A Wealth of Love
Beloved Professor Charles Wells was cherished for his dedication to teaching and love for students.
By Justin Walker
Charles Wells, BBA ’49, MS ’57
Former Professor of Economics
Charles Wells had a deep love for his community. He was born and raised in Waco, and attended Dean Highland Elementary and Waco High School. He loved his hometown, including Baylor University.
While he always intended on enrolling at Baylor, Wells first served his country during World War II. He was part of the U.S. Army’s occupational forces stationed in Okinawa, Japan. After his service was complete, he returned to Waco to begin classes.
Wells earned his BBA from Baylor in 1949 and went to work with his aunt, Ethel Abbey, at the National School of Business in downtown Waco. There he taught typing, shorthand and other business skillsets until he returned to Baylor for a master’s degree in Economics.
Upon completing the degree in 1949, Wells began teaching Economics at Baylor’s Hankamer School of Business.
“He loved teaching and he loved his students,” Ann Harder, BA ’75, Wells’ daughter, said. “He did everything he could to help his students learn the material.”
Wells sparked a love for Baylor within Ann Harder that resulted in her attending the University as well. She even met her husband because of her father.
Mike Harder, BBA ’73, MS, ’75, had taken Wells’ courses during his sophomore and junior years. By his senior year, Wells had asked him to be his grader, which meant he was in the office occasionally.
“I would go have lunch with dad from time to time,” Ann Harder said. “One day I ran into Mike and the rest is history.”
Wells was a well-loved professor among the students, even receiving the Business School’s favorite teacher award several times. He was the sponsor of Alpha Kappa Psi while on faculty, which he considered a great honor, Ann Harder said.
In 1990, Wells was diagnosed with lung cancer. The surgery and recovery were both difficult, Ann Harder said, but Wells returned to continue teaching. A few years later, he was asked to lead faculty into Baylor’s graduation, another honor for him, she said.
Wells passed away on Dec. 4, 1994, after another fight with cancer. While Ann Harder misses her father, she knows his legacy lives on.
“He loved his family, his students and his colleagues with a vengeance,” she said. “You don’t forget a man like that very easily.”