East of Parkhurst, elegant Wells Hall (2004) replaced the rather squat, nearly windowless structure Wells built in 1965. Guy Wells (1892-1965) served as president of what was then Georgia State College for Women from 1934 to 1953. The students from those years (Jessies) remember him with great fondness. Wells was nervously energetic, rather stout and jowly and, according to some faculty, lacking in polish. Whatever his cultural deficiencies, Wells was a shrewd judge of personnel and a genuine father figure for students.
In the midst of the Depression and in spite of anemic state funding, the university flourished during the Wells years. Campus building under Wells included Beeson and Sanford Halls, the Health Sciences Building, Porter Hall, the Peabody Laboratory School (currently the John H. Lounsbury College of Education) and the development of Lake Laurel. Wells guided the college through the war years (including the Navy WAVES training center on campus) and encouraged active student participation in college decisions. He had a Jeffersonian belief in participatory democracy. Wells stepped down in 1953, exhausted after 19 years and rather discouraged as enrollment rapidly dwindled in the post-War years.
By Dr. Bob Wilson, University Historian