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Wheeling University Welcomes Class of 2025 to Campus

WHEELING, W.Va. – Wheeling University kicks off the 2021-22 academic year Friday, August 20, when it welcomes members of the class of 2025 to campus.

Members of the Wheeling University football team assisted new students as they moved into their residence halls on Friday.

Wheeling University first year students moved back to campus on Friday.

New Cardinal Days are the official start of the Fall semester and the time when new students move into their residence halls and begin their college careers at Wheeling University. In addition to moving into residence halls on Friday, first-year students will have activities to acclimate them to college life at the University. New this year is a parent reception hosted by University President Ginny R. Favede prior to the New Student Convocation. The Convocation, which starts at 6:30 p.m. on Donahue Lawn, is when faculty and staff officially welcome the new class into the Wheeling University family.

“New Cardinal Days is a very exciting time on campus, marking the start of another academic year. This is when our faculty and staff not only help our new students move into their rooms, but allows us to celebrate this new group of Cardinals, as well as introduce them to the campus and the Wheeling community,” President Favede said.

The Student Services Office will host a number of activities for new and returning students on Saturday and Sunday that help the new students bond with one another.

According to Andrew Lewis, vice president for Student Services, “On Saturday, we will once again hold Make A Difference Day – a time when our new students will undertake service projects around campus. This day introduces the new students to our mission and what it means to be men and women in service to others.”

Sunday, upper class students arrive, and all students are invited to a ‘Welcome Back Party’ that will be held on Donahue Lawn. The evening of events include an outside dinner, inflatables and a ‘movie under the stars.’ In addition, campus organizations and local businesses will be on hand to offer information about clubs and activities students. University officials believe this will pique the students’ interest on how they can get involved with organizations on campus and in the greater Wheeling community.

The class of 2025 is a diverse group, said Vice President for Enrollment Management, Justin Schwarz. Members of the class of 2025 come from 20 states, the District of Columbia and 20 countries. While overall domestic student numbers remain at last year’s levels, the University has seen a spike in international students.

“Wheeling University has seen a significant increase in international student enrollment, nearly doubling last year’s incoming class. We attribute this increase to a number of factors, including newly amended policies and legislation making studying in the United States more attractive and welcoming to foreign students, improving Admissions’ outreach and communication plan, implementing a wide variety of new marketing initiatives, and of course, Wheeling University’s competitive athletic programs,” Schwarz explained.

“Having a diverse student population exposes our students to new and unique cultures, adding to their learning experience both in and outside the classroom,” Schwarz said.

“We are attracting students from across the country and around the world because they value the quality, Catholic, liberal arts education we offer at Wheeling University,” President Favede added. “Wheeling University offers a safe, nurturing environment that provides a perfect setting for our students to learn and grow. Sixty-seven years since our founding, and Wheeling University remains true to its mission to educate its students for life, leadership, and service.”

One of the most visible changes students will find when they return is a renovated dining facility.

“We have transformed the Benedum Room, our dining hall, into a dining destination, where students can eat, socialize and study. When we partnered with our food service provider, Aladdin, there was a commitment to turning the facility into a space where students cannot only eat, but build community and relax. Now students and employees have a true student union, that will be open 24-hours for all to enjoy,” President Favede said.

In addition to traditional dine-in seating, the president explained that the Benedum Room will now offers students different seating options, including sofas, armchairs, booths, and counter seating.

“The centerpiece of the renovation is a free-standing, ceramic-walled water vapor fireplace, that offers comfortable seating and a relaxed setting. In addition, four large-screen televisions and charging stations have been added. The exit from the food serving area to the Library Plaza has been updated. Now, students can take their food to this area to enjoy this outside dining area,” the president added.

“We are grateful to Aladdin for their partnership on this project, which amounts to more than $300,000 in upgrades,” President Favede said. “They, like all of us at the University, wanted to make improvements to better meet the needs of our students. Together, we have created a great social space that students can use even when meals are not being served.”