In Memoriam: Martha A. Adams, 1926-2017

Martha AdamsMartha “Marty” Adams, a long-time coach, administrator, and faculty member at Pennsylvania State University, died on January 12 in State College. She was 90 years old.

A native of Waynesboro, Pennsylvania, Adams earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. She went on to earn a master’s degree in physical education at the University of Iowa.

Adams was hired as swimming coach at Penn State in 1954. A year later, she was named an assistant professor of physical education. She was appointed chair of the women’s physical education department in 1959. Adams was instrumental in the establishment of what was then called extramural sports for women. The program fielded the university’s first nine varsity sports for women in 1964.

When the men’s and women’s physical education programs merged in 1973, Adams became assistant to the dean in the former College of Health, Physical Education and Recreation. In 1974, she was named assistant dean for undergraduate programs, a position she held until her retirement in 1987.

Filed Under: In Memoriam


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