Three are future health care professionals, one dreams of being an archeologist in Egypt and another wants to be a biomedical engineer or lawyer. Together they make up West Virginia University’s 2004 class of Foundation Scholars.

Gov. Bob Wise, WVU President David C. Hardesty Jr. and WVU Foundation President F. Duke Perry introduced the new scholars this morning (May 12) at a special ceremony at the State Capitol.

Winners of WVU ’s top academic award, valued at more than $50,000, demonstrate the highest academic achievements and leadership potential.

Foundation Scholarships cover tuition and fees, books, room and board and other expenses for four years, plus recipients qualify for a stipend of up to $2,500 for academic enhancement opportunities including travel, study abroad and internships.

The members of WVU ’s 2004 class of Foundation Scholars are: Isaac James of Gassaway, Lana Stiles of Wana, Erica Trump of Elkview, Jessica Weaver of Fairmont and Jessica Young of Scott Depot.

These scholars join a long-standing tradition of academic excellence at West Virginia University,President Hardesty said.This class is a group of focused, diverse young people who have the potential to make a difference as America’s future leaders. Their time spent here as scholars will contribute to their intellectual and personal growth and their ultimate success in their chosen careers.

At the ceremony, Gov. Wise applauded the scholars for their many accomplishments as high school students and wished them similar success as college students.

Education is the future of West Virginia, and these students are some of the best and brightest,Wise said.They have excelled in their studies and are poised to begin a challenging and rewarding college career.

Perry added,The WVU Foundation is proud to help fund this award, the keystone of the WVU Scholars Program, which annually benefits more than 3,500 students in excess of $4.5 million.

Ninety state high school students have received WVU ’s most selective scholarship since the program was established in 1987.

The Foundation Scholar award, the keystone of the WVU Scholars Program, is restricted to West Virginia high school seniors who have a minimum 3.8 grade point average and a 30 composite ACT (or 1,340 SAT ) score.

Fifteen students were awarded the Neil S. Bucklew Scholarship several weeks ago (another four-year award valued at $21,000) and interviewed on the Morgantown campus in April. From these 15, these five were awarded the Foundation Scholarship:

For Isaac James , attending WVU is another important step toward achieving his dream of a pharmaceutical career.

At Braxton County High School, he laid the foundation by becoming valedictorian of his senior class, earning National Merit honorable mention twice and participating in many academic, extracurricular and community service activities.

Some of the highlights include the Governor’s Honors Academy, Academic Bowl, student council, National Honor Society and church youth group.

Along the way, his family has been a constant source of support.

My parents are the most influential people in my life,James said.They have given me a lot of opportunities and have been extremely supportive.

In choosing a college, he was looking for one that had a strong pharmacy program. WVU was a perfect fit.

For one, it’s close to home,James said.I also did some research on the different programs WVU has to offer, and it is by far the best available in this area. I actually couldn’t find a reason not to go to WVU . I also think the tuition is reasonable for the education I would be receiving.

He is the second student from BCHS to receive the Foundation Scholarship. Winning the award, he said, means a lot more than money.

Of course, there is the financial benefit,James said.It is a very prestigious honor, and I know that if I am chosen, I will make a difference at WVU . It is such an honor to know someone is willing to invest their money in me.

He is the son of Alice and Stephen James of Gassaway.

Growing up in Wana, not far from Morgantown, Lana Stiles has always been a Mountaineer at heart.

WVU is the whole package for me,she said.It has great academic and social programs, and it’s basically right in my backyard. I really like all the organizations and clubs that are availablelike the Christian Crusades for Christ.

Already a WVU Presidential Scholar, she is the second Clay-Battelle High School student to be named a Foundation Scholar, an honor in which she and her family take great pride.

The Foundation Scholarship would be the greatest honor for my family and me,she said.It shows that my family raised me with good values and valued academics.

This past year, Stiles was named Homecoming queen. She has been involved in the Governor’s Honors Academy, Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership program and Rhododendron Girl’s State.

