Business school at IU Southeast receives $100,000 gift to create new scholarship

6th June 2016
Sheila and Jerry Wheat, both IU Southeast alumni, have announced a gift to create a new scholarship for School of Business students.

Sheila and Jerry Wheat, both IU Southeast alumni, have announced a gift to create a new scholarship for School of Business students.

NEW ALBANY, Ind. – IU Southeast announced today a generous gift to the School of Business by alumni Jerry and Sheila Wheat.

The $100,000 gift will create the Jerry E. and Sheila R. Wheat Scholarship for IU Southeast School of Business students. A gift match of income from Indiana University doubles the amount of funding this scholarship will provide to deserving IU Southeast students. 

“As a business professor, one of the things that hurts our economy terribly is when these students come out of school with so much debt that they can’t afford to get married, can’t afford to buy a decent car, can’t afford to buy decent clothes,” Jerry Wheat said. “If I can make a contribution to help students finish school without being in so much debt, maybe somebody else can, too.”

Jerry Wheat, ’64, was a professor of business administration at IU Southeast for 29 years. He was an Air Force veteran and the dean at the School of Business for a decade before retiring in 2006. As vice chair, treasurer and board member of the World Affairs Council of Kentucky and Southern Indiana, Jerry Wheat has pursued “citizen diplomacy” in providing foreign business leaders with examples of American best practices. He continues to contribute to the international business field through consultancy and publications, with concentrations in ethics and transition economies. Sheila Wheat, ’81, graduated with a general studies degree and enjoyed a successful career working in advertising agencies in Louisville. She is now retired and enjoys gardening at the Wheats’ home in Corydon.

The Wheats also support the George M. Hand Scholarship – in honor of Jerry Wheat’s grandfather – for IU Southeast business students of marketing and management. They also created the Jerry E. and Shelia R. Wheat International Study Scholarship, designated for IU Southeast business majors interested in marketing or management who intend to study aboard.

This gift counts toward the $2.5 billion campaign, For All: The Indiana University Bicentennial Campaign.

For All: The Indiana University Bicentennial Campaign is taking place on all IU-administered campuses including IU Bloomington, Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis, IU East, IU Kokomo, IU Northwest, IU South Bend, and IU Southeast. The campaign will conclude in December 2019 to coincide with IUs bicentennial year celebration in 2020. To learn more about the campaign, its impact, and how to participate, please visit

Founded in 1936, the Indiana University Foundation maximizes private support for Indiana University by fostering lifelong relationships with key stakeholders and providing advancement leadership and fundraising services for campuses and units across the university. Today, the IU Foundation oversees one of the largest public university endowments in the country, with a market value of approximately $1.9 billion. In fiscal year 2015, IU received $359.3 million in support from the private sector. IU is consistently ranked among the top four of Big Ten universities in annual voluntary support.

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