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Wells Scholars Program

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Last modified: Tuesday, August 8, 2006

Newburgh's Sheppe named Wells Scholar at IU

Aug. 10, 2006

Alexander Sheppe

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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Alexander Sheppe from Newburgh, Ind., has been selected as a Wells Scholar at Indiana University, one of 19 entering freshmen so honored. He will this fall join more than 320 others who have been named Wells Scholars since 1990.

The scholarship, named in honor of the late IU Chancellor Herman B Wells, ranks among the most competitive and prestigious awards offered by any American university. Since its inception, more than two dozen Wells Scholars have gone on to earn prestigious Rhodes, Truman, Marshall, Soros, Mitchell, Churchill, Fulbright and Goldwater scholarships for advanced study.

A Hoosier Scholar, Sheppe graduated as valedictorian from Castle High School, where he was named to the Academic Hall of Fame. He competed for four years in the Indiana State Mathematics competition, winning multiple Scholar Awards and placing as grand champion on the Algebra I exam and in third place in the comprehensive exam.

The recipient of a scholarship from Fifth Third Bank and a Presidential Freedom Scholarship, he also received a Mathematics and Science Award from the U.S. Air Force Recruiting Service and was named an Indianapolis Star Regional Academic All-Star. He served as president of his school's chess and Spanish clubs and vice president of the science club. He was a member of the marching band and presented with the Most Outstanding Musician Award. He served as treasurer of Student Council and was a member of National Honor Society and Key Club.

Sheppe served as chairman of the Warrick County Food Bank food drive, participated in the Big Brothers and Big Sisters Bowl-A-Thon and collected donations for Riley Children's Hospital. He also participated in the American Lung Association Camp Superkids counselor-in-training program. He plans to major in biology, philosophy and English and to pursue a career in medicine.

Many previous Wells Scholars today contribute to Indiana as residents who are attorneys, doctors, school teachers and business people, and even an ordained minister. Others have gone on to clerk for Indiana and U.S. Supreme Court justices, are engaged in international relief and service efforts and are scholars at other renowned educational institutions such as Harvard Business School and Cornell Law School. There are Wells Scholars currently serving in the Armed Forces and other positions in government.

To honor Wells, IU created the Wells Scholars Program, which began with fund-raising efforts in 1988 and the appointment of Professor Breon Mitchell as its founding director. In 1990, IU welcomed its first class of Wells Scholars and on June 7, 1992, Wells' 90th birthday, he was officially presented with the Wells Scholars Program, as a gift from his many friends and admirers. After his death in the spring of 2000, this community of talented and dedicated young scholars remains as a permanent legacy of his educational vision.

Wells Scholars receive full tuition and course-related fees, as well as a living stipend for four years of undergraduate study on the Bloomington campus of IU. The program also offers special seminars, an optional year of study abroad, and support for a summer research project or internship. The Wells program emphasizes close interaction with faculty, academic and career advising, opportunities for community service, and contact with distinguished visitors.

Wells Scholars are selected for having demonstrated exceptional qualities of character and leadership and distinction both inside and outside of the classroom.