Dr. Belle S. Wheelan will deliver the Midwestern State University commencement address at the ceremony scheduled for 10:00 a.m. December 12 at Kay Yeager Coliseum. Approximately 473 students from fall are candidates to earn their degrees this December. Summer graduates are also encouraged to participate in the ceremony.
Dr. Wheelan currently serves as President of the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and is the first African American and the first woman to serve in this capacity. Her career spans 35 years and includes the roles of faculty member, chief student services officer, campus provost, college president and Secretary of Education. In several of those roles she was the first African American and/or woman to serve in those capacities.
Dr. Wheelan received her Bachelorís degree from Trinity University in Texas (1972) with a double major in Psychology and Sociology; her Masterís from Louisiana State University (1974) in Developmental Educational Psychology; and her Doctorate from the University of Texas at Austin (1984) in Educational Administration with a special concentration in community college leadership.
She has received numerous awards and recognition including four honorary degrees; the Distinguished Graduate Award from Trinity University (2002), and from the College of Education at the University of Texas at Austin (1992); Washingtonian Magazineís 100 Most Powerful Women in Washington, DC (2001); and the AAUW Woman of Distinction Award (2002).
She holds and has held membership in numerous local, state and national organizations including Rotary International; Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.; the American College Testing, Inc., board of directors; American Association of Community Collegesí board of directors; the Lumina Foundation for Education, board of directors; and the Presidentís Round Table of the National Council on Black American Affairs.
Dr. Wheelan attributes her success to hard work, endurance, tenacity, and being in the right place at the right time. She recognizes that prayer and support from family and friends make anything possible.
Dr. Wheelan is the mother of an adult son named Reginald.