Alfred Adams (’68, JD ’73) bleeds black and gold. His father was a Demon Deacon on the Old Campus, and Alfred’s daughter, Amanda (’01), continued the family legacy as a third generation Wake Forest student.
“We have a long history with the University,” said Alfred. “My dad graduated from the Old Campus, and so growing up, I just really loved Wake Forest. I used to go to football games at Bowman Gray Stadium, and I saw Norman Snead play his first football game there. My brother and I used to take the bus over for the games.”
Alfred worked for a couple of years following graduation before deciding to return to campus for law school. He became a “Double Deac” when he earned his law degree in 1973. Alfred moved to Asheville following his law school graduation, where he met Beth. After they married, the couple moved to Winston-Salem.
One of the fondest athletic memories Alfred and Beth have of the Demon Deacons occurred not long after they moved from Asheville to Winston-Salem, when they attended their first ACC Tournament game.
“My favorite memory by far, since I’ve been coming to games, was the ACC Tournament in 1995, when Randolph hit the game-winning shot against Carolina in the title game,” said Beth. “We were actually there with clients of Alfred’s, and they were huge Carolina fans. He literally had to sit on his hands, but luckily there were some Wake Forest fans in front of us that we could live vicariously through.”
“Because we lived in Asheville, we didn’t come down to the ACC Tournament games,” said Alfred. “During the blizzard of 1993, we watched it on TV with a foot and a half of snow on the ground on a battery powered set about 10 inches wide. So, the 1995 game was our first ACC Tournament game ever. These were our most important clients at the time and they asked us to go with them to the game. I couldn’t say anything, but I really enjoyed it when Randolph hit that shot.”
After moving to Winston-Salem, Beth quickly embraced the University community and found a home with Wake Forest.
“Moving to Winston-Salem and not having any connection to the city, it was nice to have a sense of community in the University, even for somebody who didn’t go to Wake Forest,” said Beth. “It was very welcoming, and we really enjoyed getting to know people through the Alumni Council, events and games.”
Alfred and Beth also enjoyed connecting with the athletic department and the Deacon Club, where they again felt a strong sense of community.
“More than any other place, I think Wake Forest is a family,” said Alfred. “Here we are given the opportunity to get to know the student-athletes more, since it’s a smaller school. You really feel that you are part of the process at Wake Forest.”
After moving back to Winston-Salem, Alfred and Beth became involved in the University community through multiple avenues. It was through this involvement that they felt driven to support the Deacon Club, and more recently, the Wake Will campaign.
“In becoming more active, and in serving as president of the Alumni Council, I was exposed to the need for scholarship support, so that was one of the main reasons I got involved in the Deacon Club,” said Alfred. “I’ve always felt that, if you’re going to be involved with something, you need to support it in all ways because continuity is not created just by physical support, but by financial support as well.”
Alfred and Beth increased their support over the years, as they were able to contribute more to each of the initiatives they felt strongly about. Most recently, they made an estate gift in conjunction with the Wake Will campaign.
“We have always given to the Annual Fund at a level where we felt we could afford to be, and we have moved up over the years, starting out with smaller gifts and moving up as we had the ability to give more,” said Alfred. “Now, as I am nearing retirement, we tried to think of something of we could do to leave a lasting legacy, which ended up being the endowed scholarships we are establishing.”
Alfred and Beth have plans in their estate to contribute to the scholarship Alfred’s father, a longtime physician in Winston-Salem, created for the Wake Forest medical school, the Adams Family Scholarship.
“We wanted to be sure that our plans included a gift to that scholarship, to help perpetuate the legacy that my dad started,” said Alfred. “He was a very humble man, and I know it’s something he would have wanted.”
They also have plans to fund two new scholarships, which will benefit the undergraduate college and the athletic department.
“Because of my involvement in the undergraduate school, we wanted to set up a scholarship for students who exhibit leadership qualities, have great interpersonal skills and would be an asset to the campus community,” said Alfred. “We also wanted to establish an athletic scholarship because of the strong connection we’ve had with athletics over the past several years, probably more so than any other sector of the University.”
Along with their estate gift, Alfred and Beth have made a contribution to the Haddock House, currently under construction. They have contributed to the football project and are club seat ticket holders in Deacon Tower. They have also volunteered in the past to host the golf team during the ACC Tournament, where they got to know several of the student-athletes on the team.
“I am so impressed with the quality of our student-athletes,” said Alfred. “We recently attended the Stewardship Brunch and it was really great interacting with the student-athletes at our table and seeing the conversations happening across the room. When we walked out, I was really impressed to see four football players shaking hands, hugging people and saying thank you. That’s what I think makes Wake Forest special. These young men really got it; they heard what Josh Howard said and wanted to express their thanks. It makes me really proud.”
When asked why he was drawn to establish two new scholarships and contribute to his father’s existing fund, Alfred did not hesitate.
“You feel like you are really providing for these young men and women, and giving them a springboard for their lives,” he said. “It truly makes a difference.”
To learn more about the Wake Will campaign, please click here.