John Adams High School

Home of the Eagles

[All Adams Reunions]

John Adams High School opened its doors in 1940 at 808 S. Twyckenham Drive to serve the east side of South Bend. The site originally was occupied by an apple orchard. Adams graduated its first class in 1942.

The school’s architect, Harold Maurer, was influenced by the architecture of the railroad station in Helsinki, Finland. The tower of the railroad station was the inspiration for the Adams Tower. The school was built as part of a program sponsored by the Federal Works Agency, Public Works Administration, under the administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The cost of the original building, land and equipment was $739,000. Adams has been remodeled and expanded several times over the years. In 1952, two wings with 16 rooms were added at a cost of $625,000. In 1957, the lunchroom was remodeled at the cost of $22,000. Another addition came in 1959, which added 21 rooms and enlarged the library and offices. That cost was $819,000. Another addition and remodeling project was completed in 1966 at a cost of $2.3 million. It changed the appearance of Adams and added shop space, a second gym, swimming pool, art rooms, and orchestra and band rooms. The most recent expansion took place from July 2001 to January 2005 and cost more than $50 million. The school now has 86 classrooms and more than 1,600 students.  

Adams originally had a gymnasium-auditorium that was the site of many high school fine arts and dramatic events and graduation ceremonies in the 1940’s, 50’s, 60’s and into the 70’s. It had stadium chair seating and could hold up to 3,300 spectators. It was used for the home basketball games of the four South Bend public high schools until Washington High School was constructed on West Washington Street, followed by spectator gyms at all high schools in the 1960’s. The latest renovation at Adams created a new auditorium, cafeteria/kitchen, media center, several classrooms, a band room, an orchestra room, vocal room and general computer room.

The school was named after the second president of the United States, John Adams. Lawrence J. Harwood, president of the South Bend school board in 1938, was a student of the lives of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. He believed that to have Adams High School and Jefferson Elementary School serving together would symbolize the close friendship that existed between those two great leaders.

Patriotic national pride is evident in the building, with carvings in limestone of our national emblem, the eagle. The athletic teams are the Eagles, and the school ring and jewelry have the eagle emblem. The student newspaper is The Tower, and the yearbook The Album.  The school colors are red and blue. Adams now is the international baccalaureate & global studies magnet for the school corporation.

For complete information on John Adams High School, please go to the school’s web site from our Home Page —then simply click the school picture.


Some of the graduates of Adams High School:

Anthony Johnson, Class of ’86,  former ND and pro football play and chaplain of the Jacksonville Jaguars

Isiah Whitlock Jr., Class of ’72, film, stage and screen actor 

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Adams graduates who belong to the Alumni Association:

LeRoy Barrett, Class of 1949
Kasi Bolden, Class of 1989
Susan Bowman, Class of 1952
Jack Champaigne, Class of 1961
Lauren Davis, Class of 1973
Bob DeCola, Class of 1964
Sharon Dill, Class of 1960
Pat Doyle, Class of 1946
Robert Dunbar, Class of 1972
Richard Feingold, Class of 1964
Barbara Williamson Forsythe, Class of 1960
Joe Fragomeni, Class of 1972
Vicki Friedman, Class of 1960
Tom Granger, Class of 1962
Ginger Haley, Class of 1953
John Harlan, Class of 1976
Marguerite Ives, Class of 1947
Kathy Johnson, Class of 1971
Barbara Kersten, Class of 1946
Pat Kobalski, Class of 1953
Doris Ladyga, Class of 1949
Emalu LaRose, Class of 1953
Edward Levy, Class of 1966
Susan Levy, Class of 1964
Karen Lind, Class of 1960
Cheryl Little, Class of
Sue Marsh, Class of 1953
Jack Marsh, Class of 1951
Dixie McMichael, Class of 1953
Marv Moore, Class of 1968
Violet Nace, Class of 1959
Linda Peters, Class of 1960
Jane Pollex, Class of 1953
Beverly Quick, Class of 1970
Esther Robinson, Class of 1947
Sandi Rockwell, Class of 1959
Joan Rothballer, Class of 1947
Don Rowe, Class of 1957
Jeannine Severeid, Class of 1955
Charles Shock Jr., Class of
Jan Slaby, Class of
Barbara Snyder, Class of 1960
Joyce Swanson, Class of 1959
Marguerite Taylor, Class of 1962
Merrylin Tretheway, Class of 1958
Thomas Troeger, Class of 1955
Patty Troeger, Class of 1955
June VanOverberghe, Class of 1959
Mort Ziker, Class of 1943