Education at a variety of levels has been foremost in the lives, hearts, and minds of Steve and Sandi Adams. Together, they served a combined total of more than 70 years in the field and have had a positive influence on the lives of thousands of students, colleagues, family, and friends. Furthermore, their skills and passion for leadership resulted in administrative positions for both and helped establish a legacy of excellence and accomplishment.
Steve Adams spent his entire 35-year career in higher education at Illinois State University. He served in major administrative positions in Academic Affairs for nearly three decades (including Assistant Vice President for Enrollment Management and Academic Services and Director of Admissions, as well as interim roles as Director of Financial Aid and Director of Enrollment Management) and was Vice President for Student Affairs for the final five years of his formal career at ISU until he retired in 2011. Steve grew up in Bloomington-Normal, attending Metcalf Grade School and University High School on the Illinois State campus and attended ISU as a college freshman before transferring to the University of Illinois and later to Illinois Wesleyan University, where he earned a bachelor's degree in business administration in 1968. Later, he did graduate work in counselor education at ISU and was a Fellow in the Education Policy Fellowship Program in Washington, D.C. He was, perhaps, best known for his long and storied career as the "Voice of the Redbirds" for men's basketball and football—a career which began in 1976. Although Steve briefly retired from this role in 2013, he returned to men's basketball where he once more delighted fans and players alike as public address (PA) announcer during the 2019-2020 season. Steve fought pancreatic cancer for more than three years before his passing on May 8, 2020. He will be remembered as an impactful leader, trusted mentor, caring friend, and exceptional Redbird.
Sandi Adams taught for 33 years at the high school and junior high school levels at Bloomington High School and Bloomington Junior High School, in addition to a year at East Peoria High School, and served more than a decade as chairperson in the Department of English and Speech, as well as the Department of Foreign Language at Bloomington High School. She retired from the high school level in 2002 and moved into higher education at Illinois State where she continued to make an impact serving as a clinician/supervising teacher working with student teachers in the Department of English. She grew up in Zion, Illinois, where she graduated from Zion-Benton Township High School, and was part of the last group of students to earn a degree in speech at Illinois State University in 1967. She came to Illinois State with only enough money to pay for one semester, but, because of earning a Teacher Education Scholarship and working her way through college, she was able to attain her lifelong dream of becoming a teacher. A teacher, leader, and mentor, she was recognized as a master at teaching students at all levels to succeed. Further, she taught drama and directed school plays, casting students from a variety of backgrounds to open the world of theatre to many who may not have otherwise experienced it.