Chaplain John Maxwell Adams
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The fruit of “Doc” Adams encouragement
"Doc" Adams encouraged my faith journey and is part of the reason why I'm a very involved Presbyterian in social justice issues today.
Kay Crampton Johnson
Early morning chapel
The early morning chapel was a comforting start to each day.
Mary Lou Hanson Moeller
Adams' mighty staff
I remember John Maxwell Adams striding across the campus, staff in hand, making like Moses about to part the seas!
Hitchhiking to the game
One Saturday afternoon in the fall of 1954, our fearless leader, Jane Plager Jones ’56, decided a few of us should "hitch hike" to the St. Thomas / Macalester football game. She suggested that two would hide behind trees and two would use their lovely thumbs to flag down a car. Margie Fehr ’57 and I discreetly blended into the trees. In a few minutes a polished black sedan stopped to pick us up and we all jumped into the car. Much to our chagrin, our new chauffeur was none other than Professor Maxwell Adams — head of Macalester's Religion Department! We received a free ride to the game in addition to a lecture on the side effects of "hitchhiking".
Mary J. Campbell Sundeen
As close as I’ve gotten to the Presidency
The college chaplain, Dr. John Maxwell Adams and my father, Alfonso Baez-Fonseca were classmates at McCormick Theological Seminary, graduating in 1926. I became involved in the student religious program at Mac and always said that knowing Chaplain Adams was as close as I have gotten to the Presidency as his daughter, Joan, married the Honorable Walter Mondale, Senator, Vice-President and Ambassador to Japan.
“Are you soap or satin?”
Rev. Maxwell Adams was chaplain during the two years I was at Mac and I spent a lot of time in his office seeking counsel. He never failed to have great answers for my many questions and, long before it became a popular saying, he was the first person to introduce me to the concept: “What Would Jesus Do?” When I asked him about ‘hanging out’ with people who were up to things that I wasn’t, (when I wasn’t with them) he said, “It depends upon if you are going to be like soap or satin. If satin gets soiled, it damages the very fibers of it. But if soap gets around dirt, it just washes it off.” He also was very instrumental in my becoming a Presbyterian; because of my own beliefs, what I learned in the classes I took from him and through his counseling. Along with my dad, he helped me to grow into an adult with a very open mind.
Alice Presbey Heath Williamson
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