Indiana University Bloomington

Herman B Wells as Santa

So the Sage embraces primal unity
and becomes a model for the world

Without showing himself, he shines forth
Without promoting himself, he is distinguished
Without claiming reward, he gains endless merit
Without seeking glory, his glory endures

The Sage knows how to follow
so he comes to command.

(from Verse 22 of Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching [trans. Jonathan Star], 2001.)


Ethical use of power is a meld of personal integrity and role responsibility. Wells, a gifted communicator, developed into a courageous yet compassionate leader, always having the interests of the whole institution at heart while never neglecting the individual humans that comprise the whole. Trained in fiduciary matters from a young age, Wells practiced stewardship – holding something in trust for another – in his many-sided role as a public servant. Wells was a beloved figure because he wielded his considerable network and strategic thinking in the name of service. He was accessible to those seeking counsel and generous in creating opportunities for individuals and institutions both within and outside of IU.