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• Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

The president of Indiana University while I was in graduate school was Herman B Wells. He was, it seemed, a jolly fellow, whose belly jiggled when he laughed like a bowl full of jelly. His middle initial, not having a period, reminded me of my grandpa. Lacking a middle name given by parents, grandpa choose “A” instead, representing, I assume, high quality.

I’m walking on the IU campus at night last week. I see in the distance a sculpture of a seated figure that was not on this path when I was a student in the 1950s. I guess it is Herman B, looking over his handiwork. Sure enough. I read in the semi-dark— Eleventh President (1937-1962). Chancellor (1962-2000). I didn’t know he was in a leadership role for 63 years, or that he was the same age as my mother (97) when he died

I am astounded to read about values of his. Perhaps I sensed these values as I met trees day and night, walking and meditating along the length of the campus from the library on the west edge to my home on the east at the headwaters of the Jordan River.

Herman said, OUR PRECIOUS ISLANDS OF GREEN AND SERENITY TRANSCEND OUR CLASSROOMS AND LABORATORIES IN THEIR ABILITY TO INSPIRE STUDENTS TO DREAM LONG DREAMS. He also said that cutting a tree unnecessarily is an act of treason. No wonder I still dream of my Indiana University home.

Ch. 4 in my book is about the priority Jesus placed on youth and about green education for them.

Photographs by Joe Grabill

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