IU East Alumni Association Director gives $133,000 gift to establish scholarships

November 9, 2017 |

Terry Wiesehan has a deep affinity for Indiana University East. In recognition of the university’s impact in her life as an alumnae, as well as the current director of Alumni Relations and Campus Events, Wiesehan has made a $133,000 gift to IU East.

Terry Wiesehan

The gift will be used to create three endowed scholarships: the Terry Hawkins Wiesehan Women’s Athletics Scholarship; the Hawkins-Wiesehan Memorial Scholarship for the School of Humanities and Social Sciences; and the Terry and Rick Wiesehan International Travel Scholarship.

The Terry Hawkins Wiesehan Women’s Athletics Scholarship will support female student athletes at IU East.

Wiesehan grew up in Fountain City, Ind. and played sports at Northeastern High School in the late 1970’s, a time when women’s athletics was in its infancy around the state. When she attended IU East, a formal athletics program didn’t exist. Today, the IU East women’s athletics program includes eight sports. The creation of this fund helps provide female IU East student athletes with opportunities unavailable to Wiesehan.

“Terry cares deeply about IU East, our students and their future,” said Jason Troutwine, IU East vice chancellor for External Affairs. “Terry’s gift will provide exciting opportunities for our students and, I believe, will serve as an inspiration to other alumni who wish to give back to their alma mater.”

The Terry and Rick Wiesehan International Travel Scholarship honors the travel experiences she shared with her late husband, Rick, who she married in 1978. Throughout the years, the couple traveled to overseas locations such as Venice and Paris. Rick Wiesehan, who passed away in August 2014, also had a special connection to campus. He studied at IU East before joining the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department and he was an avid fan of Red Wolves athletics.

Wiesehan continues to travel extensively and hopes this scholarship will allow IU East students an opportunity to experience new cultures, customs and environments through their explorations.

The Hawkins-Wiesehan Memorial Scholarship is in remembrance of Wiesehan’s father, Richard “Dick” Hawkins, who passed away in March 2015. “He was a huge history buff,” Wiesehan said. “When most children went to amusement parks growing up, we trudged through battle fields and historical sites with our dad and don’t regret a minute of it.”

The scholarship also celebrates her father’s passion for learning and the encouragement he provided to her when attending college.

Troutwine said Wiesehan’s gift has special meaning. “The IU East campus is often referred to as a family. I know Terry believes this and, on many occasions, I’ve heard her say IU East is her ‘second family’. This gift permanently links Terry’s two families – the Hawkins-Wiesehan family and her IU East family.”

Wiesehan graduated from IU East in 1996 with a Bachelor of Arts in English. She first started as a non-traditional student in 1989. She was one of the first five students to receive the bachelor’s degree when it was first offered through the Richmond campus.

She went on to graduate school and received her Masters of Arts in English from the University of Indianapolis. “My dad is the one who encouraged me to attend college, I can still see the proud look on his face when I handed him my completed master’s thesis,” Wiesehan said.

In 1997, Wiesehan joined IU East as a staff member and worked in the Office of Tutorial Services. She also started as an adjunct instructor in English for the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, a position she continues today. “Teaching as an adjunct instructor keeps me involved with students,” she said.

She also continued her involvement with IU East as a board member of the IU East Alumni Association before assuming her current position as alumni director in 2004. A position that allows her to engage with the campus’ alumni.

“Through this gift, I have the opportunity to recognize the people who I love, in a place that I love,” Wiesehan said. “This scholarship will help students financially and will help to open the doors of education. I hope it inspires them too, in some way, to travel and to learn.”

For Wiesehan, one of the most special moments as the alumni director was at the 2006 Commencement Ceremony when she watched her son, Todd Wiesehan, walk across the stage during the Commencement Ceremony and was able to personally welcome him into the IU alumni family. Todd Wiesehan graduated with a degree in Behavioral Science with a Concentration in Sociology.

“Rick and I only had one child biologically but I have 100s through IU East,” Wiesehan said. “Whether they are those that I teach or know through the Alumni Association, I want to see them succeed.”

This gift will count toward the $3 billion campaign, For All: The Indiana University Bicentennial Campaign. IU East’s campaign goal is $7 million, which will help fund a variety of campus initiatives, student scholarships and strategic projects. Find out more about IU East and ways to assist the campus at iue.edu/development.

For All: The Indiana University Bicentennial Campaign is taking place on all IU-administered campuses including IU Bloomington, IUPUI, IU East, IU Kokomo, IU Northwest, IU South Bend, and IU Southeast. The campaign will conclude in June 2020 to coincide with IU’s bicentennial year celebration in 2020. To learn more about the campaign, its impact, and how to participate, please visit forall.iu.edu.

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 in excess of $2.1 billion.