Wheeling Jesuit University has named its newly constructed recital hall in honor of two long-time University benefactors, the late Edouard and Simone Ziegler.
In November, WJU President, Rev. James Fleming, S.J., along with members of the university community and local residents gathered inside the recital hall located in the Mount de Chantal Conservatory of Music, to celebrate and recognize the Zieglers for their support of WJU.
That evening, Wheeling Jesuit students — singers and musicians — along with Violinist Juan Carlos Jaramillo of the Wheeling Symphony performed French musical pieces in tribute to Mr. and Mrs. Ziegler. WJU Director of Music Ministry, Robert Troeger, directed the recital and accompanied the performers on the piano. The Zieglers’ daughter, Anne-Marie and granddaughter, Anne Nicole, were on hand for the evening – an evening which officially dedicated recital hall in the Zieglers’ name.
“Edouard and Simone were benefactors of Wheeling Jesuit since its founding in 1954. We will be forever grateful to this couple for their support of our university. They understood the value of Jesuit education, and their support over the past 63 years has enriched the lives of our students,” said Fr. Fleming.
The Zieglers have long supported the arts in the Wheeling community, Fr. Fleming said. “I know of no better way to recognize Edouard and Simone for their commitment to Wheeling Jesuit University than to name our recital hall in their honor.”
Opening the evening of music was Jaramillo, who is principal second violin of the Wheeling Symphony. He and Troeger, who accompanied him on piano, played Sonata for Violin and Piano, Opus Posthumous by composer Maurice Ravel.
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Two Wheeling Jesuit singers then took the stage to serenade the audience.
Junior Lucy Hritzo sang Pie Jesu from Requiem by Gabriel Fauré and sophomore Bernadette Tirador, who is a recipient of Mt. de Chantal Music Scholarship, sang Après une Rêve, an art song by Gabriel Fauré. Troeger accompanied both on piano.
Saxophonist Seth Keeney, a senior at Wheeling Jesuit, played Aria by Eugéne Bozza along with Troeger.
Rev. William George, S.J., special assistant to Fr. Fleming, said Mrs. Ziegler felt at home at WJU because of her strong belief in Jesuit education. The Jesuits modeled their education after the classical liberal arts curriculum at the University of Paris – a place that educated St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the order.
“Simone believed in education and was raised in an environment where the arts were naturally a part of any education. The arts were important to her and Edouard. From that love of both education and the arts came her devotion to Wheeling Jesuit University. I hope everyone who enters the doors of the recital hall will remember this wonderful couple and the impact they have made in the lives of so many in this community,” Fr. George added.