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Last modified: Wednesday, October 23, 2002

IU to honor six with Herman B Wells Visionaries Awards

EDITORS: Print-quality photographs can be downloaded from a special Web site at Individual profile releases have been prepared, which provide more details about each award winner. They can be found at

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University and the IU Foundation will honor six people with the Herman B Wells Visionaries 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.

Being honored are:

-- Irvin M. Borish, an optometry practitioner, teacher and researcher who was called the most influential optometrist of the 20th century by Review of Optometry magazine after he was voted by its readers as the Optometrist of the Century. In 1994, the faculty of the IU School of Optometry voted unanimously to name its new Center for Ophthalmic Clinical Research after him. Borish and his wife, Bea, were long-time residents of Kokomo, Ind., and now live in Boca Raton, Fla.

-- Edward L. Hutton, of Cincinnati, Ohio, chairman of Chemed Corp. and Omnicare Inc. Omnicare is the leading firm in the United States supplying pharmaceuticals to nursing home patients. Hutton has been generous in funding scholarships for students and endowed professorships for faculty at IU. He created the International Experiences Program, feeling strongly that leaders of tomorrow need to spend some time studying abroad and becoming exposed to other cultures. In addition to earning bachelor's and master's degrees from IU, he received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from IU in 1992.

-- The late Eli Lilly, of Indianapolis, Ind., who helped grow his grandfather's pharmaceutical company into an industry giant, with 23,000 employees and over $1 billion a year in sales. Lilly also was the chief founder of the Lilly Endowment, which has disbursed over $300 million in charitable gifts, focusing on the areas of education, religion and community service. Lilly, who died in 1977, left a philanthropic legacy that impacted Conner Prairie Museum, several historical preservation efforts, the Indiana Historical Society, the Indianapolis Museum of Art and the Indianapolis Children's Museum.

-- J. Irwin Miller, of Columbus, Ind., honorary chairman of Cummins Inc., the world's largest manufacturer of heavy-duty diesel engines. From a family business with 60 employees, he built Cummins into a Fortune 500 company with more than 25,000 workers in 100 countries and $6 billion in annual sales. He also transformed his hometown of Columbus, Ind., into one of the architectural wonders of the nation. He championed social reform and helped to organize Martin Luther King Jr.'s 1963 civil rights march on Washington. In 1967, Esquire magazine ran his profile on the cover and stated unequivocally, "This man ought to be the next president of the United States." King called him "the most progressive businessman in America."

-- William S. and Kathryn L. Shields, of South Bend, Ind., who have a deep interest in health issues, particularly hospices and the shortage of nurses in Indiana. To address these needs, now and in the future, they established an endowed chair at IU South Bend's School of Nursing as well as endowed scholarships in nursing and technology, and a fund that will support nursing education. William Shields is retired chairman of Wells Companies, which manufacture aluminum, electronics, metal tooling and plastic blast materials and employ more than 3,000 people.

Named after the university's late chancellor, the Herman B Wells Visionaries Awards were created to honor individuals with demonstrated vision, entrepreneurial spirit and a record of outstanding achievement. The awards will be presented at a private dinner attended by Beverly Sills, one of the 20th century's greatest sopranos and the newly appointed chairwoman of the Metropolitan Opera.

IU President Myles Brand and IU Foundation President Curt Simic will join Sills in presenting honorees with the framed award and a crystal book. The crystal book was chosen to signify Wells' love of learning and is inscribed with the honoree's name and the statement: "Those who dream on a grand scale, and have the perseverance to realize those dreams, can change the world."

As its president and then chancellor, the late Herman B Wells led Indiana 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.