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Last modified: Wednesday, October 23, 2002

William and Kathryn Shields honored with IU's Herman B Wells Visionaries Award

Indiana University and the IU Foundation will honor William S. and Kathryn L. Shields of South Bend, Ind., with the Herman B Wells Visionaries Award on Friday (Oct. 25) at IU Bloomington. 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.

William Shields is retired chairman of Wells Companies, which manufacture aluminum, electronics, metal tooling and plastic blast materials. These companies employ more than 3,000 people. He grew the businesses by studying and anticipating customer needs and by having an unusual ability to lead and manage people. He holds honorary doctorate degrees from IU South Bend and the Statewide Technology Program of Purdue University. He is a recipient of IU South Bend's E.M. Morris Achievement Award.

Kathryn Shields, a former educator, has always had a deep interest in health issues. This awareness prompted the Shields to become involved in hospice and also to become aware of the shortage of nurses. To address these needs, now and in the future, they established an endowed chair at IU South Bend's School of Nursing, and endowed scholarships in nursing and technology as well as a fund that will support nursing education.

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.