WHEELING, W.Va., March 7, 2017 -- Two incoming Wheeling Jesuit University students have been accepted into the institution's prestigious Laut Honors Program, consisting of a four-year, full-tuition scholarship.
This year's winners are Paul 'PJ' Campion of McLean, Virginia and Christine Mellick of Pittsburgh.
The two students contended in a rigorous, multi-stage competition against 18 other invited students. The students had to apply and be chosen to compete by members of the Laut Honors faculty. The competition is designed to test the students' abilities, both inside and outside the classroom. Each student had to write two essays and be interviewed by faculty, current honor students and alumni of the Laut Honors Program.
Campion is currently a senior at McLean High School. He plans to major in biology with the hope of becoming a veterinarian. In addition, he is planning to play lacrosse for the Cardinals. WJU is no stranger to Campion - his great uncle, Charlie Davis, is a member of WJU's class of 1968. He said attending Wheeling Jesuit “was an obvious choice. I wanted to be at a small liberal arts university, I have great respect for the Jesuit tradition, and I felt from my first visit that this was the community I wanted to join.”
He added, “Getting the notification that I received the scholarship was the proudest moment of my life. This scholarship will enable me to pursue internships and pre-professional opportunities that might otherwise have been out of reach for me. This scholarship means everything to me.”
Mellick is finishing her senior year at Seton LaSalle High School. She plans to major in theology/religious studies when she arrives at WJU in the fall with hopes of becoming a philosophy professor. Mellick has displayed an impressive background in leadership and service both at her school and in her community.
Mellick chose WJU for the liberal arts education offered and for the opportunity to participate in such a variety of activities. “The overall environment is really inviting. Every time I visited I truly enjoyed my time talking with the professors, staff and students, and I would leave the school saying, 'I know this is the school for me because it feels like I'm home.'”
Receiving the Laut Scholarship, she said, “is such an amazing honor, and I am so thankful for it. Wheeling Jesuit University was my first choice even before I received the scholarship, so being able to attend such a great school on a full-scholarship is wonderful. I am really looking forward to being challenged in the Honors Program, participating in activities and serving my new community of WJU.”
John Whitehead, associate professor of Fine Arts and director of the Laut Honors Program, said, “I always come out of the Laut Competition excited about the students we've just met and hope to help educate over the next four years. Our committee gravitated to PJ and Christine because they are engaging people, thoughtful and well-spoken, but also because they are committed to the core values of WJU's mission to serve, with excellent potential to be leaders.
“PJ's enthusiasm to be an advocate for the four-footed creatures of the world is infectious. And Christine's founding work with her family on the 'Project Irreplaceable' initiative to raise awareness about breast cancer detection and prevention has touched numerous communities and lives. I speak for my faculty colleagues in saying that we can't wait to get started on launching PJ, Christine, and their peers in the Laut Honors College on the next phase of their intellectual and vocational journey,” he added.
Named after the Rev. Stephen Laut, S.J., this program honors a Jesuit who began his career at WJU as an English professor. In 1968, he became chair of the English department and in 1979 was the recipient of the prestigious WJU Lewis Award. A strong believer in promoting academic excellence achieved through a rigorous Jesuit education, Laut fostered intellectual growth by challenging his students to excel in the classroom and in the real world.
For complete information on Wheeling Jesuit scholarship programs or admissions events, please contact the admissions office at 1-800-624-6992, or explore Wheeling Jesuit online at wju.edu.