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Update from the President

Dear Wheeling Family, 

This week, our students completed exams, and we marked the end of the semester. Now, our faculty are grading those final exams and wrapping up final grades for the semester. There was both nervousness and excitement among the students this week – anxiety about taking finals and excitement to be heading home to spend the holidays with family and friends. However, I am proud of the fact that we will have completed a relatively normal fall semester with classes in session and a full schedule of athletic events due to our collective efforts to keep one another safe.  

Wednesday, we honored six nursing students during a pinning ceremony held in the Mount de Chantal Sister’s Gallery. The nursing students completed their course work in their program, and the pinning ceremony recognizes that they have finished their degree. Students honored were: BSN graduates Shanay Schambach and Bailey Lohr; Accelerated BA/BS to BSN graduates Kayla Henderson and Bryce Kesling; and MSN graduates Noemi Forren and Amber Young. Faculty, staff, Jesuits, and family joined these men and women during the pinning. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in the ceremony and witness the students’ joy as they received their nursing pins. 

Wheeling MBA graduate and local businesswoman Niki Mullinix and her company Astyr Wealth awarded a $500 scholarship to junior Business major Marlies Wendler this semester. I am grateful to Niki, someone I have known for many years, for her commitment and investment in her alma mater. Niki’s generosity is helping to ensure  Marlies’ pursuit of a private, Catholic education is more affordable. This partnership will provide young female business majors assistance to obtain a college degree and succeed once they graduate. 

The Rugby team has left for Houston, where it will compete in the inaugural Rhino Rugby Bowl against Iowa Central Community College at Noon tomorrow, December 11th. Parents, alumni, and fans can catch all the action through National Collegiate Rugby’s (NCR) tournament site. Also, 10 members of the team have been invited to play in the NCR Collegiate All-Star Competition in Houston during the Martin Luther King holiday weekend in January. Under Coach Michael Geibel’s leadership, this team has become a nationally recognized program. I am so proud of the players and their many accomplishments in the past year. Good luck this weekend guys, we are all so very proud of you.  

Senior wide receiver Jaquan Davidson has been invited to showcase his talents before NFL and Canadian football scouts at the 2021 FCS National Bowl on Sunday. Top seniors from NCAA Division III, Division II, and the Football Championship Subdivision will converge on Daytona Beach to play in this event. The event is scheduled for kick-off at 11 a.m., and you can watch the game live on the FCS Bowl Facebook page.   

We learned this week that more of our student-athletes have been recognized for their athletic accomplishments. Two Cardinals, Lauren Calhoun, and Jordan Reid were named the Mountain East Conference Women’s and Men’s Players of the Week. These basketball players had standout performances against Davis and Elkins and West Virginia Wesleyan last week. Congratulations, Lauren and Jordan, on your well-deserved awards. 

Additionally, Senior Volleyball Libero Audrey Francis was named an American Volleyball Coaches’ Association Third Team All-American – the second time in her career. This talented young lady had an impressive final year at Wheeling, collecting numerous MEC and NCAA Division II honors. Along with teammates Karly Niesen and Mady Winters, she was named to the NCAA Division II Atlantic Region All-Tournament Team this past weekend. I am so proud of Audrey, Karly, Mady, and their teammates on a successful 2021 season. Thanks for another fantastic season, ladies! 

Tonight, this community will celebrate Christmas as a family. From graduate assistants to faculty and their guests, employees will attend our 2nd Annual Employee Christmas Party! We are looking forward to enjoying great food, a live band, and spending time together. This is a celebration of everyone for their dedication to our students and this University. I am so happy we can actually gather together this year again and wish everyone a fabulous evening and a great kickoff to the Christmas Season. 

As the second week of Advent comes to a close, a week in which we celebrated the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, I am reminded of the four themes of this season – hope, faith, joy, and peace. During this holy season, may we engage in prayer so that we can grow in our faith in preparation for the birth of Jesus.  

Wishing you a joyous Advent season, 

Ginny R. Favede, President
Wheeling University