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Retired Finance Professor Establishes Scholarship Endowment

June 10, 2021

Professor emeritus, Dr. Gary Wells has established a new scholarship endowment benefitting finance students who graduated from Aberdeen High School. Wells started the “Dr. Gary Ray J. Wells and Lola M. Anderson Wells Scholarship Endowment” in memory of his wife Lola, who passed away several months ago.

Gary and Lola Wells were high school sweethearts, both graduating from Aberdeen High School. The couple were married their sophomore year at Idaho State University where Lola earned a secretarial science certificate and Wells earned his degree in business and technology in 1960. After completing her certificate, Lola worked as an office manager for the Teamsters Union in Pocatello for about three years.

After completing his degree, Wells went on to earn his Master of Science in Economics from Brigham Young University in 1967. He later earned a National Defense Education Act (NDEA) Fellowship to the University of Utah where he obtained his Ph.D. in finance in 1971.

Once completing his doctorate, Wells began teaching at the University of Puget Sound where he remained for one year before returning to Idaho State in 1972 to teach in the finance department. Wells served as a faculty member at Idaho State for a total of 41 years until his retirement in 2009.

In addition to teaching, Wells and an Idaho State colleague, C.A. Hoffman owned a consulting company called General Economic Consulting. Here, the pair worked to run human value appraisals for court awards, helping to calculate damage expenses for those who were injured or killed based on factors like life expectancy and future income. He also specialized in bank and ski resort feasibility studies and business evaluations. Wells and Hoffman ran the business together for 25 years until Hoffman left. Then, Wells renamed the company to Wells R. Wells and Associates continuing the endeavor for another seven years.

Wells was also the consulting economist for the Federal Home Loan Bank Board of Seattle, the vice president of Compensations Systems Corporation, the project director of the Idaho Economic Base Study and the assistant director of the Bureau of Business Research at Idaho State University.

As an Idaho State professor, Wells said he enjoyed being an advisor to the Finance Association of Students and feels that Idaho State had a tremendous impact on his life.

"Gary Wells has positively impacted thousands of students during his time as a professor in the Idaho State University College of Business and I am so thankful to Gary for this new scholarship gift which will help our Business students achieve their educational dreams for generations to come," said Dr. Shane Hunt, dean of the College of Business.



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