WHEELING - Fifty years after earning their degrees from Wheeling Jesuit University (WJU), the Class of 1964 presented University President the Rev. James Fleming, S.J. with a $250,000 check during the university's annual alumni weekend held June 20-22.
The money will be used to establish the Class of 1964 Ignatius Scholarship fund, which will provide a four year scholarship to one entering freshman each year. This year's recipient is senior Dylan Hunter Onderko, a philosophy major from Fairmont, W.Va.
"In 2009, during our 45th reunion, our class decided to do something special by the time we reach our 50th anniversary," said Class Representative J.J. Lauer. "I'm proud of my classmates for reaching this milestone. Wheeling Jesuit helped us, and now it is our turn to give back."
Presenting a $250,000 check to Wheeling Jesuit University President the Rev. James Fleming, S.J. are 50 Year Club members and Class of 1964 graduates J.J. Lauer, Jim Smith and Geno Julian.
"This year, our alums have provided greater financial support to the university than in any year on record. They are helping future generations of WJU students," said Fleming.
Also during alumni weekend, the class of 1974 presented Fleming with a $50,000 gift to commemorate their 40th class reunion.
In addition to these gifts from the classes of '64 and '74, the classes of 1963, 1965, 1969 and 1972 also have set up endowed scholarships funds at the university.
Founded 60 years ago by the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits), Wheeling Jesuit University consistently is ranked as one of America's top regional colleges by U.S. News & World Report and other organizations. WJU is the only Catholic university in West Virginia and the youngest Jesuit institution of higher learning in the United States. Its Jesuit tradition of academic excellence and service to others draws a global student body of 1,600 undergraduate and graduate students from 25 states and 26 countries. The university has 21 varsity sports programs and competes in the Mountain East Conference.