May 15, 2020
Update from the President
Dear Wheeling University Community,
As we continue to address the challenges that the Coronavirus has forced upon us, the faculty and employees of Wheeling University are approaching campus operations and instruction armed with the spirit and determination to tackle each task at hand.
The Reopening Committee continues to meet and develop plans to welcome students back to campus for the Fall 2020 semester. Scenarios are being developed to provide flexibility and, at the same time, follow all state and local guidelines set forth. Given the unpredictability of the Coronavirus, any plans developed must provide the University the ability to make adjustments. Ensuring the health and safety for our community is a top priority of the committee.
As we prepare for the Fall semester, I am encouraged by the number of deposits we have received for the incoming freshman class. Thanks to the hard work of our admissions team and coaches, we have more than 160 student deposits, and they continue to reach out to prospective students and guide them through the process. I believe that number will continue to rise!
While we continue to recruit the class of 2024, members of the faculty reached out to current students – to check on their well-being and see if they needed anything to prepare for the upcoming academic year. I want to thank those instructors for their help and for ensuring our students concerns are being heard.
To help current and incoming students with their educational pursuits, we launched the Summer of Purpose– a collection of online courses being offered during two Summer sessions. The program offers tracks for incoming and current students. The first session launched May 11, while the second session starts June 29 and runs until August 11. All courses offered during the Summer sessions are being discounted to help students, many of whom are struggling financially due to the pandemic. A track for rising high school seniors is being developed and information about those courses will be released soon. Students interested in the Summer of Purpose program can go to the website to learn more about the tracks offered. The new website has a listing of the courses being offered and features photos of students Baden Powell, Shanley Woods, Amari Poole, and Lauren Garan.
Wheeling University, like many other colleges and universities, has been affected financially by the pandemic. The cancellation of conferences, camps and outside programs has caused a shortfall in anticipated revenue. The University applied for reimbursement through the CARES Act and recently received an additional $383,326 in funding, which will help off-set some of the financial shortfall. According to the federal guidelines, this portion of the CARES Act funding must be used for campus operations.
Last week, I announced the receipt of $383,327 in CARES Act funding, which is to provide financial assistance to students impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. Nearly 300 students met the federal guidelines so far, and we distributed monies to those students today. Any student who has not filled out an application, I encourage you to do so soon. This fund is still available and open for application. In order to be eligible, students must meet the government criteria.
Due to federal guidelines, our international students are prohibited from receiving CARES Act funds. I know that many of these students have been impacted financially by the pandemic. Any member of our international population experiencing financial hardship is welcome to apply for assistance through the President’s Fund for Excellence. The committee will review all applications received and make recommendations on how to disburse the funds. To fill out an application, click here. Thanks to the generosity of faculty, employees, alumni and friends, the Fund has grown to more than $13,000.
I am pleased to announce that Wheeling Mayor Glenn Elliott, a Georgetown University Law School graduate, will serve as the Commencement speaker at this year’s Commencement ceremony will be held Saturday, July 25 at Bishop Schmitt Field. The rain date for the ceremony is July 26.
There are no words to express the gratitude I have for faculty, staff, students and alumni for their understanding and support since this pandemic began. We have learned a lot about who we are as people, as professionals, and as a community. I appreciate each and everyone one of you!
Let us pray that God gives us the grace to persevere through this unexpected reality and be sure to pray for one another, especially those affected by the Coronavirus. Please know you are always in my prayers.
Ginny R. Favede
President, Wheeling University