Indiana University Bloomington

My friends call me Hermie

Leo Fay

I have many fond memories of Herman Wells starting with a lively conversation the two of us had at the 1952 new faculty induction ceremony. He ended the conversation with a broad smile and the comment, "My friends call me Hermie."

Two years later while changing a flat tire across from Bryan Hall, I looked up to see his broad smile as he asked if he could help me. On another occasion at a meeting in his office he laughingly told me I was a fellow culprit — he for supporting Alfred Kinsey and me for co-authoring a research report suggesting that phonics was not a panacea for teaching reading. The article had prompted an influential Indiana citizen to call Dr. Wells suggesting that to maintain the good name of Indiana University I should be fired for publishing such nonsense. To top a long list of wonderful memories was the year I spent at his elbow as secretary of the faculty council where I marveled at what a caring, wise, insightful and humble person he was — truly a unique and wonderful person.

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.