Student Spotlights for Annual Giving Campaign

  WJU News
  Wednesday, January 9, 2019 8:52 AM
  WJU News, Academics, Service, Student Services, Athletics, Alumni

Wheeling, WV

Wheeling Jesuit University's annual giving campaign, "1,151 Reasons to Give," will feature different students over the next several months in a spotlight series. The students will have the opportunity to discuss why they chose to attend Wheeling Jesuit and what they have experienced during their time on campus. This series will also allow potential students, alumni, donors and the community to get to know the student body.

The two students highlighted are Christina Gibson, class of 2019, and Jonathan Stodola, class of 2021.

Image of Christina GibsonChristina Gibson

"My name is Christina Gibson and I was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. My major is theology in religious studies with a minor in pastoral studies. I'm on the women's track and field team, secretary of the Black Student Union/Building Student Unity (BSU), and I serve as a Resident Assistant (RA) in the freshmen dorms. I also try to attend as many service-immersion trips as I can. I have participated in the homeless immersion trip as well as the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice trip in Washington, DC.

Coming to Wheeling Jesuit University was not in my original plan for the future. I had a total of 15 scholarship offers from a variety of different schools, and I was actually committed to another university. I already had my student ID, classes, and roommates. However, Yahvah (God) saw fit for me to be at Wheeling Jesuit. I had completely surrendered my life to Yahvah who was helping me persevere through challenging times. One of the most difficult challenges was losing my grandmother. She strongly instilled in me the importance of education as well as my faith. When she was called home to heaven, it really broke my heart and I knew there was only one person I could turn to and that was Yahvah. With that being said, this was no longer my plan for my life, but it was Yahvah's plan. It turned out to be such a blessing in disguise for me.

I finally accepted my calling as a religious counselor and switched my major from athletic training to theology. I have been building up my confidence in every decision I have made since being enrolled here, and I have had complete and total peace as a result. I'm genuinely grateful for every step leading me to Wheeling Jesuit University. This University is known for service and helping anyone in need. I really appreciate the service aspect of the University and my absolute favorite thing about Wheeling Jesuit is how supportive the staff is of its students. They really want us to succeed and they make themselves available to help, including the President. It’s amazing because I am also a transfer student and I've never received this much support. Attending Wheeling Jesuit was not in my plan, but it was in Yahvah's plan for me. As a result, His plan has now become mine and I couldn't be more proud to call myself a Cardinal. I feel so honored and so blessed to be here. Wheeling Jesuit University turned out to be the perfect fit. I have grown mentally, physically and spiritually, and I am very excited to see how I will continue to grow after I graduate this spring." 

Image of Jonathan StodolaJonathan Stodola

"I am an engineering and theology double major from Charleston, West Virginia. I am a Resident Assistant, Luceat, ARC Tutor, President of the Tennis Club, a member of the Help Enrich Someone Special (HESS) staff, an Arrupe Scholar, and a member of the Choir, Man Club, Cards for Life, and Campus Ministry. I first visited Wheeling Jesuit because it was the only Catholic University in West Virginia, and I chose to attend Jesuit because of the emphasis on serving the community. My favorite thing about the University would have to be the people. The students, faculty and staff are all extremely supportive and caring people who challenge you to grow as a person." 

Please visit the official campaign website, or contact Janet Nolan at 304-243-8166 or jnolan@wju.edu, for more information regarding how to support Wheeling Jesuit University.


Wheeling Jesuit University is one of 28 Jesuit colleges and universities in the country offering 25 majors and concentrations, 15 minors, and six graduate programs. The University provides a Jesuit, Catholic, liberal arts education, and our affordable programs unite the Jesuit tradition of intellectual excellence allowing students to receive an education for life, leadership and service with and among others. The 65-acre campus is situated on the Ohio River 50 miles south of Pittsburgh, and two hours east of Columbus, in Wheeling, WV.

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