Alumnus, wife create Heidelberg’s second endowed chair

Feb 27, 2014

A couple described as great champions of Heidelberg University’s School of Business has created the university’s second endowed faculty chair to honor the university that has meant so much to them, both professionally and personally.

Board of Trustees member and alumnus John Q. Adams, ’58, and his wife, Patricia, have provided funding for the Adams Family Foundation Endowed Chair in Business. The chair endows the position of dean of Heidelberg’s School of Business. The first recipient is current dean, Dr. Haseeb Ahmed, who also holds the rank of professor of finance.

President Robert H. Huntington announced creation of the chair at the annual Faculty Awards Dinner last weekend when the Board of Trustees was on campus for its annual winter meeting.

“Heidelberg is profoundly grateful to John and Pat Adams for this generous gift that will fuel the momentum in the School of Business,” Huntington said. “Our shared goal is to be recognized for excellent teaching and learning as well as well as excellent career preparation and service to the community. We are on our way.”

The Adams endowed chair is the second to be created at Heidelberg, following the Swinehart Family Endowed Chair in Education, announced a year ago.

Pat Adams, who was unable to be on campus for the announcement, shared with Huntington that creation of the endowed chair is a “dream come true.”

“Years ago, giving a gift like this was only a dream,” she told Huntington. “Now, it’s with great joy and pride our dream has come true.” She added that her wish for the School of Business is that it continue to flourish. “May each student reach the happiness and pride that John and I share.”

Since his arrival as dean in 2011, Ahmed has led a transformation and growth of the School of Business, making great strides toward its goal to enter the ranks of top-tier business schools in the region. One year prior, the university completed a major renovation of the former Laird Hall, creating a new home for the school with a corporate feel and high-tech amenities. Adams Hall – for which John Adams provided a multi-million-dollar lead gift – was dedicated in the fall of 2010.

“The challenge for us going forward will be how to push, prod, challenge and expand the intellectual boundaries of anyone who interacts with the Heidelberg School of Business,” Ahmed said.

Establishment of the endowed chair comes at a critical juncture when the school has embarked upon implementation of its far-reaching vision. Ahmed said the chair will provide vital seed capital for “continued envisioning, planning, positioning and pioneering with transforming ideas that will enhance the experiential learning opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students, both domestic and international, in a global economy.”

“This will inspire, excite and motivate faculty, students, staff and business and community partners to experiment with bold ideas,” Ahmed said. He called John and Pat Adams “the greatest champions of the Heidelberg School of Business.”

“They genuinely want to have an impact on the lives of young people. They want to engage, involve and excite the next generation of societal and business leaders who are prepared to take full advantage of all the opportunities that Heidelberg and the School of Business offer. They really touch the hearts and minds of our students, faculty and staff.”

One such way is through The Patricia Adams Lecture Series, Heidelberg’s signature enrichment program. The Adams family provided funding to create the series, which directly connects successful women leaders with students and faculty each spring and fall semester.

The interest and support from Pat and John Adams “significantly enhances the opportunities that the Heidelberg School of Business can offer,” Ahmed concluded. “They allow us to push the envelope of what is doable here on a day-to-day basis, and we are very grateful.”