Board of Regents bid farewell to Wellbank

By Amy Goldhagen

The Board of Regents bid a fond farewell to long-time Regent Harry Wellbank at their last meeting in December and approved a scholarship in his name.

Wellbank served on the Board since January of 1977, as well as serving on various committees throughout the Regency system.

The BOR governs Illinois State University in Normal, Sangamon State University in Springfield and NIU.

The twelve-member Board unanimously passed the proposal, which recommends $1,200 of the BOR Fund be spent on the BOR Scholars Award Program. The proposal also stated one scholar each year will be designated as the “Harry Wellbank, Board of Regents Scholar.”

Wellbank served NIU through his involvement on a variety of committees, including two presidential nominating committees, which were formed to select effective leadership for the university.

“I was disappointed that I was not reappointed, but I understand that after 12 years, it might be time to turn over my seat,” Wellbank said. “I have a lot of friends here and I’m very honored to have the scholarship dedicated in my name.”

When asked what he would like to see the Board do in the future, Wellbank said, “I’d like to see more open communication between the universities and the Board. This is the only way the Board can be a successful governing body.”

NIU President John La Tourette expressed special appreciation for Wellbank’s special interest and involvement in NIU.

Chancellor Roderick Groves also expressed his sentiments when the scholarship was approved at Wellbank’s final BOR meeting. “No one has been of greater assistance to me, as chancellor of this system, than Harry Wellbank.”