Giulietti Thanks Area Residents

To the Editor:

I am taking this opportunity to thank the citizens of Wheeling and the Upper Ohio Valley for your kindness and trust over the last 24 months. From the very beginning of my life with you I felt acceptance and hospitality. Your care for me was carried over into your interest and care for Wheeling Jesuit University.

When I arrived at Wheeling Jesuit, the fourth president in seven years, I felt great enthusiasm and excitement for the University and the role it could play in our city and region. Quickly I went about the task of learning the status of the University and then reorganizing some key departments in ways that would streamline services, be more customer friendly and reduce costs. As a Jesuit priest, I felt engagement with people – faculty, staff, students, alumni and others – was a critical part of my presidency.

Many of you expressed surprise with the decision to relieve me of my duties at Wheeling Jesuit. I share that surprise with you. Our leadership team, along with so many of you, began to move in positive directions for the benefit of the University. Together we made great strides and some changes that had positive educational and apostolic benefit. I am especially proud of the way we brought regional high school students, their guidance counselors and families to understand in a contemporary way the value of a Wheeling Jesuit education. The success of that strategy is reflected in the increased number of students in the new first-year class. Undergraduate retention has also improved. On the global scene, there was the arrival this summer of 40 high school students from Argentina, some of whom have applied for matriculation at Wheeling Jesuit, and 20 students from Spain. In Asia, there were newly established relationships with a Vietnamese university and a medical school. In Europe, the start of research and development between the University and a Spanish medical high-technology company can lead to solid business opportunities for Wheeling Jesuit, thus increasing job opportunities in the Wheeling area. The North Central Higher Learning Commission, at the completion of its standard 10-year reaccreditation process, gave Wheeling Jesuit University an excellent report. Our outreach to the alumni – the largest number of the Wheeling Jesuit family – led to renewed and vital interest in their alma mater. There are any other examples.

Again, thank you for your kindnesses to me. Although I leave, not by my own choice, I will continue to pray for your wellbeing and ask you to do the same for me.

All the best.

Julio Giulietti, SJ