Deceased September 16, 2013

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In Memory

The Amherst community was saddened by the sudden passing of Michael H. Adams on Sept. 16, 2013.

One of four siblings, Mike was born and raised near Hartford, Conn. Following high school, he served in the U.S. Navy from 1969 to 1972. A  top student at Amherst, he majored in Russian language and literature. He then earned a master of arts in law and diplomacy at the Fletcher School in 1979.

Mike enjoyed a successful 35-year career in research, corporate and nonprofit settings. The CIA, the Department of Energy, Amoco Oil and the banking industry of Washington, D.C., utilized his research skills. United Airlines, Burson-Marsteller and Young and Rubicam/Moscow recognized his expertise in crisis management and corporate strategic planning. Most recently, Mike served as the director of church relations and advocacy at ChildServ, a nonprofit child welfare agency in the Chicago area.

In 1977, Mike married Barbara Briesmeister (Smith '74), his soul mate and the love of his life. They were blessed with two children, Katherine, born in 1988, and Zachary, born in 1992. Mike loved sports, dogs, cats and storytelling, but most of all he loved his family. He was a loving husband, a proud dad and an avid fan at Katie's figure skating competitions and Zack's ice hockey games.

A master storyteller, Mike totally hooked his audiences with exotic tales from around the world. "Bomb" was equipped with a thunderous laugh, a larger-than-life personality and a contagious smile. His midnight motorcycle ride and portrayal of Santa Claus will live forever in DU lore. Mike's rare combination of intelligence, sense of humor, earthiness and compassion constituted a unique personality that will live on in the hearts of those who knew him.

Dave Driscoll '76

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