Jerry E. Wheat


Presidents Circle Laurel Pin (2018)
Fulbright Award (2003)
Fulbright Award
Indiana University Southeast


Jerry E. Wheat is a three-time graduate of Indiana University who has maintained a strong connection to the university through his career and acts of philanthropy. Wheat earned his B.S., M.B.A., and D.B.A. from the IU Bloomington School of Business in 1968, 1969, and 1974 respectively.

An Air Force veteran, IU alumnus, and Fulbright Senior Specialist, Jerry served as dean of the School of Business at IU Southeast for a decade and was prominent in campus leadership until retiring in 2006. His research interested include transition economics and entrepreneurship education for post-communist countries. He continues to contribute to the international business field through consultancy and publications, with concentrations in ethics and transition economies. He has traveled to more than 100 countries, as teacher, tourist, scholar, and advisor. As vice chair, treasurer, and board member of the World Affairs Council of Kentucky and Southern Indiana, he has pursued "citizen diplomacy" in providing foreign business leaders with examples of American best practices.

Wheat used the G.I. Bill to help cover the costs of college expenses during his years as a student. In the spirit of philanthropy, his resolve to give back and assist future generations of students propelled him to establish the Dr. Jerry E. and Sheila R. Wheat Scholarship for IU Southeast School of Business students. Wheat, alongside his wife Sheila, also support the George M. Hand Scholarship – in honor of Jerry's grandfather – for IU Southeast business students of marketing and management. The couple has also created the Dr. Jerry E. and Sheila R. Wheat International Study Scholarship, designated for IU Southeast business majors interested in marketing or management who intend to study abroad.

In 2003, Wheat was a Fulbright Senior Specialist recipient where he conducted project activities to support his host institution – The National University of Ostroh Academy in Ukraine. Wheat was presented the Presidents Circle Laurel Pin at the Benefactor level for his strong commitment to IU Southeast.