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Herman B Wells

From Bloomingpedia

Herman Wells (June 7, 1902March 18, 2000) was an Acting President from 1937 to 1938, the 11th President at Indiana University from 1938 to 1962 and the Interim President in 1968. He also served as the university's Chancellor from 1962 to 2000. During his tenure as President he built the university into a respected research establishment and home to the top music school in the nation. Wells also worked to raise funding and acquire donations to build a wealth of information for the university's library. After World War II, Wells worked feverishly to increase the size of the campus to accommodate for veterans that returned from the war. The size of the campus quadrupled under him and enrollment increased five-fold. The Main Library that Wells put so much effort into now carries his name in honor of his work for the university as the Herman B Wells Library. He is considered by many to have been Indiana University's greatest leader.

Herman is a charter member of the Monroe County Hall of Fame and the only charter member who was living at the time it was established. His plaque reads "Herman B Wells, 1902 - Indiana University President, 1937 - 1962, Chancellor, 1962 - , IU Foundation President, 1962-1969; International Educational Advisor; United Nations Delegate 1957; Recipient over 25 honorary degrees."


  • Herman Wells did not have a middle name. When he first enrolled at IU, a middle name was required, so he used the letter B, with no period, in tribute to a tradition in his mother's family, which had middle names beginning with B.
  • As an undergraduate, he was a Sigma Nu.
  • A sculpture of his likeness, sitting on a park bench, is near Wylie Hall.
  • He purchased his house on 10th Street in 1962, and willed it back to the university at his death.
  • He was honored as a Sagamore Of The Wabash six times

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