John Adams, '58

John Q. Adams’s love for Heidelberg is as big as the state of Texas. Whether in his distinguished 50-year career in the pharmaceutical industry or in service and philanthropy to Heidelberg, John has stood head and shoulders above many with his wisdom, foresight and generosity.

Married to Pat while an undergrad, John has never forgotten the value of his liberal arts education, the financial aid he received that enabled him to complete his college education, nor the kindness of faculty mentors such as Dr. Percy Lilly, who taught him critical thinking, setting goals and sound business judgment.

John’s service to Heidelberg goes beyond his time, talent and treasures. In an unprecedented show of appreciation for the foundation he received at Heidelberg, about 15 years ago, John generously committed $2 million toward the renovation of the former Laird Hall into the state-of-the-art Adams Hall, a corporate-style home for the School of Business (now School of Business, Computer Science & Information Technology). It was the largest single gift from a living alum in Heidelberg’s history. Additionally, he and Pat provided funding to establish an endowed chair in the school as a major piece of its rejuvenation.

But that was merely the beginning. John has demonstrated time and again that he and Pat are great champions for Heidelberg students and alumni. For the past eight years, the entire Heidelberg community has enjoyed participating in The Patricia Adams Lecture Series, which brings to campus once each semester a distinguished and dynamic female speaker to help our students with skills that will improve their competitive edge in the marketplace. With its focus on women’s leadership, our PALS speakers have demonstrated passion, ambition and purpose in all aspects of their lives. PALS truly is a gift the Adamses have given to our students.

During his student days, John balanced an off-campus job, coursework and playing football. Through his giving, he has set the standard high and then exceeded it himself, always with the goal of moving Heidelberg forward and upward. He was instrumental in the construction of Hoernemann Stadium, naming the Adams Academic All-America Plaza that honors Heidelberg’s most accomplished student-athletes. He also supported the construction of the Saurwein Health & Wellness Center, which opened in 2012, and provided a major gift for this summer’s interior and exterior renovation and beautification of Pfleiderer Center.

For many years, he has been a member of the Fellows Organization and the “H” Association. In 2007, John was asked to join the Heidelberg Board of Trustees and he graciously agreed, serving admirably for two, four-year terms. For his lifetime achievements that exemplify the traditions, ideals, strengths and values of private higher education, John was only the third alum to be inducted into the Ohio Foundation of Independent Colleges Hall of Excellence in 2012.

While their comprehensive lifetime contributions are nearly unparalleled in Heidelberg history, John and Pat have been careful to provide also for the university’s future. They are members of the Heidelberg Heritage Society, a growing group of individual alumni and friends who have remembered the university in their estate plans. We are proud that we have been able to recognize them as members of the Builders and Benefactors’ 1850 Society.

Just as John is forever grateful for Heidelberg, we are forever grateful for the impact of his generosity, which has touched so many areas of the campus and so many in our Heidelberg family.

Published in Alumni

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