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Wheeling Jesuit University

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Title: Wheeling Jesuit University  
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Subject: Alma Grace McDonough Health and Recreation Center, List of colleges and universities in West Virginia, Mountain East Conference, University of Charleston, Glenville State College
Collection: 1954 Establishments in West Virginia, Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, Buildings and Structures in Wheeling, West Virginia, Council of Independent Colleges, Education in Ohio County, West Virginia, Educational Institutions Established in 1954, Jesuit Universities and Colleges in the United States, Mountain East Conference Schools, North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, Roman Catholic Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, Roman Catholic Universities and Colleges in the United States, Roman Catholic Universities and Colleges in West Virginia, Universities and Colleges in West Virginia, Visitor Attractions in Ohio County, West Virginia, Wheeling Jesuit University, Wheeling, West Virginia
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Wheeling Jesuit University

Wheeling Jesuit University
Wheeling Jesuit University's Seal
Latin: Universitas Jesuita Vhelingensis
Former names
Wheeling College (1954-1987)
Wheeling Jesuit College (1987–1996)
Motto Luceat Lux Vestra (Latin)
Motto in English
Let your light shine
Established 1954
Type Private Nonprofit
Research Coeducational
Endowment US $19.7 million[1]
President Rev. James J. Fleming, S.J., Ph.D.
Academic staff
Students 1,575 (Fall 2014)[2]
Undergraduates 1,187
Postgraduates 388
Location Wheeling, West Virginia, USA
Campus 65 acres (26.3 ha)
Newspaper Cardinal Connection
Colors Red Black Gold
     --      --     
Athletics NCAA Division II - MEC
Sports 21 varsity sports teams[3]
(11 men's and 10 women's)
Nickname Cardinals
Mascot Iggy the Cardinal
Affiliations AJCU ACCU

Wheeling Jesuit University is a private, coeducational Roman Catholic university in the United States. Located in Wheeling, West Virginia, it was founded as Wheeling College in 1954 by the Society of Jesus (also known as the Jesuits). Today, Wheeling Jesuit University is one of 28 member institutions of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities. Approximately 1,173 undergraduate students attend the university.[4] WJU competes in Division II of the National Collegiate Athletic Association as a member of the Mountain East Conference (MEC).


  • History 1
    • List of Wheeling Jesuit University Presidents 1.1
  • Jesuits 2
  • Admissions and rankings 3
  • Academics 4
    • Graduate Programs 4.1
    • Clifford M. Lewis, S.J. Appalachian Institute 4.2
    • The Institute for the Study of Capitalism and Morality 4.3
    • Academic Facilities 4.4
    • Acker Science Center 4.5
    • Donahue Hall 4.6
  • Expansion 5
  • Athletics 6
  • Campus life 7
    • Residence life 7.1
      • Campion/McHugh Halls 7.1.1
      • Ignatius Hall 7.1.2
      • Kirby Hall/Sara Tracy Hall 7.1.3
      • Thomas More 7.1.4
    • Commitment to Social Justice 7.2
    • Student Organizations and Publications 7.3
      • Student Government 7.3.1
      • Organizations 7.3.2
      • Media 7.3.3
    • Campus Traditions 7.4
      • Culture Fest 7.4.1
      • Last Blast 7.4.2
      • Jesuit Idol 7.4.3
  • People 8
    • Notable Alumni 8.1
    • Faculty and Staff 8.2
  • Sponsored Programs 9
    • Center for Educational Technologies 9.1
    • Challenger Learning Center 9.2
    • Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center 9.3
  • Controversies 10
    • Federal investigation 10.1
  • Notes 11
  • External links 12


The seeds of WJU's founding were planted as early as the 19th century. Bishop Richard Whelan, leader of the Diocese of Wheeling, lobbied the Society of Jesus to establish a university in the burgeoning city. Over a century later, Whelan's original vision came to fruition. After a donor, Sara Tracy, left her estate to the diocese, it was able to purchase land from the neighboring Mt. De Chantal Visitation Academy.[5]

Wheeling Jesuit University, then Wheeling College, was founded through a partnership of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston with the Maryland Society of Jesus. Ground was broken on November 24, 1953, and the college was officially incorporated on September 25, 1954, but didn't open to students for another year on September 26, 1955. The establishment of the college required $2.75 million in start-up costs.[6] Overcoming the difficulties of temporary facilities and a faculty of just twelve Jesuit priests and four lay professors, the school grew considerably.

