The Gordon Scribner Award for Distinguished Service, created to honor Gordon Scribner ’42, former dean of students and director of alumni, is given to an individual who has made a major contribution of volunteer time and effort to Whitman College over an extended period of time and possesses the ability to inspire.

The 2018 Gordon Scribner Award winner is Gene Adams ’53

2018 Gordon Scribner Award Recipient Gene Adams '53

Gene Adams’ service to Whitman spans decades. He served as director of financial aid for the college for 29 years, and in that time he served as chair of his 20th and 25th reunions. Fans in Sherwood Center will remember him as the voice of Whitman basketball for five of those years.

When Adams retired, he made a commitment to community service and playing golf. Golfing got in the way of his community service, so he quit golfing! He worked to launch programs that thrive in the Walla Walla community today, including the Exchange Club’s Ducky Derby, raising money for the prevention of child abuse.

Adams continues to support Whitman varsity athletics and is often found in Sherwood Center chatting with coaches and student athletes. Whitman’s Athletic Hall of Fame was established in 2003, and Adams has served on the committee from the beginning. He has researched nominees, engaged in the selection process and often served as presenter for the induction ceremony.

Adams was instrumental in the development of the Friends of Children of Walla Walla, a mentoring organization that matches at-risk kids with adult friends. In 2008, Adams met men’s basketball coach, Eric Bridgeland, by chance at Clarette’s. Bridgeland asked what Adams did in retirement. Long story, short: student athletes from men’s basketball have been mentoring at-risk kids ever since. In recent years, players from the baseball team have joined the effort.

That outcome, coupled with the fact that Adams is currently co-chair of his 65th reunion, clearly prove that he deserves the honor of the Gordon Scribner Award.