C.C. Wheeler Institute

The Future – Our Vision

Through the generous estate gift from Cecelia Chesko Wheeler, Bradley University has established the C.C. Wheeler Institute for the Holistic Study of Family Well-Being for academic research and service. The institute draws upon the expertise of Bradley University faculty in Family and Consumer Sciences and encourages collaborative efforts by FCS faculty with colleagues in the College of EHS, at Bradley University and elsewhere.

Mission Statement

The C.C. Wheeler Institute for the Holistic Study of Family Well-Being was founded on the belief that family well-being is essential for the individual and the communities in which families function. Family Well-Being is defined as the management, organization and interaction of the family concerning (or in relation to) scarce resources, healthy lifestyle behaviors, consumer choices, close relationships and the activities surrounding education and work.

Family Well-Being

We recognize that family well-being is a multi-dimensional concept encompassing physical, spiritual and psychosocial health. As an integrated discipline, Family and Consumer Sciences invites interdisciplinary collaboration seeking to promote aspects of the following five domains:

  1. Healthy Lifestyles
    Foster informed choices regarding food and nutrition, textiles and clothing, and human development, resulting in healthy lifestyles across the life span.
  2. Education to Work
    Promote, through both formal and informal settings, disciplinary specific life skills that enhance, support and result in successful transitions from education to work.
  3. Resource Management
    Advance theory-based skills regarding goal formulation, decision-making/problem-solving skills and appropriate resource allocation in the near environment of the family.
  4. Consumer Choices
    Develop informed and effective utilization of consumer goods and services by individuals and families through a thorough understanding of behavioral theories and consumer decision-making processes and skills.
  5. Close Relationships
    Explore relationship forms, processes and threats across the life span.
    • The institute honors C.C. Wheeler's wishes to empower women and to support Family and Consumer Sciences at Bradley University. We believe an institute that supports family well-being within the FCS department is true to those wishes.
    • The Institute should provide resources for meaningful research and service that is congruent with current and future FCS skills and interests.
    • The institute should provide opportunities for collaborative research and service with colleagues in this college, the university and other appropriate scholars outside the university.

Cecelia Chesko Wheeler

Cecelia Chesko Wheeler
Cecelia Chesko '42

Mrs. Wheeler passed away in October 2003 and generously left over $3.5 million to the university with the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences as the primary benefactor, the fourth-largest gift by an individual to Bradley and the largest ever to the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences and the College of Education and Health Sciences.

Only the interest from this gift is used to support new initiatives within the department. It was Mrs. Wheeler's wish that her gift be used by the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences for the overall purpose of helping empower women. There is no better way to do that than to honor and support professional achievement and development with a three-part initiative benefiting students, faculty, and the profession of family and consumer sciences. The donation established an endowed professorship, with a supporting graduate assistantship, a center of excellence for collaborative research, and scholarships in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences. The renewable research scholarships are for qualifying incoming first-year students now known as Wheeler Scholars. The C.C. Wheeler Institute is managed by Dr. Rachel Vollmer, Interim Director.