For the 1987–1988 school year, the university became Wheeling Jesuit College, and in July 1996, gained university status.[7]

In March 2013, the university announced the selection of Fr. James Fleming as its tenth president. Fleming took office effective July 1, 2013.[8]

List of Wheeling Jesuit University Presidents

  • Very Rev. Lawrence R. McHugh, S.J., 1954-1959
  • Rev. William F. Troy, S.J., 1959-1966
  • Rev. Frank R. Haig, S.J., 1966-1972[9]
  • Rev. Charles L. Currie Jr., S.J., 1972-1982
  • Rev. Thomas S. Acker, S.J., 1982-2000[10][11]
  • Rev. George F. Lundy, S.J., 2000-2003
  • Rev. Joseph R. Hacala, S.J., 2003-2006
  • James F. Birge, Ph.D. (interim), 2006-2007[12]
  • Rev. Julio Giulietti, S.J., 2007-2009[13][14]
  • J. Davitt McAteer (acting), 2009–2010[14]
  • Sr. Francis Marie Thrailkill (interim), 2010 [14][15]
  • Richard A. Beyer – 2011-2013
  • Rev. James J. Fleming, S.J., 2013—present[16]


The Jesuit community is active in the process of education. In addition, the Jesuits are involved in many other academic works, such as the Appalachian Institute on Campus.[17] Members of Wheeling's Jesuit Community reside at Whelan Hall, dedicated in 1955.[18] The Jesuit community and tradition for critical thinking are reflected in the school's curriculum and mission.[19]

Admissions and rankings

According to the WJU's page on the U-CAN Network,[20] the average high school GPA of the freshman class is a 3.5[21] The school is given a selectivity score of 81 out of 100 by the Princeton Review. In 1997, WJU was named as the fourth best educational value in the southeast, and the 15th best college in the region.[22] In addition, the school is ranked as the 18th best masters university in the south by U.S. News and World Report.[23] The most recent Forbes magazine rankings placed WJU 180 out of 600 colleges,[24] a marked improvement from their No. 437 rank in 2008.[25] Forbes also ranked the university as the 79th best value in America.[26] The university is ranked among the John Templeton Foundation's Colleges that Encourage Character Development.[27] According to the foundation, such universities "inspire students to lead ethical and civic-minded lives".


In honor of former WJU professor Fr. Stephen J. Laut, S.J., the university offers the Laut Honors Program. Throughout each school year, members of the program meet to discuss and study material related to that year's theme. At the conclusion of a student's sophomore year, students who have successfully completed the Laut program are invited to join the Ignatian Honors Seminar, a more rigorous program for which only six juniors and six seniors are selected.[28]

Wheeling Jesuit encourages all students to become actively involved in research in their desired fields. In many fields, seniors are required to complete a thesis or capstone project. In addition, students are actively encouraged to participate in the annual Student Research and Scholarship Symposium, in which students present research done over the past academic year.[29]

To aid students in their studies, the university offers extensive tutoring services through its Academic Resource Center ("the ARC"). The center, located in Ignatius Hall, offers tutoring for most classes, and provides writing tutors as well.[30]

Graduate Programs

WJU's Center for Professional and Graduate Studies offers five graduate programs, a Doctor of Physical Therapy.[31]

The Center for Professional and Graduate Studies offers a Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Leadership and Development (BOLD) and a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership (MSOL). These are adult education programs that meet once a week in the evening.

