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George Vlahakis
IU Media Relations

Last modified: Thursday, August 21, 2003

Charlotte's Mark Johnson selected as Wells Scholar at Indiana University

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

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Mark Johnson of Charlotte, N.C., 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.

Johnson is the first Wells Scholar from Harding University High School in Charlotte, where he earned an International Baccalaureate Diploma and was valedictorian of his class. A National Merit Scholar, World Quest Scholar and Time Warner Cable Star Student, he was also named a Harding University High School Imperator.

A two-year member of his school's Model United Nations team, Johnson received the 2002 Best Delegate honor at the Appalachian State University Model United Nations competition. He has been principal cellist for the Charlotte Symphony Youth Orchestra for four years and is a Charlotte Symphony Guild Private Study Merit Scholar. He has received numerous music honors, including being named the winner of both the Charlotte Symphony Guild Young Artist Competition in the string division and the Charlotte Civic Orchestra Competition. He was selected for the North Carolina All-State Honors Orchestra for three years and was an Eastern Music Festival Concerto Competition finalist.

At Harding, Johnson served as the president of the math club, vice president of the Order of the Ram and vice president of the National German Honor Society and was a three-year member of the German club. He was a three-year member of the swim team and the cross country team and competed in tennis and track and field. He plans to major in cello performance and history.

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:
Mark Johnson is the son of Tom and Kay Johnson, 9209 Ivy Break Court, Charlotte, N.C.; and the grandson of Douglas and Joyce Crawford of Morgantown, N.C.