Wirt County student named WVU Foundation Scholar

From left, the West Virginia University Foundation Scholars announced on Tuesday were Miriam Demasi of Wheeling Park High School, Jessica Hogbin of Hedgesville High School, Zachary Gilpin of Morgantown High School, Breellen Fleming of Wirt County High School and Adam Craig of Wheeling Park High School. (Photo Provided)

PARKERSBURG — A student from Wirt County High School is the school’s first recipient of the prestigious Foundation Scholarship at West Virginia University.

Named on Monday was Breellen Fleming of Elizabeth, the daughter of Larry and Lesa Fleming.

Fleming plans to major in graphic design and marketing, then stay in West Virginia to help create an entrepreneurial foundation. She graduates from high school on May 31 and is among the top students of the class.

Principal Elizabeth Smith cited Fleming’s artistic talents and said she was a well-rounded and pleasant young lady.

“Bree is a one-of-a-kind student,” Smith said.

Fleming owns an online business that designs business cards, logos and commissioned pieces of art. She hopes to expand her artistic perspective by traveling to Chile through the College of Creative Arts Global Positioning Studies program.

“She absolutely is a young woman who deserves this,” MaryJane Pope-Albin, superintendent of Wirt County Schools, said.

“She is a talented artist and sculptor,” Pope-Albin said.

Fleming earlier this year was named a Neil S. Bucklew Scholarship recipient, worth $32,000, with 19 other students from the state. Also named were Molly Powney from Parkersburg High School and Sarah Cokeley from Ritchie County High School.

The Bucklew Scholars competed for the Foundation Scholarship.

The Foundation Scholarship, created in 1987, is worth around $87,000 and covers the costs of four years as an undergraduate, including tuition and fees, room and board and books. Foundation Scholars also receive $4,500 to study abroad or other academic endeavors including internships.

Fleming was among five students announced on Monday as Foundation Scholars. The others were Adam Craig and Miriam Demasi of Wheeling Park High School, Zachary Gilpin of Morgantown High School and Jessica Hogbin of Hedgesville High School.

The Flemings were unavailable for comment. The announcement was made at a function at the Blaney House in Morgantown with university officials, the students and their families.

“You are joining a learning community that will challenge and excite you,” E. Gordon Gee, president of WVU, said. “WVU is a land-grant institution established to make a difference in people’s lives. It is also a liberal arts university to discover a cure for cancer and write the great American novel.”

Only 155 of West Virginia’s top students have received the scholarship since its inception, WVU Foundation president Cindi Roth said. Among criteria to qualify for the scholarship are West Virginia residency, a minimum GPA of 3.8, a minimum composite score of 30 on the ACT or 1,340 on the SAT college entrance exams.

“The company you keep is quite impressive,” Roth said.