But of all her activities, she most enjoyed serving as student council president, playing the piano at church and volunteering in community service projects such as the Nursing Home Shopping Spree.

In her spare time, she teaches piano lessons, does cheerleading and gymnastics and spends time with friends.

At WVU , she plans to study biology in preparation for medical school and a career as a pediatrician or ophthalmologist. She would someday like to open her own practice in West Virginia.

The daughter of Randy and Beth Stiles, she looks forward to joining her brother at WVU .

My brother is very influential,she said.He goes to WVU and will start dental school in the fall. He has been very successful in academic and athletics, and he is always striving to be the best. He also pushes me to do my best.

Erica Trump’s mom, Diane Calvert, a WVU graduate, could not be more proud of her daughter’s achievements. And the feeling is mutual.

My momshe is the first generation to attend college and worked for everything she has,said Trump.She taught me that my school is my first priority. She was very patient and helpful when I had my brain injury (following a car accident).

Trump, who wants to go into biomedical engineering or law, said her perseverance and focus are qualities that will help her succeed at WVU ; also, her ability to work through obstacles.

A senior at Herbert Hoover High School, this Elkview student is the valedictorian of her class and shares her love of learning with others through tutoring.

She also talks to elementary and middle school students about the dangers of tobacco through the RAZE program, and last year, she took part in the Governor’s Honors Academy.

Her community service record includes being a teacher’s aide and Math Counts assistant coach.

A self-describedcomputer-holic,Trump spends her free time tinkering on the computer and reading.

She is looking forward to coming to a campus, where she will feel safe and not be considered just a number, next year. She is the second student from HHHS to be named a Foundation Scholar.

Jessica Weaver follows a rich tradition of Foundation Scholars from Marion County. She is the sixth Fairmont Senior High School student to be recognized with this honor.

Of all her teachers, Carol Amos, her TV studio instructor, has made the greatest impact on her life. She credits her parents as well for showing her that perseverance pays off.

My mom helped put my dad through college,she said.They had a family at a very young age, and they were able to make it. And they’re doing such fabulous things now. My dad is working in D.C. for the government, and my mom went back to school and has a profession of her own now.

While at FSHS , Weaver immersed herself in activities including Rhododendron Girl’s State; the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership program; WFHS -TV News, the school’s closed-circuit TV studio; the National Honor Society; and Keyettes.

Outside of the classroom, Weaver spends herfreetime doing crafts, reading and volunteering for various community service programs such as the Salvation Army and Soup Opera.

She plans to study biology at WVU and aspires to be a pediatrician.

Weaver said of her decision to attend WVU ,I’m a West Virginian at heart. I thoughtWhat better place can I go to? The class sizes are smaller than I thought; all the teachers bring so many thoughts and ideas to the table; and the Rhodes Scholarsthe fact that there have been so many. The campus excited me when I came here.

She is the daughter of Chris and Debbie Weaver of Fairmont.

A National Merit finalist, Jessica Young excels not only in academics, but music.

Throughout her career at Winfield High School, Young has devoted much of her time to playing in the marching, concert and jazz bands.

Her love of music also factored into her decision to attend WVU . When considering colleges, she said thePride of West Virginia WVU Marching Band was one of the main attractions.

I’m also impressed by the opportunity for a lot of growth,she said.Professors and administrators take a personal interest and are willing to work with you.

Young is proud to be the first student from WHS to receive the prestigious Foundation Scholarship.

Under her leadership, the school’s Academic Team won the state AA title and fund-raisers were organized to send 4-H members to camp. She also participates in the Putnam County Teen Leaders and National Honor Society.

When she isn’t busy with these activities, Young enjoys reading, playing the saxophone, writing poetry and talking with friends.

As far as her future is concerned, she said her independence, flexibility and ambition will help her attain success as a history major at WVU . Young’s dream job is to someday become an archeologist and make a discovery in Egypt.

Winning WVU ’s top scholarship would be a validation of her hard work and a great opportunity, she said.

She is the daughter of Laura and GeorgeShelbyYoung of Scott Depot.