Indiana University Bloomington

His epic lifetime of service

Chris Rund

Years ago, I was working for WFIU-FM and visited Chancellor Wells in his office to record a message in support of the station's annual fund drive.

I was escorted in by his secretary for my early afternoon appointment. I entered his office and immediately saw him seated behind the massive expanse of his wooden desk with his white flowing hair, bushy eyebrows and characteristic suspenders and short necktie. On his desk was were reams of correspondence, a strawberry protein shake and a tall glass of iced tea. His aluminum walker was parked a couple of steps away.

He finished dictating a letter into a hand-held tape recorder, and then we went to work. He read his own script while I recorded his pitch for the radio station he himself had signed on the air for the first time some 40 years prior to our meeting.

As I packed my gear away, I commented on the vast collection of treasures that adorned every square inch of his office, transforming it from a mere workspace into a grand museum. Before I left, he took a few moments to show me his bookcases and some of the hundreds of artifacts and memorabilia he had collected from around the world over the course of his epic lifetime of service.

That afternoon meeting with Chancellor Wells will always remain one of the most memorable experiences of my career.

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.