Energetic, shrewd, and charming, Herman B Wells was the driving force behind the transformation of Indiana University--which became a model for American public higher education in the twentieth century. A person of unusual sensitivity and a skilled and empathetic communicator, his character and vision shaped the structure, ethos, and spirit of the institution in countless ways.Wells life is explored in the new biography Herman B Wells: The Promise of the American University, written by James H. Capshew and copublished by the IU Press and IHS Press.
Wells articulated a persuasive vision of the place of the university in the modern world. Under his leadership, IU would grow in size and stature, establishing strong connections to the state, the nation, and the world. His dedication to the arts, to academic freedom, and to international education remained hallmarks of his sixty-three-year tenure as president and university chancellor. Wells lavished particular attention on the flagship campus at Bloomington, expanding its footprint tenfold in size and maintaining its woodland landscape as new buildings and facilities were constructed. Gracefully aging in place, he became a beloved paterfamilias to the IU clan. Wells built an institution, and, in the process, became one himself.
Capshew serves on the faculty of the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at IU Bloomington. He is author of Psychologists on the March: Science, Practice, and Professional Identity in America, 1929–1969 as well as numerous scholarly articles, and has served as editor of the journal History of Psychology and as editor for psychology for the New Dictionary of Scientific Biography.
Herman B Wells costs $35 and is available through IU Press by calling 1-800-842-6796.