November 2021 
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Enjoy our hype video as we begin another season of winning basketball action! Join us for the fun!

Hilltoppers No. 1 in MEC

Fresh off their sixth NCAA Division II Atlantic Region championship in the last 11 seasons, Coach Ben Howlett's West Liberty University men's basketball team is once again ranked No. 1 in the Mountain East Conference's annual preseason coaches' poll. 
Plus, the men's basketball team capped its opening weekend with a big win here Saturday night, pounding perennial NCAA Division II Atlantic Region power East Stroudsburg, 108-93, to close out the Atlantic Region Crossover event inside the ASRC.
Coach Ben Howlett's high-flying Hilltoppers (2-0), fresh off Friday's 104-82 thumping of defending CIAA Tournament champion Winston-Salem State, got an incredibly efficient game-high 30 points from All-Region guard Pat Robinson III and led by as many as 25 points in the second half. Read the entire game coverage here and stay tuned as the Hilltoppers leave the friendly confines of the ASRC on Wednesday for another non-conference regional test, at Pitt-Johnstown to take on the Mountain Cats. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. in Johnstown.
Honoring Native Americans
West Liberty University celebrates Native American Heritage Month this November with an acknowledgement of the past. WLU’s Campus and Community Diversity Committee collaborated with others (noted below) to compose the following statement:

Native American Heritage Month is a time to educate our campus and local community about tribes and to raise awareness about the unique challenges Native people faced both historically and presently.

WLU respectfully acknowledges that our university is built upon the ancestral and historic lands of the Seneca-Cayuga, Eastern Shawnee, Osage, and Lenape people.

We acknowledge the destructive role that colonization and cultural cleansing have played in the history of these and other Indigenous groups. We hope to forge a relationship built on mutual respect and trust with these and other Indigenous groups.

President Reagan designated Nov. 23-30, 1986, as “American Indian Week.” In November 1990, the first proclamation for Native American Heritage Month came from President George H.W. Bush, after congress passed a resolution that designated November 1990 as National American Indian Heritage Month. Every President since 1995 has issued annual proclamations designating the month of November as a time to celebrate the cultures, accomplishments, and contributions of Native Americans. 

We acknowledge these groups and individuals and their contributions to this land acknowledgement statement: Drs. Hilary Bougher-Muckian and Cecilia Konchar Farr, the Campus and Community Diversity Committee, and the National Association of Tribal Historic Preservation Officers of the Seneca-Cayuga, Eastern Shawnee, Osage, and Delaware Tribe of Indians.”

Fall Concert
The choir is shown performing at a past concert.

Music to Our Ears

WEST LIBERTY, W.Va., Nov. 11, 2021 — West Liberty University’s Music Department will present a Fall Concert at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 17, that is free and open to the public. The concert takes place in Elbin Auditorium in College Hall, located just off the quad.

Performing ensembles include the University Concert Band and the WLU Singers.

“I know that music lovers will enjoy this concert that includes works for band by Karl King and Dmitri Shostakovich and works for choir by Abbie Betinis along with Jackson Berkey’s arrangement of Silent Night,” said Director of Choral Activities Ryan Keeling, in the Department of Music and Theater.

“It will be a great way to get in the mood for our upcoming holidays.”

WLU’s Concert Band is ready to delight guests at the Fall Concert.The performance includes students who are both music and non-music majors as well as one member of WLU alumni and one community member.

Twelve singers are in the choir, according to Keeling, who adds that they are all sopranos and altos. Twenty-two members make up the band performing on instruments including woodwinds, brass, and percussion. 

Keeling, who also is a WLU alumnus, has directed WLU’s Choral Activities since 2017. He also serves as artistic director of Voces Solis, Pittsburgh and is assistant conductor of the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh.  

The concert will be live-streamed on Topper Station for those who can't make it in person. 

The Division of Music at West Liberty University offers undergraduate degrees in Music Education, Music Performance, and Music Technology. Among its many ensembles are the WLU Singers, the Wind Symphony, University Band, WLU Community Choir, Hilltop Opera, Choral Scholars, Percussion Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble, African Drum and Dance Ensemble, Steel Band and Electronic Music Ensemble.
Phil Carl
WLU's Highlands Center is located near the Fairfield Inn.  

Meet our New Highlands Center Director 

WEST LIBERTY, W.Va., Nov. 12, 2021 — Wheeling resident and business owner, Phillip Carl has been named director of West Liberty University’s Highlands Center.

“We are excited to have someone who brings both the experience and a passion for the Ohio Valley that together will support a revisioning of our Highlands Center,” said Vice President of External Affairs Jason Koegler.

Carl’s duties include maintaining and overseeing the property, scheduling events and classes, along with programmatic, networking and outreach elements, according to Koegler.

Carl is the founder of Warwood Media Group LLC, a full-service advertising agency. He previously was vice president of Warwood Tool Company, a manufacturing company in Wheeling that specializes in forged steel hand tools.

Before that he was an account executive at Sinclair broadcasting and WTOV-TV-9.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism at West Virginia University.

For more information on WLU’s Highlands Center, please visit or you may reach Carl via email at The Highlands Center is located along Cabela Drive in the Highlands shopping complex, just next to the Fairfield Inn & Suites.
Student Erika Kekahuna wears a colorful Day of the Dead headpiece as International Month began.

International Education Month 

WEST LIBERTY, W.Va., November 2021 — International Education Month began with a colorful craft presentation on the Mexican holiday, Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead) as students painted ceramic skulls with acrylic paint on Nov. 1.

“West Liberty University’s Rollie Williams International Center looks forward to the observance of International Education Month every year and we have a full month of activities that highlight different cultures represented here on the Hilltop,” said Ryan Glanville, coordinator of International Programs and Recruiting.

Glanville, along with Director of International Enrollment Services Mia Szabo coordinates the International Program, from recruiting to student life.

Their offices are located in Shotwell Hall, near the center of campus, and include many amenities and services for students while studying and living on campus.

“We try to have something for everyone, different presentations both active and social during International Month,” said Glanville. (See calendar for details on all events planned.)

WLU has 71 international students from 35 countries enrolled this fall. Of these, 56 are degree-seeking students and 15 are exchange international students who spend a semester or two at WLU before returning to their own college campus.

“Our international student enrollment is better than ever and we are pleased to share the cultures represented here on our campus with everyone,” said Szabo, who has led the International Students Office since 2008. 

Countries represented this year include: Angola, Armenia, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, D.R. Congo, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Laos, Malawi, Mexico, Mongolia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, Tunisia, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uzbekistan and Venezuela. For more information, please call Szabo at 304.336.8270 or Glanville at 304.336.8382.
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