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George Vlahakis
IU Media Relations

Last modified: Thursday, August 21, 2003

Wyoming's Wallace selected as Wells Scholar at Indiana University

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

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Laura Wallace of Wyoming, Ohio, 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 National Merit Scholar and an AP Scholar, Wallace graduated from Wyoming High School. A member of the National French Honor Society, she was ranked first in state and third in the nation on the National French Exam and was named a Purdue University French Scholar. She was a member of the Cum Laude Society, a winner of the Yale University Book Award and the editor of her school newspaper.

Wallace served on Student Council for three years both as a representative and the senior class vice president and was a member of her school's mock trial team. She pursued her interest in the arts through participation in marching band, winter drum line and dance and art classes. In addition, her commitment to human rights activism led her to join her school's Amnesty International club on behalf of human rights around the world.

Wallace has volunteered as a French tutor at a local retirement community and helped organize a Student Council fundraiser that raised $5,000 for children's school supplies for inner-city schools. Wallace intends to major in political science in preparation for law school.

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:
Laura Wallace is the daughter of Thomas and Amelia Wallace, 310 Hilltop Lane, Wyoming, Ohio