<-- and the university's Charleston Center.[32] According to incoming president Richard A. Beyer, expanding the Charleston Center is one of the university's goals.[33]-->

Clifford M. Lewis, S.J. Appalachian Institute

The Appalachian Institute at Wheeling Jesuit University describes its mission as, "to serve as a center of research and analysis, education and action attuned always to the struggles and dreams of the Appalachian people."[34] The institute focuses on issues such as Appalachian health, hope, education, economic development, and coal impoundment, and has conducted research and produced exhibits regarding this issues.

In 2010, the university hosted the Ignatian Solidarity Network Spring Teach-In, which focused on issues of environmental sustainability and stewardship.[35] In September 2010, the Appalachian Institute held its second annual Appalachian Film Festival.[36]

The Institute for the Study of Capitalism and Morality

As a result of a donation from BB&T, WJU in 2006 became home to the Institute for the Study of Capitalism and Morality. According to its website, the Institute desires to study the roles of capitalism in a free society. The institute also promotes research and essay competitions, forums and debates, and a lecture series. Lecturers for the 2007–2008 school year included Thomas Woods and Doug Bandow.[37] In 2011, the ISCM welcomed former BB&T CEO John A. Allison IV to campus.[38]

Academic Facilities

WJU's Donahue Hall

Acker Science Center[39]

Named for the school's former president Rev. Fr. Thomas S. Acker, S.J.,[40] the center was built in 2002. It is home to classrooms and labs.

Donahue Hall

The oldest academic building on campus, Donahue Hall was constructed in 1955 and was renovated in 1988.[41] Donahue holds faculty offices, labs, and classrooms.[42] The hall is connected to the Acker Science Center via the "Acker bridge."


The former adjacent girl's academy, Mount de Chantal Visitation Academy ceased operations in August 2010 and the Sisters of the Visitation who ran the school since its inception moved to the monastery at Georgetown Visitation Academy in Washington DC.[43] Wishing to see the Mount's legacy continued, the sisters gifted a large sum of money to establish and fund a Conservatory of Music at WJU.[44]

In July 2013, renovation began on the first floor of the CET building to create this Conservatory which "will feature an elegant recital hall, practice rooms, a parlor for students and performance-goers, and classroom and office space. A highlight will be the Sisters of the Visitation Gallery, a museum-like room displaying art, antiques and archival materials from Mount de Chantal Visitation Academy." Each year, one incoming female freshman will receive a $10,000 Mount de Chantal Scholarship, renewable annually, through the Mount de Chantal Fine Arts Education Fund.[45]

In the 2011–2012 school year, the university began the expansion of its fine arts programs. The university partners with River City Brass to offer instruction for its pep and symphonic bands. This music program also includes the establishment of a music major.[46]

In the Fall of 2013, Wheeling Jesuit University expanded its physical therapy doctoral program into downtown Wheeling, WV where it plans to "provide a free physical therapy clinic."[47]


The logo of WJU athletics.

Currently, Wheeling Jesuit supports 19 sports, including: Men's and women's soccer, men's and women's golf, men's and women's cross-country, men's and women's track (indoor and outdoor), men's and women's swimming, men's and women's basketball, volleyball, men's and women's lacrosse, hockey, cheerleading, softball, and baseball. Women's lacrosse, was announced on August 26, 2010, and the team began play in 2012.[48]

The university's home indoor athletic events are held in WJU's state of the art McDonough Center.[49] The university also offers a variety of intramural sports such as dodge-ball in the fall, basketball in the winter, and volleyball in the spring

Wheeling Jesuit University competes in NCAA Division II as part of the MEC. It had been a member of the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WVIAC) from 1957 to 2013, but in June 2012, the nine football-playing schools in the WVIAC announced their intention to break away and form a new conference, which eventually became the MEC.[50] Although WJU was initially left out of the split, it would soon receive an invitation to become a charter member of the new conference, which was officially unveiled on August 20, 2012 with competition to begin in the 2013–14 school year. WJU is the only non-football school in the MEC.[50]

Campus life

Wheeling Jesuit University's campus features fifteen buildings,[51] six of which are residence halls.[52]

Residence life

Looking toward Campion and McHugh Residence Halls on WJU's campus

The university has seven residence halls under its jurisdiction.

