Dave Adams, J-Prof at Indiana University, Found Dead in Pond

By: E&P Staff Dave Adams, an Indiana University journalism professor and supervisor of the Indiana Daily Student newspaper, died over the weekend at his home, officials said. He was 59.

Officers on Saturday night found Adams lying face down in a small pond outside the Bloomington home he shared with his longtime partner, Chunming Chou. There were no signs of foul play, said Bloomington Police Sgt. Faron Lake.

Adams and Chou were drinking alcohol before Chou went into the house for about 20 minutes and returned to find Adams in the pond, Lake said.

An autopsy was conducted by Vigo County coroner Roland Kohr Monday morning, but he said information about the cause of death was not immediately available.

"There will be a big hole that will be hard to replace," said Trevor Brown, who will be editor-in-chief of the student newspaper this fall. "Adams played such a huge part in college media and allowing the students at the paper to grow."

Adams, who was inducted into the College Media Advisors hall of fame in 1997, served as director of student media at IU's School of Journalism since 1989. The Indiana Daily Student was selected as "best all-around daily student newspaper" by the Society of Professional Journalists in 2005 and 2006.

He also supervised the college yearbook, the Arbutus, which was chosen as "best large yearbook" by the College Media Advisors in March.

Adams was serving as board president of the Student Press Law Center in Washington, D.C., after being elected to the post in 2003.

"He was clearly a national leader in student press freedom," said Brad Hamm, dean of the IU School of Journalism. "He traveled widely and was well respected in that area."

Dave Adams is survived by his son, John Adams; brother, Charlie Adams; and stepmother, Betty Adams. Funeral arrangements at the Allen Funeral Home in Bloomington were pending.

UPDATE: An article posted today at the Web site of the Indiana Daily Student, www.ids.com, includes the following.

The impact of IU Student Media Director Dave Adams? passion for free student press extended far beyond IU.

He acted as executive director of the Journalism Education Association, faculty adviser on the Indiana Collegiate Press Association board, leader of College Media Advisers and held various other positions, making him well-known as an advocate for students? First Amendment rights. Dave was a regular speaker at conferences and continued working for his cause up until his unexpected death Saturday.

?I knew him to be ever-vigilant in trying to help out where student rights were infringed upon,? said friend Karen Bosley. Bosley and Dave were on the CMA board together for more than 30 years.

Bosley remembers one time when Dave and a colleague traveled to Ocean County College in New Jersey to investigate a student press rights issue. ?They came to campus and spent the day interviewing people, looking at records. They found that the administration was infringing on students? ? and my ? rights,? Bosley said. ?He was willing to fight in court, if necessary.?

In 1988, the Supreme Court passed a ruling in the case of Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier that enabled high-school administrators to review student articles before they went to press. Dave spoke before the House of Representatives education committee and sent letters to schools in an effort to override the ruling. Adams? campaign wasn?t successful, but his perseverance sticks in the mind of Executive Director of the Student Press Law Center Mark Goodman.

?Dave is one of the three or four people in this country who supported student press freedom (more) than anyone else,? Goodman said.

Goodman remembered running into an embattled northern Indiana high school journalism adviser at a conference that he and Dave attended a few months ago. The adviser, Amy Sorrell, had been suspended from Woodlan Junior-Senior High School in Fort Wayne for a student?s controversial editorial advocating tolerance of homosexuals that had been printed under her guidance.

?Dave sat right next to her,? Goodman said. ?He made her feel she was someone of great value, which is so important.?

Dave was known for his contagious excitement about journalism. Whenever he talked about it, friends and colleagues could see that it lit a fire underneath him. ?Seeing the passion he brought was inspiring,? Goodman said.

Linda Putney, a close friend of Dave?s for 30 years, said she ?never knew Dave to know a student he didn?t love.?

?His passion has always been students and their rights,? Putney said. ?It wasn?t enough to give students freedom for him to do that, but the responsibility to protect their freedom and rights."

Dave was one to talk enthusiastically about First Amendment rights any chance he had, Goodman said, but he was also quick with a hug.
?His enthusiasm was infectious,? Goodman said. ?We?ve lost a legend.?


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