Honors College alum Samuel Adams '08, credits Adelphi with helping him further his craft and his love of culture.

by Valerie Mikell

What did you want to be when you grew up? Samuel Adams ’08 has known since middle school—an actor. And true to form, you can find the Honors College graduate with a B.F.A. in Theatre listed in playbills across the region for his acting and/or directing for The Taming of the Shrew, A Clockwork Orange, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf and most recently, Hamlet.

As a kid growing up in the Catskills, Mr. Adams realized that finding a community that “was as excited about books and plays and wanted to talk about them” proved difficult in his small town. But after a high school visit with Adelphi University’s Nick Petron, professor in the Department of Theatre, and meeting Richard Garner, Ph.D., dean of the Honors College, during a visit to the Garden City campus, he knew he’d found where he belonged. He was so certain that Adelphi was “the one” that it was the only college he applied to.

It was the right choice.

“When I came to Honors College, I discovered that whatever you wanted to do, there were people here who encouraged you to go farther and learn more,” he said. “From my peers to my professors, I had so many people cheering me on.” It was this camaraderie that helped him balance the demands of his theatre and Honors College course work.

“Dean Garner was great. Not only do you realize that he’s brilliant and educated within five minutes of coming into contact with him, but his enthusiasm and excitement for your pursuit of knowledge is infectious,” Mr. Adams said. “All of the professors made us feel it was as much of a pleasure to teach us as it was for us to learn from them.”

Having New York City nearby was also a plus.

“Adelphi was so accessible to the greatest city in the world,” he said. From rehearsals for plays he was cast in, to visits to the Brooklyn Academy of Music and other ballet, opera and cultural events with his Honors College classmates, New York City became his second home.

And after graduation, he moved there. Now his idea of success has shifted from “pursuing fame and the glamorous life” to producing great work he can be proud of, and creating opportunities for the large pool of actors New York City is known for. These ideas of being captain of your own ship; nurturing relationships and embracing the possibilities he credits to Adelphi and the Honors College.

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