  • Campion – Housing for male freshman and upperclassmen students with 1 floor for female students
  • McHugh – Housing for male freshman students
  • Ignatius – Upgraded co-ed housing for upperclass students, featuring an "Ace Floor" for approved, academically achieved students with around-the-clock quiet hours
  • Kirby – Upgraded housing for female students, occasionally freshmen
  • Sara Tracy – Housing for female freshman students
  • Thomas More – Co-ed housing for upperclass students in the format of quads
  • Steenrod – Apartment housing for graduate students, off the main campus but on University-owned property across Washington Avenue.
  • Cardinal Commons - Opened in 2014. Located on Washington Avenue, 36-unit apartment style building. Part of a public-private partnership. The university does not own the building, but WJU students are the only tenants.

Campion/McHugh Halls

Campion and McHugh Halls host most of the male students on campus. Campion is adjacent to McHugh and connected via a common stairwell. The halls share a common lounge, kitchenette, and study area. Rooms in each measure 15'5" W by 10'10" L.[53] Despite these similarities, the halls can be differentiated by the fact that Campion is air conditioned, while McHugh is not.[54] In addition, McHugh is three years older than Campion, having been dedicated in 1959,[55] while Campion was dedicated in 1962.[56]

Ignatius Hall

Ignatius Hall, dedicated in 1993,[57] is a co-educational residence hall for Upperclass students. Rooms are air-conditioned, and have private bathrooms. Each residence floor has laundry facilities and TV lounges, and each room is 12'8" W by 25' L.[58] The hall is named after St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus.

Kirby Hall/Sara Tracy Hall

Dedicated in 2000, Kirby hall is one of the most recently built Halls on campus. The Hall houses 64 female students in 32 rooms. Each room has a bathroom, and the hall itself has a kitchen, laundry room, and lounge.[59]

Sara Tracy Hall, dedicated in 1959,[60] is a residence hall for female freshmen. The hall is divided into smaller hallways, all of which share common laundry facilities. The hall provides quick access to facilities, such as the Chapel of Mary and Joseph, the Mailroom, and the cafeteria.[61]

Thomas More

Opened in April, 1968. Thomas More houses upperclass students. Thomas More is a themed housing co-ed residential facility. Each quad is responsible for one social event a year that relates to the quad's theme. Rooms are divided into "quads." Each quad houses four, six, or eight students, and has three bedrooms, a lounge, and one bathroom. Residents are responsible for cleaning their own bathrooms. Inspections are done doing various university breaks.

A typical floor has four quads, and a community lounge. Laundry rooms are located on the first, second, third, and fourth floors. Telephone and Cable TV is provided. Thomas More resident assistants work to create a sense of community on their floor and in the building.[62]

Commitment to Social Justice

As part of the Jesuit philosophy, Wheeling Jesuit University prides itself on its commitment to community involvement and social justice. The Service for Social Action Center (SSAC) coordinates such programs. Arrupe Scholars (named for

  • Wheeling Jesuit University Website
  • Wheeling Jesuit University Athletics Website
  • Center for Educational Technologies
  • Wheeling Jesuit Quick Facts
  • Challenger Learning Center
  • Mount de Chantal Conservatory of Music at Wheeling Jesuit University

