A simple thing, but very profound
I have several memories of Herman Wells in the short time I've been at IU, but two in particular come to mind:
1) About five years ago when my granddaughter, Abby, was 18 months old, my family went to Damon's Restaurant to have a bite to eat. Sitting at the next table was Chancellor Wells along with 10 others who were engaged in conversation and enjoying a good meal. When we were almost finished with our meal, Abby got down from her chair and sat down on a step that was between our table and the chancellor's table. His eye caught her presence and he slowly turned around and began talking to her. For several minutes he interrupted what he was doing to enjoy the company of a small child. I remember how awestruck I was at watching this giant of a man, then 90 years old, making a fuss over a little girl. It was a simple thing, but very profound and telling about such a wonderful man.
2) Last year I had to deliver a set of documents to Owen Hall. Chancellor Wells was leaving as I was walking into the building. While I was waiting for his assistant, I noticed that his attendant had stopped at the door. He proceeded to walk back to an office where Wells' assistant was on the phone. I heard him say that Chancellor Wells was not going to leave for the evening until he had a chance to say goodbye to her. I was amazed by the fact that this man would find such a simple gesture so important to his existence and to his relationships with others.
From Remembering Herman B Wells, 1901-2000: www.heraldtimesonline.com, March 24, 2000
Thanks to the Bloomington Herald-Times for allowing Digital Wells to publish these excerpts from their archive.