Herman B Wells, 97, the popular Indiana University...

Deaths Elsewhere

March 21, 2000

Herman B Wells, 97, the popular Indiana University president and chancellor who led the school through spectacular growth and helped integrate Big Ten athletics, died Saturday in Bloomington. "Chancellor Wells was, quite simply, a great man, one of the exceptional figures in higher education this century," Indiana President Myles Brand said in a statement released Sunday.

Mr. Wells, who graduated from Indiana in 1924, was named IU's acting president for the 1937-1938 school year at age 35. Appointed as IU's 12th president in 1938, he served until 1962. He also served as interim president briefly in 1968.

He oversaw the growth of the school from a pre-World War II campus of about 9,000 students to a major Midwestern institution that had grown to more than 20,000 students by the 1960s. The school now has more than 90,000 students on eight campuses.

Mr. Wells, who had served as chancellor since he stepped down as president, ended segregation at tables in the Indiana Memorial Union and helped integrate Big Ten athletics. He quietly urged basketball coach Branch McCracken to recruit Bill Garrett, who in 1948 became the first black to play a varsity sport in the conference.

Ramon Mitra, 72, former speaker of the Philippines House of Representatives who gained prominence as a freedom fighter jailed by dictator Ferdinand Marcos, died Monday in Manila of liver cancer.

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