On Saturday, Nov. 20 Northern Kentucky University lost another professor. Dr. Macel Wheeler, 54, died at her Highland Heights home. Dr. Wheeler received her Ph.D. in geography from the University of Kentucky before joining Northern Kentucky University in 1978, bringing her years taught here to 26. “She leaves a legacy of excellence, collegiality, and deep commitment to NKU’s mission.,” said Gail Wells, the vice president for academic affairs and provost, in an e-mail to the NKU community. “She will be greatly missed.”
Dr. Wheeler taught as a professor of geography, and recently served as the coordinator of the geography program. “Every department needs a Macel – the go-to person for wise counsel, humane understanding, and reliable follow through. More than that, she was the very heart and soul of an academic department, and the personal and profession lives of all its grieving members will be forever diminished by her loss,” said Chair Jeffrey Williams.
According to the Kentucky Post, Dr. Wheeler was familiar with teaching and an academic environment long before she set foot in college to pursue a career in teaching. Clyde Wheeler, Dr. Wheeler’s father, was a teacher, and so is her sister Ellen Emmerson.
Dr. Wheeler was close to her mother and sister, and the three of them got an apartment together the summer after she graduated from high school. They attended classes together at Marshall University in West Virginia. Speaking of that summer, her mother said, “We had a wonderful time together.”
The family has requested donations to the Dr. Macel M. Wheeler Geography Scholarship fund. Contributions should be made to the NKU Foundation and designated for the Dr. Macel M. Wheeler Geography Scholarship Fund.