Indiana University Bloomington

Just to get us going in the right direction

John D. Stempel

My father, John E. Stempel, IU '23 who was head of Journalism at IU from 1938-1968, told me and brother Tom that Herman B Wells recruited him for IU just when my dad was getting ready to move back into the New York newspaper world after a two-year stint as editor in Easton, Pa. Dad said he'd told Wells "no" twice, but HBW came out to Easton, sat around their kitchen table, and talked dad (and mom, IU '24) into postponing his journalism plans to come to IU "for just four or five years to get us going in the right direction." Dad, being a perfectionist, of course, never left and the rest is history. I remembered that story later when I left the Foreign Service to direct the University of Kentucky's Patterson School of Diplomacy — and MY two best hires have come from around the kitchen table as well.

(The author is the son of John E., who grew up in Bloomington in the 40's and 50's. Herman Wells was a distant third cousin to his mother, Mary Farmer (Stempel), IU '24.

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.