Dr. Belle Wheelan to Address Winter 2013 Graduates


WheelanDr. Belle S. Wheelan, President of Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) will be the keynote speaker for the December 15, 2012 commencement exercises scheduled for 9:30 a.m. in the Health and Physical Education Arena on Texas Southern University’s campus.

Dr. Wheelan is the first African American and the first woman to serve as SACS President.  Her career spans over 30 years and includes roles as faculty member, chief student services officer, campus provost, college president and Secretary of Education. In several of those roles she was also the first African American and/or woman to serve in those capacities.

Dr. Wheelan received her Bachelor’s degree from Trinity University with a double major in Psychology and Sociology; her Master’s from Louisiana State University in Developmental Educational Psychology; and her Doctorate from the University of Texas at Austin in Educational Administration with a special concentration in community college leadership. 

She has received numerous awards and recognitions, 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 Magazine’s 100 Most Powerful Women in Washington, DC (2001); the AAUW Woman of Distinction Award (2002); the Suanne Davis Roueche National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development’s Distinguished Lecturer Award (2007); the John E. Roueche National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development’s International Leadership Award (2010); and the AACC Leadership Award (2011).

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 Colleges’ board of directors; the Lumina Foundation for Education, board of directors; and the President’s 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. She is the mother of an adult son named Reginald.