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Update from the President

Dear Wheeling Family, 

Homecoming and Family Weekend may be over, but the excitement and memories of the event live on with the university community members. The campus was buzzing with activity from Friday through Sunday. It was wonderful to see so many parents and alumni back to celebrate Homecoming with our students, faculty, and staff. I enjoyed talking to everyone and catching up. Most of all, I was happy to see so much joy. The joy I had an opportunity to witness was that of parents getting to spend time with their child, alumni seeing friends once again after being apart for so long, and students celebrating Homecoming with some normalcy. Adding to the excitement, Saturday was the football team’s unbelievable 4th quarter comeback to tie our rival West Liberty and win the game in overtime. I am not sure this campus has ever seen the likes of the activity that followed as students, parents, and fans stormed the field in celebration.  To see those young men and coaches gather on the field and kneel to recite the “Our Father” amid the flurry of activity was simply awe-inspiring.  In four years, Coach Bruney and his staff have grown this football program from the ground up, improving each year since its founding in 2018. Coach Bruney’s staff deserve a round of applause for being such inspiring and passionate leaders. Another highlight on Saturday was crowning Matthew Greenwood and Hannah Swisk as our Homecoming King and Queen. These two have been a couple since their ninth-grade year of high school.  Hanna and Matt are shining examples of our happy, kind, involved, and successful students and they live our mission daily. 

Also, it was wonderful having Fr. O’Brien with us throughout the weekend. His presence brought so much joy to our alumni, faculty, and staff, many of who have not seen him in some time. He attended many of the activities throughout the weekend and con-celebrated Sunday morning’s Mass in the Chapel of Mary and Joseph. His stamina, brilliant memory, and endless smile made this past weekend so very special for many of us. I know he was excited to be back HOME to spend time with old friends.  

Prior to Homecoming and Family Weekend, workers placed 10 beautiful new black iron benches purchased by alumni and friends of the University in various locations around campus. These beautiful seats can be found near Donahue and Swint Halls, on either side of the Chapel and along its walkway, as well as outside the McDonough Center. In addition, the donor plaques have been installed on each bench which offers special messages and tributes from the donors. To each person and group who ‘adopted’ a bench, thank you from all of us for your generosity – this beautification project would not have been possible without your support. I hope our donors can come to campus soon to see their benches. Last year’s outgoing SGA President, Chelsea Ward, had come to me during her senior year and asked if their benches could be put back. Unfortunately, the benches were nowhere to be found, but thanks to all of you, we have not only fixed that but improved our campus. Chelsea visits often and will be tickled to death, I am sure! 

This week, members of our First Year Experience will undertake a community service project. Wheeling considers participation in community service a visible way to live the University’s mission. Therefore, the first-year students will volunteer their time with Catholic Charities West Virginia in Wheeling to assemble food baskets that will be distributed to members of the community in need. A special thank you to Fr. Richard McCouch, S.J., Director of the Appalachian Institute, for arranging this project – through projects like this, our students can understand how their service impacts the residents in this area. 

I would like to thank the campus community for planning and executing Homecoming and Family Weekend, and I extend a special thank you to Dr. Joe Munhall, President of Alumni Council, who handled the official coin toss of the game. Three incredible days of events and the prep work to make the activities happen took the work of many departments campus-wide. Words cannot express my gratitude for your efforts to ensure our students, parents, alumni, and friends had a memorable Homecoming weekend. Your care for our community never goes unnoticed. 

With gratitude, 

Ginny R. Favede, President
Wheeling University