External links

  1. ^ "Wheeling Jesuit University – Best Colleges .
  2. ^
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  5. ^ "Home in a New Land: The Uncanny Jesuit Journey to Wheeling." In Wheeling Winter 2009: 32–33. Print.
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  9. ^ former physics professor and later university president, younger brother of Alexander Haig
  10. ^ Rev. Fr. Thomas S. Acker, S.J., Ph.D., former President and biology professor at Wheeling Jesuit University (1982-2000); under Fr. Acker's leadership, Wheeling College became Wheeling Jesuit University greatly increasing its reputation of excellence and its international influence.
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  37. ^ "The Study of Capitalism and Morality." WJU Institute for the Study of Capitalism and Morality. Wheeling Jesuit University. April 18, 2008
  38. ^ Retired BB&T Corporation CEO John Allison is Featured Speaker for April Lecture
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  42. ^ "Donahue Hall." History of Campus Buildings. Wheeling Jesuit University. April 18, 2008 .
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  46. ^ Wheeling Jesuit University Music Program
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  53. ^ "Campion Hall." Wheeling Jesuit University. Campus Life. January 15, 2008 .
  54. ^ "McHugh Hall." Wheeling Jesuit University. Campus Life. January 15, 2008 .
  55. ^ "McHugh Hall." Wheeling Jesuit University. January 15, 2008 .
  56. ^ "Campion House." Wheeling Jesuit University. January 15, 2008 .
  57. ^ "Ignatius Hall." Wheeling Jesuit University. January 15, 2008 .
  58. ^ "Ignatius Hall." Wheeling Jesuit University. January 15, 2008 .
  59. ^ "Kirby Hall." Wheeling Jesuit University. January 15, 2008 .
  60. ^ "Sara Tracy Hall." Wheeling Jesuit University. January 15, 2008 .
  61. ^ "Sara Tracy Hall." Wheeling Jesuit University. January 15, 2008 .
  62. ^ "Thomas More Hall." Student Life. Wheeling Jesuit University. October 12, 2008 .
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  64. ^ SSAC Components – Wheeling Jesuit University
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  69. ^ Culture Fest Keeps Growing
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  79. ^ "MAPQUEST COM INC Annual Report (10-K) Item 10. Directors and Executives of the Company." Edgar Online. March 30, 2000. October 12, 2008 .
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This matter was resolved by both parties on Aug. 3, 2015.

Four days later, the University released an official statement on the school's web site stating that the Board of Trustees gave authorization to release an independent report from 2008 on the University's cost-allocation methods to the United States Attorney for the Northern District of West Virginia. Rick Beyer, president at the time, was quoted as stating "The University has always been, and always will be, completely transparent with regards to its cost-allocation methods of its technology centers."[103]

On April 14, 2012, the Associated Press reported that a federal affidavit had been filed against Wheeling Jesuit University and its vice president in charge of Sponsored Programs, former MSHA head, J. Davitt McAteer. The criminal investigation is focused on alleged misappropriated federal grant money via fraudulent billing practices between 2005 and 2011. The expenses in question included McAteer's salary, which had nearly doubled from $130,300 to $230,659 between 2006 and 2008, as well as cell phones, computers, and the salary for a staff member in McAteer's private law office in Shepherdstown, West Virginia.[102]

Federal investigation


The Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center at Wheeling Jesuit University was established in 2010. Located in the National Technology Transfer Center, the IEC's goal is to "deliver a range of business training, mentoring and incubation programs designed to help local entrepreneurs – engineers, scientists, researchers, and technology developers – transition ideas and concepts to commercial products and ventures."[99] The IEC provides business training and incubation, in addition to holding professional workshops.[100][101]

Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center

The Challenger Learning Center [97] at WJU is one of 48 such centers worldwide. It offers several educational programs to middle and high school students. One of the more notable is a Space Shuttle simulation where "participants serve on one of eight teams in mission control or on the space station. Merging the power of imagination with the excitement of discovery, students become engineers and scientists as they simulate a space mission. The experience provides students along with teachers and adult learners with simulations that emphasize teamwork, problem-solving, decision-making and communication skills."[98]

Challenger Learning Center

The Center for Educational Technologies (CET) refers both to a set of externally funded projects[95] and to a building on the WJU campus in which these projects were originally housed. In December 2012 the CET projects and staff moved to a different building on campus - the NTTC - where development and research continue. The CET building itself now houses administrative offices and classrooms, as well as the Challenger Learning Center.[96] The CET projects include online and interactive learning development as well as mine safety training.

