Indiana University Bloomington

Make friends ... and look out for them

Alan B McNabb

When I was a freshman in 1959 on a grey November day, I came out of Woodburn Hall and it was pouring down rain. I had no umbrella, so I started walking east on Seventh to get back to the fraternity house, which was located on Jordan Street. As I walked, a large black automobile pulled up alongside me, the window rolled down, and Mr. Wells, then president I believe, said, "Can we give you a lift?" He had a driver, so I hopped in and they took me to the house. On the way, Mr. Wells introduced himself, and I did the same, telling him that I was from Fort Wayne, and that my father and his three brothers from south of Bedford had also attended IU many years earlier.

That was the only time I met Mr. Wells until I went to an alumni meeting in South Bend in 1966. Mr. Wells was the speaker, and after his talk I went up to him, and he called me by name, and asked me how I was doing. I told him of my teaching career and that I needed to go on for a master's degree since I had been teaching for four years, and the M.S. was a requirement after five years of service ... he said to me — you are coming to Bloomington aren't you? I said I wasn't sure I could afford to take a couple of years off to work on an M.S. full time and he said that when he got back, he would talk to some friends and see what kind of aid might be available.

To make a long story short, two weeks later, his friend Paul Klinge called me and said that I should contact a professor in the School of Education about a fellowship. I did, got the fellowship and kept it through a doctoral degree which I completed in 1970. I am sure my story has many other similar instances of Mr. Well's wonderful ability to make friends, remember them, and look out for them as a kind of mentor.

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.