For many Hoosiers, the name Herman B Wells (1902–2000) and Indiana University are synonymous.
In The Vision of Herman B Wells, colleagues, IU alumni, faculty, and friends define the ideals that directed Wells as IU President (1938–1962) and as University Chancellor (1962–2000).
The documentary explores Wells's philosophy as he pursued racial integration and intellectual freedom, while creating a center for beauty and culture on IU-Bloomington campus. Wells was committed to the cultural and intellectual development of each student. In order to acquaint himself with individual students, President Wells strolled across the campus at times that would enable him to meet and chat with them. And no matter how large the graduating class grew, Wells signed each diploma personally.
The program also reveals Wells's commitment to internationalism, as demonstrated by his wartime service with the State Department, his postwar diplomatic assignments to Greece and Germany, and his 1957 appointment as a delegate to the United Nations. These experiences led directly to Wells’ expansion of international programs at the university.
The documentary ends with a discussion of the Wells Scholars Program, a living legacy to this influential educator.