Center for Educational Technologies

  • Rev. Fr. Joseph P. Sanders, S.J., emeritus professor of sociology
  • Rev. Fr. James A. O'Brien, S.J., professor of philosophy
  • Bonnie B. Thurston, former professor of religious studies
  • Normand J. Paulhus, professor of religious studies
  • Thomas G. Wack, emeritus professor of English
  • Georgetown University
  • Msgr. Alfred Jolson, S.J., former business professor and Bishop of Reykjavík [90]
  • Jim O'Brien, former head basketball coach, current Indiana Pacers coach
  • Judson Shaver, former religious studies professor, current president of Marymount Manhattan College[91]
  • Fr. Michael F. Steltenkamp, S.J., professor of theology, author, Nicholas Black Elk: Medicine Man, Missionary, Mystic,[92] Black Elk: Holy Man of the Oglala, and The Sacred Vision: Native American Religion and Its Practice Today.
  • Edward W. Younkins, professor of accountancy and business administration, author[93][94]

Faculty and Staff

Notable Alumni


Jesuit Idol is an annual talent competition modeled after American Idol and held every spring semester. Contestants sing before a live audience and a panel of judges, and are eliminated in a series of themed rounds. The winner is awarded a cash prize. The event is streamed online.[71]

Jesuit Idol

"Last Blast" is held at the end of every school year. The events include a concert, a formal dance, a carnival held outside of Donahue Hall, and a raft race down Wheeling Creek.[70] Some of the artists at past Last Blast concerts include Andy Grammer, Punchline, and Colbie Caillat.

Last Blast

Each spring Wheeling Jesuit's International Student club sponsors a festival celebrating the cultural diversity of WJU. The activities included samples of ethnic food as well as music and demonstrations from students' native countries.[69]

Culture Fest

Campus Traditions


  • Adventure Society
  • Appalachian Experience Club
  • Campus Activities Board
  • Circle K International
  • Computer Club
  • Criminal Justice Club
  • French Club
  • HESS (Help Enrich Someone Special) Mentoring
  • History Club
  • International Student Club
  • JAPOT (Justice and Peace in Our Times)
  • Music Ministry
  • OASIS (Open and Aware Students Helping Other Students)
  • Philosophy Club (Sense and Nonsense)
  • Political Science Club
  • Psychology Club/Psi Chi
  • Spanish Club
  • Students for Life
  • SIFE (Students in Free Enterprise)
  • Student Leaders Across Campus
  • Student Nurses Association
  • Theatre Guild
  • WJU Chamber Singers

Wheeling Jesuit University students are given an array of opportunities for campus involvement. Student Government and the Campus Activities Board plan activities each year, in addition to those already put on by clubs. While many of the clubs are service-oriented in nature, there are also political, artistic, and major-related organizations.[68]


WJU's Student Government Association offices are located in Swint Hall. The Student Government Association is the elected voice of WJU students. The Wheeling Jesuit SGA consists of two branches: the Executive Board ("E-Board") and the Student Senate. The E-Board consists of a President and Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Student Advocate, Social Affairs Representative, Academic Affairs Representative, and Academic Affairs Representative.[66] The Student Senate is composed of at-large representatives, class officers, and a commuter representative.[67]

Student Government

Student Organizations and Publications

[65] sponsors a yearly Mine Safety symposium.Sago Mine disaster In addition, the university also works to promote mine safety, and in the aftermath of the [64]

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