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George Vlahakis
IU Media Relations

Last modified: Thursday, August 21, 2003

Granger's AbuGharbieh selected as Wells Scholar at Indiana University

EDITORS: Publication-quality photos of all of the Wells Scholars are available online at

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Khalil AbuGharbieh of Granger, Ind., an incoming freshman at Indiana University Bloomington, is one of 21 young people who have been selected as Wells Scholars for the upcoming academic year. 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.

Wells Scholars who are incoming freshmen receive full tuition and fees, as well as a living stipend for four years of study on the IUB campus.

The scholarship is named in honor of Wells (1902-2000), who devoted his extraordinary life to IU. Wells came to IU as an undergraduate, returned as a faculty member and then served as a dean before becoming president of the university for a quarter century. He remained the university's chancellor until his death.

A Hoosier Scholar, AbuGharbieh graduated from Penn High School in Mishawaka, Ind., as salutatorian. Captain and a four-year member of his school's debate club, he was named a National Forensic League All-American. He was the Indiana High School Forensic Association's 2001 state runner-up and a 2002 state quarterfinalist and was twice named to IHSFA All-State teams, once to the first team and once to the second.

AbuGharbieh was captain of his school's Academic Super Bowl English team and a member of its science team, which won the 2003 state championship. He was a three-year member of his school's Knowledge Master Open team, which won the state championship in 2002 and 2003. A recipient of a Principals Leadership Award and a Principals Award for Citizenship and Service, AbuGharbieh was president of his school's National Honor Society, a member of the Foreign Language Honor Society, a reporter for the student newspaper and a member of the varsity tennis team.

He served for two years on the board of Youth As Resources, a group dedicated to community service, interned at the county prosecutor's office and was honored with the Youth Achievement Award for community service by the Michiana Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. He plans to major in political science and Near Eastern languages and cultures.

The Wells Scholars program also offers special seminars, an optional year of study abroad and support for a summer research project or internship. The Wells Scholars Program emphasizes close interaction with faculty, academic and career advising, opportunities for community service and contact with distinguished visitors.

Examples of past summer experiences include serving with Outreach Kenya Development Volunteers to provide AIDS education and build a public library in western Kenya, conducting research at the National Institutes of Health, performing in the Boulder Jazz Dance Workshop and interning at the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, the Canadian Parliament and the U.S. Supreme Court.

Wells Scholars are also members of the Honors College, where they have the opportunity to apply for grants in support of research, teaching internships, professional experience, creative activity, conference travel and honors thesis work.

They are selected for having demonstrated character, leadership and distinction, both inside and outside of the classroom.

Hometown information:
Khalil AbuGharbieh is the son of Nabil and Patricia AbuGharbieh, 14671 Horseshoe Bend Court, Granger, Ind.