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Wells Scholars Program

George Vlahakis
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Last modified: Monday, August 15, 2005

Fort Wayne's Greco and Shah named Wells Scholars at Indiana University

AUG. 15, 2005

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University President Adam W. Herbert announced that John Greco and Neil Shah of Fort Wayne, Ind., both graduates of Homestead High School, have been selected as Wells Scholars at IU, two of 19 entering freshmen so honored. They will this fall join more than 300 others who have been named Wells Scholars.

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 in 1990, 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.

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.

"This program has a spectacular track record for developing future leaders who reflect the example and vision of former IU Chancellor Herman B Wells," Herbert said. "Its impact is reflected in the achievements of past Wells Scholars who have remained in and contributed to the Hoosier state, and by those who represent the university and our state with great distinction both nationally and throughout the world. Since its establishment 16 years ago, IU also has used the Wells Scholars program as a model for other scholarship programs that enable IU to attract to our campuses more of the best students in the state and nation."

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. Those who are already at IU receive tuition, fees and a stipend for the balance of their education at the university. 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.

A National AP Scholar and a National Merit Finalist, Greco graduated from Homestead High School, where he received the Outstanding Achievement Award from the Indiana Council of Teachers of Mathematics. An Indianapolis Star Academic All-Star, he was a AAA Travel Challenge state finalist, a 2005 Comcast Leaders and Achievers Scholarship recipient and Hoosier Boys State house majority leader.

Greco was a participant in the 2004 Molecular Medicine in Action Student Symposium and a member of his school's Academic Super Bowl team, which won a state championship in science. He was a member of Homestead's speech team, which he served as president, and he qualified for state and national competition in the student congress event. He was a member of his school's award-winning bands. He also was a member of the National Honor Society and of Key Club, which he also served as president.

A participant in Youth Leadership Fort Wayne, he was twice selected to be a LEAD facilitator. He served as a volunteer at Lutheran Hospital of Indiana and on the steering committee of the Northeast Indiana Multiple Sclerosis Walk. In addition, he served as a lector and pianist at his church. He will participate in the IU Science and Technology Research Scholars Program and plans to major in biochemistry and Spanish.

A National Merit Scholar and a Hoosier Scholar, Shah graduated from Homestead High School as valedictorian. He was twice named an Outstanding Scholar in the Indiana Council of Teachers of Mathematics competition and was state champion on the comprehensive exam his senior year.

He captained his school's Academic Super Bowl math team, which won conference and sectional titles. A four-year member of the speech team, he twice competed in the Indiana state speech contest, winning fourth place in the discussion event. He led his school's AP Economics Challenge team to a second-place district finish and its We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution team to a district championship and a state unit award.

The Michigan Interscholastic Press Association honored him with an Excellence in Opinion Writing award. Shah won first place in the Northeast Indiana Regional Science and Engineering Fair for a research project on the effects of temperature stress on zebrafish gene expression. He was a Hoosier Boys State senator, co-founder and president of his school's physics club and a member of the National Honor Society.

Shah also volunteered for four years at Lutheran Hospital of Indiana. He plans to pursue majors in finance, applied mathematics and economics.