Nancy Kleihauer Adams ’64 receives Leadership & Service Award

Cornell is proud to acknowledge the outstanding accomplishments of Nancy Kleihauer Adams ’64 by awarding her the Leadership & Service Award. Following is her award citation, read during the Alumni Convocation at Homecoming 2019. (Come back soon for a video of the ceremony.)

Nancy Kleihauer Adams '64
Nancy Kleihauer Adams ’64

Nancy Kleihauer Adams ’64, you came to the Hilltop from Freeport, Illinois, following in the footsteps of an uncle and a cousin. During your time here you pursued a double major in elementary education and Spanish, you were a member of Kappa Delta Chi, participated in education and Spanish activities, and worked in the Admissions Office giving tours to potential students. 

Evelyn Fisher, then the registrar and your advisor,  encouraged you (and Jane French) to participate in the first year of the Urban Semester Program, a student teaching/sociology experience held on the campus of the University of Chicago. It was, in your words, life-changing.

After graduation, you embarked on a long and illustrious career as an educator in the Chicago area. Over the course of that career, you’ve worked with pre-school children, special needs children, grade-schoolers, and migrant students. You have shared your experiences and expertise with future teachers by serving as an adjunct professor at the graduate level and as supervisor of student teachers. During these years, you raised your children, a daughter and a son.

You have been the Class Agent for almost 50 years. You served on the Alumni Board, showing particular interest in the Cornell Career Center. After you left the Board, your husband Tom Adams ’63 became a trustee, and is now a Life Trustee. As part of your twin service to Cornell, you have made numerous trips back to Mount Vernon and have stayed engaged in the college. You also serve as an advocate and recruiter for Cornell, visiting high schools to talk about One Course At A Time and the Mock Trial Team. 

In retirement, you have ramped up your involvement in your community. In addition to those duties, enough to fill most people’s lives to overflowing, you have found time to serve your community, Pequot Lakes, Minnesota. In 2001 you were a founding organizer of the Pequot Lakes Community Library. Since then, you have successfully established the library and serve as its coordinator.  You wrote a food column for your local paper for five years but had to give that up when you were elected mayor of Pequot Lakes. After taking a two-year break, you completed your fourth term as mayor last year.

In addition, you continue to deliver Meals on Wheels, volunteer at a local soup kitchen, and help organize events through the Community Action of Pequot Lakes.

Nancy, for your commitment to education, to Cornell College, and to your community, we are pleased to present this Leadership and Service Award to you.