Max D. & Mergie Adams

Why is it important/what motivates you
to give back to the College of Pharmacy?

Mergie and I feel that it is important to make contributions to those organizations whose aims and objectives are consistent with the advancement of knowledge and the improvement of the human condition. Certainly, the efforts of Purdue University are directed toward those ends. Additionally, because we were the direct beneficiaries of the educational opportunities provided by the Purdue College of Pharmacy, we believe that making gifts to the school is a way of expressing gratitude for the important contributions the school made in helping us to fulfill some of our life goals. We anticipate that these gifts will, in turn, help others to achieve some of their dreams and that the continued efforts of the School will improve the lot of mankind.

You have made a planned gift.   Why did you decide
to use this specific vehicle (will, annuity, CRT, etc.) to make a gift?

Planned Giving is a wonderful way of providing estate gifts to universities and other organizations that one finds worthy of contributions. Frankly, we are surprised that more people do not include educational institutions, charities and other not-for-profit organizations in their estate plans. There are a variety of ways to do this. We chose an irrevocable Charitable Remainder Unitrust (CRUT). This vehicle provides for a tax deduction in the year in which it is established and also delivers a percentage of the earnings to the Trustees (us) on a quarterly basis. The remainder of earnings are added to the principal which goes to the institution upon the death of the Trustees.

What was your experience at Purdue as a student?
Any particularly fond/humorous memories of your days at Purdue?

We were married and had a child while I was in graduate school. We chose for Mergie to be a stay-at-home mom who did some in-home babysitting and typed theses for me and fellow students. We scraped by on the income from a teaching assistantship followed by an NIH pre-doctoral fellowship. We were fortunate to live rent free for the last half of our time in West Lafayette because we managed an apartment house for an absentee landlord. We were poor as the proverbial church mice but had a wonderful time at Purdue.

The educational experience was very stimulating and challenging. I loved the faculty members whom I got to know. The late Bill Bousquet, Ph.D. was my adviser and he was an outstanding mentor. Tom Miya, Ph.D. was the department chair and was a great person and leader for the group. We made wonderful friends and had a very active social life built around inexpensive entertainment options (bridge, charades, the board game of Jeopardy and cheap, sometimes homemade, beer). Mergie was very active in the Pharmacy graduate student wives organization where she made some strong friendships.

Being avid sports enthusiasts, we were fortunate to be at Purdue when they made their first (of only two) trips to the Rose Bowl (Bob Griese, Leroy Keyes, Perry Williams et al. and their first (of only two) Final Four appearances in men's basketball (Rick Mount, Herm Gilliam, Billy Keller et al.). In fact, our daughter Julie, at age 2, could identify and name the pictures of the starting lineup for the football team in a program. Don Kiepert, a pharmacy student and backup quarterback behind the All American Mike Phipps, got a program autographed for her by many of the players.

We lived in a large, old house which had been converted into a 7 apartment unit building at 213 University Avenue which is now the site of a parking garage. It was close to Elliott Hall of Music and each afternoon in the fall, when the band returned from their practice, our daughter loved to go outside and listen to them play the fight song as they approached the Hall of Music. I have fond memories of the intramural and pick-up softball and basketball games and we Pharmacology/Toxicology graduate students used to regularly beat the Pharmaceutical Chemistry graduate students in touch football games we played on Saturday mornings on the Purdue practice field. As a student, it was so cheap to play golf at the Purdue course that I was able to purchase a cheap, partial set of clubs and I tried to learn golf with some of my fellow graduate students and Dr. Bousquet. I have to admit that I did not master the game but am still trying. In all, our time at Purdue was a wonderful, memorable and productive segment of our life.

How has your pharmacy education shaped your life/career?

The graduate program and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees I earned at Purdue were vital to my career in academics and industry. I became interested in graduate school in my senior year in Pharmacy School at West Virginia University. The person who was instrumental in getting me to consider the possibility of graduate school was Dr. John Colaizzi who came to WVU as a very enthusiastic new faculty member fresh out of graduate school at Purdue. Dr. Colaizzi, who has since been the long-time Dean of the Rutgers College of Pharmacy, invited Dr. Bousquet, who had served on Dr. Colaizzi's thesis committee, to give a seminar at WVU and introduced me to him. The rest, as they say, is history.

How do you hope your planned gift will impact
the College of Pharmacy and its students in the future?

I hope that my gift will allow future students to have a wonderful experience while they are at Purdue, learning not just pharmacy but how to work with others and how to serve the world in which we live.