Reginald “Hats” Adams, longtime Rush community affairs officer, passes away
January 1, 2016

Reginald “Hats” Adams.

Reginald “Hats” Adams.

Reginald “Hats” Adams, the former director of Rush University Medical Center’s Department of Community Affairs, died Friday, Nov. 13, after a lengthy illness.

Mr. Adams passed away at his home with his wife by his side. He was 75.

Mr. Adams worked at Rush from 1968 until he retired July 31, 2015. In 1980, he became director of the Department of Community Affairs, developing a program of outreach to the local community.

Throughout his Rush career, Mr. Adams paid particular attention to minority students’ educational concerns. Thanks to his efforts, in 1990 Rush launched its Science and Math Excellence (SAME) Network in response to the low science, math, and reading test scores in Chicago schools in the area surrounding Rush.

The SAME Network has grown into a collaborative partnership between Rush and 24 schools and Chicago-area organizations. The network sponsors after-school science clubs, has constructed a dozen science labs, and provides special training programs for teachers and mentoring for students by Rush employees. Last year, 2,000 students and educators benefited from the SAME Network’s services.

“His impact on Children of Peace School and the other schools was tremendous,” explained Monsignor Patrick Pollard, pastor of Notre Dame de Chicago Parish.

“Hats and his group facilitated math and science training. He also developed a donors list of people who funded science labs at the schools and we were blessed with one at Children of Peace.

“His outreach to children as early as kindergarten age was incredible,” Msgr. Pollard continued. “He wanted to tap their interest in math and science early, and he helped that interest blossom throughout their school years. Hats was a visionary completely dedicated to children.”

In addition, Mr. Adams instituted a summer study program for minority college students and summer internships for minority high school students. Many who work at Rush first came to the medical center through these programs.

In recognition of his efforts, in 2007 Rush awarded Mr. Adams its highest honor, the Trustee Medal, which recognizes “individuals of distinction…whose achievements provide exemplary standards for generations to come.”

“Hats’s influence certainly will live on for generations after him,” said Larry Goodman, MD, Rush CEO. “We are saddened by his death but grateful for his service to Rush and our community, and we remain inspired by his example.”

Mr. Adams is survived by his wife, Constance, four children, and nine grandchildren. Donations in memory of Mr. Adams can be made to the SAME Network at Rush University Medical Center, 1700 W. Van Buren St., Suite 250, Chicago, IL 60612 or visit