In Memoriam: Clara Isabel Adams, 1933-2020

Clara Adams, a member of the faculty and an administrator at Morgan State University in Baltimore for nearly 60 years, died from kidney failure on August 5 at the home of her nephew in East York, Pennsylvania. She was 87 years old.

A native of Baltimore, Dr. Adams earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry at Morgan State University. She held a master’s degree from Iowa State University and was the first Black woman to earn a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. While pursuing graduate education, Dr. Adams was a research fellow at the Ames Laboratory of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission. She later worked as a chemist at the National Heart Institute in Bethesda, Maryland.

Dr. Adams joined the faculty at Morgan State University in 1958. She rose to the rank of full professor of chemistry and served as chair of the chemistry department, dean of the school of graduate studies, vice president for academic affairs, and special assistant to the president.

Dr. Adams retired in 2018 at the age of 85. Her nearly 60 years of service is one of the longest tenures in Morgan State history. The Honors College at Morgan State University is named in her honor.

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