Mr. Bob Adams
(Inducted in 2007)
Bob Adams, known as “Mr. A,” joined the staff of the College Heights Herald as a student in 1962 and hasn’t left Bowling Green since.
As a journalism faculty member and longtime adviser of WKU’s award-winning student newspaper, Adams has mentored hundreds of students who have gone onto careers at the nation’s top newspapers (Washington Post, USA Today, New York Times, Courier-Journal, Herald-Leader, etc.) or careers in other fields. More than 20 of his former students have been part of Pulitzer Prize winning teams.
Adams, a native of Danville, Ill., was Herald editor in 1964, has been an adviser to the paper since 1968 and has been director of Student Publications (Herald and Talisman) since 1990. He received his bachelor’s in 1964 and master’s in 1965.
Adams’ career connects him with the origins of a program that has developed into the nationally prominent School of Journalism and Broadcasting. His first journalism class at WKU was taught by Miss Frances Richards, who was the Herald’s first editor in 1925 and was the paper’s adviser until 1964.
Adams worked for David B. “Boss” Whitaker who was director of Student Publications from 1970 to 1987 and was the first head of the Department of Journalism from 1977 to 1987.
During Adams’ tenure as Herald adviser, the paper has maintained a consistent level of national success. The paper has won 11 national Pacemaker awards from the Associated Collegiate Press (1981, 1982, 1984, 1988, 1992, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2005) and won Gold Crown awards from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association from 1999 to 2004.
The paper also has achieved a tradition of success in competitions sponsored by the Kentucky Press Association and the Kentucky Intercollegiate Press Association.
The Talisman, WKU’s yearbook, has won 10 national Pacemakers including three consecutive awards since resuming publication in 2003. Adams has served as Talisman adviser from 1990-1996 and 2002-present.
Adams was inducted into the College Media Advisers Hall of Fame in 2006 and the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame in 2005 and received the Distinguished Newspaper Adviser Award from the National Council of College Publications Advisers (now CMA) in 1978.
Adams has directed high school journalism workshops, has participated in student recruitment and scholarship programs, has judged national, regional and state journalism competitions and has served on various state and national organizations.
He received the WKU student advisement award in 2005 and the President’s Award for Diversity in 2004. In the past four decades, Adams has helped hundreds of students obtain summer internships and full-time employment.
Adams’ journalism career hasn’t been limited to the Hill. He was publisher of the Cumberland Times in Crossville, Tenn., in 1988-89; publisher and general manager of the North Warren Observer in Smiths Grove, Ky., in 1985-86; co-publisher of the Citizen-Statesman in Celina, Tenn., in 1983-87; co-publisher of the Herald-News in Edmonton, Ky., in 1982-87; and co-publisher of the Cumberland County News in Burkesville, Ky., in 1980-87. Adams also worked for the Daily News in Bowling Green from 1965-69. He has produced publications for several groups including the Girls’ Sweet Sixteen, the Kentucky High School Music Educators and Kentucky High School Marching Band Championships.
Adams and his wife, Sandy, have six children, Andy, Chad, Justin, Nicole, Tara and Clint.