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WJU Manning Award Winner Excels in Academics, Athletics, and Service

  Thursday, April 25, 2019 8:30 AM
  WU News


While growing up in Bruceton Mills, West Virginia, Wheeling Jesuit University graduating senior Terrance Fanning did not imagine that one day he would not only earn a Bachelor Degree in Criminal Justice, but he would also earn both an athletic honor of the D2 National Wrestling Champion and an academic honor of the Manning Award for Academic Success.

The 2019 Manning Award for Academic Success is given by WJU Disability Services to a senior who overcomes the challenges of a visible or invisible disability to achieve academic success and who demonstrates the qualities of a lifelong learner.  This award was created by Disability Services director Kathy Tagg in the name of 2010 alumnus Shawn Manning who used his ability, determination, and hard work to overcome his disability to achieve his dream of a Jesuit education.

As a young boy, Terrance was a very physical person who loved activities such as wrestling, but found it difficult to “stay put” in school.  Terrance remembers that he did not like reading or taking notes during classes because, “I could not concentrate for more than five minutes.”  He recalls that his 7th and 8th grade teacher, Mrs. Rita Flynn, “guided me with a combination of encouragement and push.  She told me that I am a sponge, not a brick, and I need to soak in information. That teacher understood my academic difficulties, but she did not let me slide.”

Terrance’s father introduced him to wrestling at an early age and by the time Terrance was a senior in high school, he had been wrestling and winning matches and awards for 12 years.  He caught the eye of Sean Doyle who developed WJU’s first wrestling program. Terrance earned an athletic scholarship, served as team captain of the Cardinals for two years, was Rookie of the Year, twice the Athlete of the Year, and a national qualifier.  He ultimately earned the crown of National Wrestling Champion in 2018.

As a WJU freshman, Terrance continued to struggle with focus and concentration in his college courses. During this first year he met and developed a friendship with David “Puddy” Agans from WJU Student Services who served as a mentor.  He referred Terrance to Disability Services director Kathy Tagg who offered Terrance assistance and guidance with strategies and resources that helped him improve his focus and achieve academic success. Terrance states, “I truly appreciate Kathy Tagg’s belief in me that I could be successful at WJU.  I would not have been able to earn my degree without her support and encouragement.”

As a student at WJU, Terrance learned the Jesuit mission of service to others.  He took this responsibility to heart and mentored fellow students with disabilities who were struggling academically.  As an Admissions Ambassador he led tours for incoming students and introduced them to Disability Services and other helpful campus resources.  Terrance served as a leader in campus Kairos retreats where he shared his faith experiences with fellow students.

Terrance comes from a family involved in service – his mother, Kindra, works at Child and Family Services and his father, Tom, works in a military profession; his older brother, Necko, served in the Army; his older sister, Lachelle, is a nursing student; and his twin sister, Tori, serves in the Coast Guard.  Terrance may follow in his family’s footsteps as he hopes to use his Criminal Justice degree to serve his community. “Wheeling Jesuit University not only prepared me for my career through academics, but also prepared me for a life of service with a Jesuit spirit. I am very grateful.”