special blessing. Some employees planted tomato plants in the newly renovated garden beds. I am grateful for members of the Cardinal family who took time out of their day to gather for this special event.

In order for the growth and financial health of our University to continue moving in the right direction, payroll will now be managed and processed by the Office of Business and Finance. This will allow for stronger control over the creation, maintenance, and management of the largest operating expense of the University. Questions related to the processing of payroll can be directed to Debra Sine, Accountant. All employee benefits will continue to be managed by the Office of Human Resources.  

We had a pleasant surprise this morning. Wheeling University football recruit Anthony (AJ) Warren Haythe, Jr. and his family were on the Today Show’s Virtual Plaza. In the video, AJ can be seen displaying the Wheeling University Cardinal, and he and his father, Anthony, were dressed in Wheeling University apparel. AJ’s recognition is the second feature in this video. The Today Show also recognized Anthony, Sr. who retired after 30 years as a Washington, D.C. police officer. We look forward to welcoming AJ and his family to our campus soon! 

As we enter this Memorial Day weekend, let us take time to remember with gratitude and pride all those men and women who served and perished for our country and for our freedom. I wish you a happy and safe weekend.

With gratitude,

Ginny R. Favede
President, Wheeling University