[CUA Office of Public Affairs]

Potomac Resident Awarded Catholic University Honorary Degree

12 November 1997


r.gif (1101 bytes)alph A. Wells III, a long-time Washington-area resident with a distinguished career in real estate development and devoted service to the Catholic Church, will receive a Doctor of Humane Letters degree, honoris causa, from The Catholic University of America at 4 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 19.

The degree will be awarded at the Inaugural Lecture of The Very Reverend Walter J. Schmitz, S.S., Chair of Liturgical Studies, in the university's Caldwell Auditorium. The chair was established in 1995 within the university's Department of Theology, through a bequest from the estate of Father Schmitz, a former dean of the School of Sacred Theology. Father Schmitz died in 1994.

The lecture, "Images of Jesus: A Theological Evaluation of Selected Non-Verbal Symbols," will be presented by Rev. Kevin A. Seasoltz, O.S.B., first holder of the Schmitz chair.

Wells, a member of the Church of the Little Flower in Bethesda, Md., and a Knight of Malta, was a close friend to Father Schmitz for more than 50 years.

Wells' most significant accomplishment in real estate was encouraging commitment to and adoption of stringent ethical standards. Working with the National Association of Real Estate Boards and the Princeton Educational Testing Service, he initiated and helped devise a uniform license examination for the real estate profession. His success in establishing the examination in 34 states was formally recognized by the Virginia Real Estate Commission in 1973.

Wells graduated from St. Paul's High School in Washington in 1942 and attended St. Charles in Baltimore, Md. He earned a degree in accounting from Strayer College after World War II, and in 1968 earned the Graduate Realtor's Institute designation from the Realtor's Institute at the University of Virginia.

He served in a number of positions with The Yeonas Company/Olin Corporation, a real estate development company, including as a director of the company. In 1972 he founded Rajo, Inc., a corporation specializing in real estate development in Maryland, Virginia and Washington.

Wells lives in Potomac with his wife Joan Gavin Wells.

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Revised: 12 November 1997

All contents copyright 1997.
The Catholic University of America,
Office of Public Affairs.