THE HANK ADAMS FUND
for The Mendicants of Stanford University
March 19, 2001
Dear Mendicant Alum:
For those of you who have not received the news, I regret to inform you of Hank Adam's death. Hank died peacefully on February 20 in his home with his family after a difficult battle with lymphoma. Mendicant alums from around the country as well as the current Mendicants joined together, almost fifty strong, to sing at his memorial service. It was a moving and fitting testimonial to the man who was a co-founder of the Mendicants and the first musical director of the group.
Hank, more than anyone, has been the spiritual leader of the Mendicants. For over thirty-eight years since he helped found the group, Hank worked tirelessly and passionately through good times and lean to build the Mendicant tradition. Hank touched each one of us; and, indirectly, he touched many more. In the wake of his creative spirit there are today over two hundred Mendicant alumni, eight a cappella groups on campus, and a current Mendicant group which is as strong and popular as ever. All of these people share in the joy of the unique singing tradition that he was so instrumental in starting at Stanford in 1963.
At the Mendicant 25th Reunion in 1988, a number of alums got together and established The Hank Adams Fund for The Mendicants of Stanford University to recognize the significant contribution that Hank had made to the group. In his final days, it was Hank's wish that the fund named in his honor grow to a point where it could provide a meaningful contribution to his beloved Mendicants and, perhaps, to the a cappella tradition at large on the Stanford carnpus. To that end, he made a substantial gift to the Fund, one which will go a long way toward realizing his dream and his vision.
We will all miss Hank, but he left us with an experience and a tradition that will continue to live long after him, one that we can all be proud of.
With fond memories,
Pearson M. Spaght
March 10, 1940 February 21, 2001
Hank was born in Middlebury, Connecticut on March 10, 1940 to Austin and Helen Adams. He spent his childhood in Middlebury and then Washington, CT; he graduated Deerfield Academy in 1958. He attended Yale University and Pasadena City College before earning a degree in History from Stanford University in December 1964. He elected to stay in the Bay Area and served in the California National Guard for 7 years. At age 60, he died in his Ladera home on February 21 after a yeariong battle with Iymphoma.
He married Pat on August 10, 1963 in Northern Ireland. Through good times and hard times, he and Pat built a remarkable marriage. He was proud of his children, Jennifer, Jonathan and Peter, and recently opened his heart to two more, his son-in-law Jason McArthur and grandson Jack.
Music was Hank's second love. He started playing the piano at age five and never stopped. From accompanist to arranger, choir director to pitch pipe, he loved every aspect of his involvement in music. He co-founded Stanford's first a cappella group, the Mendicants, and was a booster, supporter and mentor to the group for the next 38 years. He attended the group's tryouts in the Fall, and his face always glowed when talking about their newest album.
After graduating from Stanford, Hank landed a job as a stockbroker with Dean Witter (now Morgan Stanley Dean Witter), where he would remain for 36 years. In bull markets and bear, he loved the stock market, and always found it challenging and exciting. His investment philosophy was conservative, and his careful study of Elliot Wave Theory and company fundamentals were the basis for his recommendations.
He was also a faithful member of Ladera Community Church. He served on a number of committees and as Chair of the Board of Trustees and Moderator. As a long-term choir member, he also participated in Sunday worship services.
The hallmark of Hank's life was his love for people. In every area, his love for others brought people together, reconciling their differences and bringing healing. As Pat often said, "He's one of the good guys."