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Following a career that began as a Central undergraduate student, Dr. J. Mark Wehrle has retired as professor emeritus of sociology. He served the university for more than 25 years.
Dr. Wehrle developed a fondness for the campus and its students, faculty and staff while pursuing a bachelor’s degree in sociology, which he completed in 1971, followed by a master’s degree in the same area. He furthered his education at Southern Illinois University as Carbondale, where he completed a Ph.D. in 1981.
Having taught more than 6,000 students at Central, his first experience in teaching came as a graduate assistant. Faculty members who worked with him recognized his penchant for scholarship, and recommended him for a position as instructor of sociology in 1972. He earned promotions throughout his career, and advanced to professor in 1992. He served for approximately 20 years as chair of the Department of Sociology and Social Work in the College of Education and Human Services, prior to his retirement in December 2002.
In addition to teaching, Dr. Wehrle was involved in a variety of committee work and the department, college and university levels. His leadership in his department helped the university’s Social Work Program to earn national accreditation in 1987, followed by two subsequent reaccreditations by the Council on Social Work Accreditation. Millions of dollars in grants were also generated in social work and gerontology during his tenure.