Indiana University Bloomington

Lives he touched in special ways

Bruce Tone

In the 1940s, an acquaintance of mine who grew up in a religious community where she was discouraged from finishing high school decided as a young woman to enroll at a regional campus of "that other great Indiana institution." Although she was earning A's in all her courses, the university found out she had no high school diploma and expelled her. Word about this got to Herman Wells via the girl's doctor and a professor at the IU campus in the city where she had been studying. Dr. Wells immediately had her admitted to IU, where she was graduated with honors four years later.

Shortly before graduation, this young woman — then living in Bloomington — received an invitation to have breakfast with the president. She accepted eagerly, assuming that it would be an affair attended by all graduating honor students. When she got to the Wells home, she discovered that she was the only guest that morning to share breakfast and conversation with Dr. Wells and his mother. As with all the lives he touched in special ways, he had not forgotten her and congratulated her with pride.

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.