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Charlene Brown
Wells Scholars Program

George Vlahakis
IU Media Relations

Last modified: Tuesday, August 8, 2006

Vienna's Clark named Wells Scholar at IU

Aug. 10, 2006

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Erin Clark from Vienna, Va., has been selected as a Wells Scholar at Indiana University, one of 19 entering freshmen so honored. She 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 National Merit Scholar and an AP Scholar with Distinction, Clark is the first Wells Scholar from Fairfax High School in Fairfax, Va., where she graduated as valedictorian. She was honored as a Lacrosse Academic All-American and received the Harold Stalnaker Award for athletics, academics and community service. A four-year member of the all-district lacrosse and tennis teams and a two-year member of the all-region lacrosse team, she was co-captain of her school's varsity lacrosse and tennis teams and was recognized with Fairfax County's Women in Sports Award.

Clark won second place in the Fairfax Science Fair, and she was a member of National Honor Society; French Honor Society, which she served as president her junior year; and Rotary Interact Club. A recipient of the Virginia House of Delegates commendation for contributions to the community, she organized her school's Toys for Tots drive for three years and participated in Kids Enjoy Exercise Now, a program in which high school athletes play tennis with autistic children. In addition, she participated in Christmas in April and volunteered with the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. She plans to explore a variety of fields before selecting a major.

Many previous Wells Scholars today contribute as 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.