WHEELING, W.Va., — West Virginia Governor Jim Justice has been selected to address the Wheeling University Class of 2023 during its 65th Commencement ceremony set for Saturday, May 6, according to a press release from the school.
University President Ginny R. Favede is ‘thrilled’ that Gov. Justice will deliver the 2023 Commencement address. The University will award degrees to undergraduate and graduate students at this year’s Commencement Ceremony, which will take place at 10:30 a.m. inside the McDonough Center.
Justice announced his run for U.S. Senate on Thursday.
Gov. Jim Justice announces U.S. Senate run at Greenbrier event
“In the summer of 2019, Gov. Justice came to our side in Wheeling University’s darkest hour. When I reached out to him, he stepped forward without hesitation, coming to the University’s aid. His help was not in the form of state money – he gave us advice and guidance,” President Favede said. “While others stood by anticipating the closure of Wheeling University, he made a special trip to our campus – telling our students, faculty, and staff that the University ‘would not close on my watch.’ His support of this community is why we chose the Governor to address the graduating class.”
The President added, “On May 6, the students who walk across our stage have that opportunity because of the Governor. Wheeling University will be forever grateful to him. His unwavering support has allowed us to return this University to a vibrant institution of higher education. Gov. Justice recognized our value as the only Catholic university in West Virginia, and our ability to educate the young people of Appalachia. Wheeling University educates students to be men and women for and with others, and Gov. Justice is an outstanding example of what we aspire our students to be – people who live lives of leadership and service for the common good.”
In addition to offering the Commencement address, the Governor will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters.
Gov. Justice, a Raleigh County native, is a West Virginian through and through, said college officials. With an education from Marshall University and the Greenbrier Military Academy, Gov. Justice built a career in farming and energy. Yet, he always had a profound pull to give back to West Virginia through his time, talents and resources.
In 2017, he was elected as the 36th governor of the State of West Virginia and has spent his tenure finding ways to grow tourism, enhance statewide infrastructure, develop new educational opportunities and set a bright fiscal future for West Virginia. In 2020, Gov. Justice was re-elected to a second term of office garnering almost two-thirds of the statewide vote.
The only West Virginian who rivals Gov. Justice’s popularity is his English Bulldog, Babydog, who captured the hearts of West Virginians everywhere as the face of the Governor’s “Do it for Babydog” vaccination sweepstakes, said school officials. Whether it be special appearances on the biggest of stages, like the Governor’s State of the State address, or simply meeting people and shaking paws in her travels, Babydog makes everyone smile everywhere that she and the Governor go.