Wheeling University was founded in 1954 through a partnership between the Catholic Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston and the Jesuit Maryland Province. Originally named Wheeling College, it was established to provide spiritual education grounded in Ignatian principles. Archbishop John J. Swint secured Jesuit support and diocesan funding to purchase land and build the campus. The first president was Fr. Lawrence McHugh and the original buildings included Swint, Donahue, and Whelan Halls. Over the years, the campus expanded with more buildings, academic programs, and athletic teams. Wheeling transitioned from a small college to a comprehensive university, becoming Wheeling Jesuit College in 1987, Wheeling Jesuit University in 1996, and Wheeling University in 2019. While the name has changed, Wheeling remains West Virginia's only Catholic higher education institution, committed to its faith-based roots.
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