Littlest things ... I'll always remember
1) I am an IU faculty child (father was Optometry Professor Dr. Thomas Madden and mother was former Nursing School Counselor Mary Rita Madden), and I was first introduced to Mr. Wells at the age of 4. I was terrified, he was a big man. He knelt down to my level and spoke to me in a very soft friendly voice that it was a pleasure to meet me. I swore for about four years after that that I had actually met Santa Claus in person.
2) My mother passed away last June, and I was very touched to receive a signed condolence letter from Mr. Wells telling me how important my mom had been to IU. Even though it was probably written for him to sign, it makes you know how much he cares about the school and appreciates the people who have been a part of it.
3) About two or three times I was thrilled to sit behind him during an IU opera performance, at which he always greeted my mother by name and said hello to me.
I consider any person who ever had the briefest of meetings with him lucky, he was such a huge part of this school and of many people's lives. Just a smile from such an important person made you feel good. It was just the littlest things, personal encounters, that I'll always remember the most about Mr. Wells.
From Remembering Herman B Wells, 1901-2000: www.heraldtimesonline.com, March 22, 2000
Thanks to the Bloomington Herald-Times for allowing Digital Wells to publish these excerpts from their archive.