Herman Wells Stories

As Told by His Friends on His 90th Birthday

Edited by John Gallman, Rosann Greene, Jim Weigand and Douglas C. Wilson

Published by: Indiana University Press

74 pages, 5.50 x 8.25 in, 17 b&w photos

  • Paperback
  • 9780253207531
  • Published: June 1992


Everyone who has been associated with Indiana University and Herman Wells has a favorite story or two about this great man. Some of his friends thought collecting a few of these stories in a little volume and presenting them to him, and to his many friends and associates throughout the University community, on his 90th birthday would be an excellent way to celebrate the occasion. There are a lot of good ones here, some funny, some serious, all very human—and all of them revealing different facets of a warm human being and a brilliant college president.The Enema Bandit The late Paul Klinge, long-time associate of Herman B Wells, told the story of a meeting involving campus security officials and other members of the administration back in the late '60s where the activities of one particular character were discussed. The Bloomington campus had been alerted by the Urbana-Champaign authorities—who had been notified by the police at another midwestern university farther west—to be on the lookout for a fellow who was making his way east from the plains states. His modus operandi was to force entry into a co-ed's room and, instead of violently assaulting her, he would (simply) give her an enema—and leave. Much discussion resulted pertaining to some strategies the campus could use to prevent an incident here. HBW sat silent, until—with that customary twinkle in his eye—he slowly said, " . . . I wish he would have caught me last Thursday!" —Richard E. BishopThe Wells Touch Late one hot summer afternoon I found myself crammed into a window seat at the back of a 727 jetliner at New York's LaGuardia Airport awaiting departure to Louisville. The last passenger in was Dr. Wells. He came down the long aisle and plopped down next to me. He said not a word and promptly went to sleep. An hour or so later he woke up with a snort, turned to me and said: "George, the older you get the more you look like your father." This happened at least 15 years after my graduation from I.U. and I had not seen Dr. Wells in the interim. He had indeed been a friend of my father's, but hadn't seen him for many years. The nap? He explained that a heavy lunch and spirits at his favorite oyster bar in New York had temporarily dulled his alertness. —George N. Gill