Illinois State University Vice President of Student Affairs Steve Adams has been named the 19th recipient of the Neal R. Gamsky Quality of Student Life Award. The award recipient receives a plaque, monetary award and their name displayed on a plaque in the Student Services Building.

Gamsky, vice president and dean of Student Affairs at Illinois State University from 1973 to 1991 had a longtime interest in students and a goal to motivate students to achieve their highest possible level of personal, social and academic excellence. To encourage professional staff to make significant personal contributions to the students at the University, Gamsky established an endowment to grant an award to a staff member in the Division of Student Affairs who made outstanding contributions to the quality of life for students, and who promoted excellence in individual effort and concern for the quality of the campus environment through service and support.

Adams oversees the 12 units that comprise the division of Student Affairs. He assumed his present position in 2006 and will retire on June 1, 2011. During Adams’ tenure, the Student Affairs division led the construction of the new Student Fitness Center, renovated residence halls and dining centers, enhanced the Bone Student Center, and paved the way for the University’s first-ever public and private student housing initiative. The division also implemented an emergency texting system and added a security force to augment campus police patrols.

Adams previously served as assistant vice president for Enrollment Management and Academic Services, director of Admissions and interim director of Financial Aid among other leadership positions. During his 11 years as director of Admissions, Adams helped raise the new student academic profile to record levels. He has served as state representative for Illinois to the American College Testing (ACT) National Office, ACT Education Advisory Board member, president of the ACT State Council and president of the Illinois Organization of State Universities for Admission and Records Officers.

Adams received his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Illinois Wesleyan University and did graduate work in counselor education at Illinois State. He was a Senior Fellow in the Educational Policy Fellowship Program in Washington, D.C. Adams received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Illinois Association for College Admission Counseling and was inducted into the Illinois Basketball Hall of Fame and the Illinois State University Athletic Hall of Fame.