Belle Wheelan will be the featured speaker at The University of Tennessee Space Institute’s “Black History” celebration to be held at 10 a.m. on February 27, 2013.
Wheelan’s career spans over 30 years and includes roles of faculty member, chief student services officer, campus provost, college president, and the Commonwealth of Virginia Secretary of Education. She is the first African American and first woman to serve as the President of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and to serve as the president of a two- or four-year public institution of higher education in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
“I had an opportunity to hear Wheelan speak last year at the Women in Higher Education in Tennessee annual conference. After hearing her and meeting her, I knew that she would be a great choice as a speaker for our annual event. She is such a woman of excellence,” commented Patricia A. Burks-Jelks, Director of Human Resources, Equity and Diversity at UTSI.
Named one of the Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Washington, DC, by the Washingtonian Magazine, Wheelan has received numerous awards and recognition, including four honorary degrees.
Influential, she holds and has held memberships in numerous local, state and national organizations, to include; Rotary International; Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.; the board of directors for – American College Testing, Inc., American Association Community College’s, Lumina Foundation for Education; and the President’s Round Table of the National Council on Black American Affairs and the Government Affairs Committee of the American Council of Education.
Wheelan received a bachelor of arts degree from Trinity University with a double major in psychology and sociology. She later enrolled in Louisiana State University and received a master of arts degree in developmental/educational psychology. In 1984, Wheelan earned a doctoral degree in educational administration from the University of Texas.
The Black History celebration will be held in UTSI’s auditorium, and is free and open to the public. A reception will follow in the Institute’s lobby.