Indiana University Bloomington

I believe that he really cared

Paul Norris, IU Police Department Chief

I was fortunate enough to be a lifelong resident of Bloomington and to have had family connections to IU for as long as I remember, starting with my grandmother. My Aunt Matilda cooked for Dr. Wells for many years until her retirement.

From an early age I was informed about Dr. Wells' commitment to fairness and to positive change and to "civil rights" before the term was invented. Dr. Wells opened many doors at IU and in the Bloomington community and was not afraid to use his position to influence what was "right." Many African-Americans from the South attended IU and our church each summer to attain their graduate degrees because the state universities in the South were not open to black Americans.

I also remember stories of how Dr. Wells helped to open up the university dormitory system to black IU students, who prior to that stayed in the homes of my parents' friends and relatives in Bloomington. He also was instrumental in opening the Big Ten to black athletes in football and basketball. After I became chief of police here at IU, Dr. Wells as long, as he was able, was the real "Santa Claus" at Christmas and delivered his goodies to all of us here at IUPD and throughout the university.

Dr. Wells also NEVER missed an IUPD Police Academy graduation and he was the only IU administrator who consistently answered our yearly invitation to attend. I will miss his smile and his always asking me, "Are they treating you all right?" I believe that he really cared!

From Remembering Herman B Wells, 1901-2000:, March 22, 2000

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