Wheeling Jesuit University (WJU) has planned a week’s worth of events for the campus and the community to celebrate the Cardinals’ first-ever national championship.
“Capturing a national championship is a rare feat. This is a win for the university, the city of Wheeling, and the Mountain State. We hope the community can join us throughout the week as we celebrate the hard work and accomplishments of these young women,” said Christy Benner, head coach of the WJU volleyball team.
Recognition of the WJU Volleyball team will kick-off Sunday evening, Jan. 17, when students, employees, alumni, and the community are invited to a bonfire from 6 to 7:30 p.m. outside the McDonough Center. Special activities, music, and snacks will be available for all who attend.
On Tuesday the university will host a “Meet the Team” for students, employees, and alumni at The Ratt, located in Swint Hall from 9 to 11 p.m. A limited number of commemorative T-shirts, and volleyballs will be handed out to those attending.
In addition to events on campus, the Ye Old Alpha in Wheeling will host the team for a special dinner Wednesday night.
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On Thursday night, the volleyball team will present the university the National Championship trophy during a special ceremony between the women’s and men’s basketball games against West Liberty. Wheeling Jesuit University President the Rev. James Fleming, S.J., Mountain East Conference Commissioner, Reid Amos, U.S. Rep. David McKinley, (R-WV) and other dignitaries will be on hand for this special ceremony.
“Thanks to our beloved community who inspired, watched and cheered for us throughout this amazing journey that we were able to accomplish this feat. Winning in Florida felt good, but coming home to celebrate in Wheeling feels even better,” Benner added.
The week wraps up at WesBanco Arena when the Wheeling Nailers plan to honor the team during their game against the Kalamazoo Wings, Friday, Jan. 22. The game starts at 7:35 p.m., and the Cardinals will be recognized during one of the game intermissions.
“What a great way to start the spring semester for all our students on campus. Winning the national championship goes beyond the walls of the athletic department, and we hope everyone can come out and enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime celebration,” said Kevin Forde, WJU’s athletic director.