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Wheeling University’s Commencement to Proceed, Safety Measures Implemented


Implementation of safety measures will allow Wheeling University to proceed with its planned Commencement exercises set for Saturday, July 25.

Wheeling University President Ginny R. Favede will confer undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to over 200 students during Wheeling University’s 62nd Commencement ceremony at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, July 25. The ceremony will be held for the first time ever on Bishop Schmitt Field.  

In preparation for Wheeling University’s Commencement on Saturday, Bruce McColloch, director of Physical Plant and Donna White, director of Conference Services, set up seating on Bishop Schmitt Field in compliance with social distancing guidelines.

Originally scheduled for May 2, Wheeling University postponed its Commencement ceremony due to the Coronavirus outbreak. The University will comply with all state and local guidelines during the ceremony, which will include social distancing during the procession and recession.

“Ensuring the health and safety of our graduates, their families and all those participating in Commencement is our top priority. We have developed a plan, in consultation with the Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department, to socially distance all those in attendance,” said President Favede.

According to President Favede, graduates and faculty will be seated six-feet apart on the field.  Graduates are permitted six guests who will be seated on the field in family groups socially distanced from other guests, she said.

“We believe seating families in small groups on the field will allow them to be a part of the celebration of their student’s success, while keeping them socially distanced from others,” the President explained.

“When we had to send our students home abruptly in March, I made a promise to the senior class that they would have a commencement ceremony. Originally a December commencement was planned, but due to the anticipated second wave of COVID-19 we made the decision to hold commencement over the summer outdoors. Students in general have lost so very much and not holding a ceremony is unacceptable. Our commitment is to provide a safe commencement for our seniors, because we feel it is the right thing to do. It is important to me and it is important to this University to honor our students and their accomplishments. I am grateful the Wheeling University community is able to give the graduates the recognition they deserve. We look forward to honoring this extraordinary class on Saturday,” President Favede added.

Wheeling Mayor Glenn Elliott will serve as this year’s speaker and he will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters. Additionally, President Favede will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters.

The University is pleased to have Bishop Mark E. Brennan preside over Baccalaureate Mass on Friday evening. “We are always honored to have Bishop Brennan celebrate mass with our campus community and provide a special blessing as our students begin this next chapter in their lives”, said President Favede. The mass will begin at 7 p.m. and will also be held on Bishop Schmitt Field.

The Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department recommends everyone in attendance at these events wear a face covering. The University will have face masks available at the entrances to the venue. The President said all graduates and participants in the ceremony will wear masks.

For those not able to attend, the ceremony will be live-streamed. A link will be available on the University’s website on the day of the ceremony.

 Kelly Klubert
Phone: 304-243-8165