Howell E. Adams Jr.
Howell E. Adams Jr. graduated from the School of Engineering in 1953 with a degree in civil engineering. He was a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers. Upon graduation Adams entered the Naval Civil Engineer Corps, where he served until 1956. Adams went to work at Westinghouse before starting his career at The Trane Co., a leading global provider of heating and air conditioning systems. After working as a sales engineer, Adams became dealer sales manager, general manager and franchise owner/CEO. He retired in 2000 after 40 years with Trane.
Adams’ service to Vanderbilt has been extensive. He served as Reunion 1998 fundraising chair, was on the Alumni Board of Directors in 1987 and also served on the Engineering Alumni Council. He and his brother, Thomas E. Adams, BE'58, and his sister, Dabney Hart, MA'49, established the Crenshaw and Howell Adams Sr. Scholarship in Engineering in honor of their parents to assist students pursuing an engineering education.
In 2001 Howell Adams and his wife, along with many family members, dedicated the Adams Atrium located in Featheringill Hall. This three-story atrium was named in memory of Adam Gillespie Adams Jr. and his seven sons, all of whom attended Vanderbilt. The Adams family connection with Vanderbilt can be traced back five generations to 1882. Harris Oswalt, BE’06, is the 75th family member to attend Vanderbilt.
Adams is also involved in the Atlanta community. His board memberships have included the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Columbia Theological Seminary and Atlanta Boy Scouts. Adams has also been active on boards of the United Way, YMCA, Boy Scouts, Young Life, Atlanta Rotary Club, Exodus and other civic organizations. He has been a deacon, chairman of the stewardship committee, and elder of the Trinity Presbyterian Church. Adams’s awards include the YMCA Lay Person of the Year in 1980 and 1986, Phi Delta Theta Outstanding Alumnus in 1981, ASHRAE Alco Award for Community Service in 1981 and Boy Scouts of America Silver Beaver in 1982.
Adams and his wife, Madeline, have five children.