Indiana University Bloomington

Always took time from his ... schedule

Jim McNabney

As influential and powerful as Dr. Wells most assuredly was, NEVER did I find him unable to treat me — a minor mortal in the pecking order of human influence — like a friend; in fact, like a brother. His attention to everything that I would send him was astounding! Even on a simple birthday card on his 95th birthday, Herman sent me a letter of thanks. On one letter of praise that I mailed him, Herman sent me a two-page response to tell me he had read and reread my letter. It got to the point that I hesitated to send him mail because I knew that no matter how insignificant or brief my writing was, Dr. Wells always took time from his very busy schedule to respond.

My greatest memory, other than witnessing his many great accomplishments over the past 50 years, occurred after one of the three IU Sings that I helped win for my residence unit. And even though I never really came close to the metaphor, while I was playing the piano Dr. Wells walked up to me and said, "You're the Hoagy Carmichael of Sigma Nu."

Although it was way back in 1955 or '56, I never forgot it.

From Remembering Herman B Wells, 1901-2000:, March 21, 2000

Thanks to the Bloomington Herald-Times for allowing Digital Wells to publish these excerpts from their archive.