Celebrating his twenty-second year as Director of Bands, Donovan V. Wells is a 1984 graduate of Bethune-Cookman College and a 1995 graduate of Norfolk State University in Norfolk, Virginia. Wells served as Band Director at various high schools in the Hampton Roads area of Southeastern Virginia where his bands won numerous state and national awards. Wells has served as guest conductor, clinician, keynote speaker and adjudicator for high schools and institutions throughout the East Coast of the United States. Wells came to Bethune-Cookman University in 1996 as Assistant Director of Bands.
Since becoming Director of College Bands at Bethune-Cookman University, the band program has taken on a new spirit of excellence. Wells supervises the productivity and recruitment of the marching, concert and symphonic Bands. The Marching Wildcats is comprised of 300-plus band members and is ranked as one of the top performing collegiate bands in the nation.
Under Wells’ direction, the Marching Wildcats, recognized as “The Heartbeat of B-CU” have achieved the following performance highlights:
The Marching Wildcats have performed nationally on NBC, BET, ESPN, UPN, MTV Super Bowl Special, opening ceremonies for the Daytona 500, NBA Halftimes, EA Sports 2005 and 2006, NCAA Football, ABC Walt Disney World Christmas Special 2003, 2004 and 2005; Honda HBCU Invitational Showcase for a record 13 years, NFL halftime performances for the Jacksonville Jaguars, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Miami Dolphins, the nationally-televised “Ellen Degeneres Show” and had a guest appearance in the 20th Century Fox film, Drumline.
The Marching Wildcats were featured in a commercial for the 2006 Cadillac DTS. The NFL selected the Marching Wildcats to perform pre-game for the 2009 Super Bowl in Tampa, Florida and the halftime entertainment for the 2010 Pro Bowl in Miami, Florida.
Major League Baseball invited the Marching Wildcats to Los Angeles, California in February 2009, 2010 and 2011 to perform for the MLB Urban Sports Initiative. ESPN featured the Marching Wildcats and Mr. Wells in the reality TV show called the “The Battle,” which aired six 30-minute episodes during the 2010 football season.
Wells is a native of Smithfield, Virginia, and is the son of the late Rev. & Mrs. P. D. Wells, Jr. also of Smithfield, Virginia. Wells is married to Monica and has one daughter, Briana.
The Marching Wildcats auxiliary units consist of the Sophisticat Flag Corp and the nationally known 14KT Gold Dancers.
The Marching Wildcats’ legacy continues as the band strives to bring the finest in halftime performances to viewing audiences.
Donavan Wells will receive the Doctor of Humane Letters.