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Last modified: Wednesday, October 23, 2002

Edward L. Hutton to be honored with IU's Herman B Wells Visionaries Award

Indiana University and the IU Foundation will honor Edward L. Hutton, of Cincinnati, Ohio, with the Herman B Wells Visionary Award on Friday (Oct. 25) at IU's Bloomington campus. This award is given to individuals whose vision and entrepreneurial spirit have brought them to an extraordinary level of achievement in their professional endeavors and in their service to humanity.

Hutton, chairman of Chemed Corp. in Cincinnati and chairman of Omnicare Inc., grew up in the town of Bedford, Ind., during the Depression. After earning bachelor's and master's degrees from IU, he served in the U.S. Army in Germany. After the war, he worked in Berlin in the occupational government's Export/Import Division, negotiating trade agreements with several countries to help rebuild the German economy.

"The experience profoundly changed my life, so much so that I've always held that those years of living and working abroad were the key to my development as a person and success as a businessman," Hutton said.

After his Army service, he moved to New York, continuing to work in international trade. In 1951, he joined W.R. Grace & Co., where he became a senior officer and director. Returning to the Midwest in the 1970s, Hutton became president, chief executive officer, and eventually chairman of Chemed and Omnicare, which is the leading firm in the United States supplying pharmaceuticals to nursing home patients.

The beneficiary of an IU scholarship and of mentoring from caring faculty members, Hutton has been generous in funding scholarships for students and endowed professorships for faculty at IU. His early experiences in Europe inspired him recently to create the International Experiences Program, since he feels strongly that our leaders of tomorrow need to spend some time studying abroad and becoming exposed to other cultures. The program pays travel and living expenses for IU Bloomington honors students so they can spend a summer studying abroad.

Hutton received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from IU in 1992.

As IU's president and then chancellor, the late Herman B Wells led the university for 63 years, shaping it into one of the world's great universities. He was known nationally and internationally as a leader in higher education and as a man devoted to the improvement of society through education.

Wells also served as chairman, vice chairman and chairman emeritus of the board of directors of the Indiana University Foundation, IU's central fund-raising, investment and funds administration organization, from 1937 until his death in March 2000.