Mrs. Nancy C. Adams '73 and Mr. W. Gary Adams


Mrs. Nancy C. Adams '73As dedicated supporters of Millersville University, Nancy C. Adams ’73 and her late husband Gary Adams established funds and supported students and faculty with a focus on Occupational Safety and Environmental Health (OSEH). In 2022, they created the N.C. Adams ’73 and W.G. Adams Fellows Program for students majoring and minoring in Business and or Occupational Safety and Environmental Health. In doing so, they helped to forge a partnership between the OSEH program and the Lombardo College of Business to create a one-of-a-kind education program in Pennsylvania. Additionally, the N.C. Adams ’73 and W. G. Adams Endowed Professorship was established, that creates a position for an endowed professor to oversee enhanced scholarship activities, such as fostering faculty-student research, organizing on-campus and off-campus co-curricular events, and establishing internship opportunities for students in the program.

Nancy Adams had an enriching and successful career in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Adams was one of the first women to work in the OSHA after Congress passed the Occupational and Safety Health Act of 1970. At that time, they were hiring Industrial Hygiene inspection staff with a science background, and she began her OSHA career in Albany, New York, where she met her late husband, Gary, who was also in the OSEH profession. Adams held many positions during her 33-year career with the OSHA, including field industrial hygienist, Area Director, Deputy Regional Administrator, Deputy Director Safety Standards, National Ergonomics Coordinator, and Director of Management Systems and Operations. She also served as the Executive Assistant to seven Assistant and Acting OSHA Assistant Secretaries. Upon retiring from Federal service in 2008, she began a consulting career working with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Energy Employee Occupational Illness Compensation Program (EEOICPA), and its Presidential Advisory Board on Radiation and Worker Health. In 2011, she began work with NIOSH’s World Trade Center Health Program and its Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology in 1973 from Millersville University; a Master of Science degree in Occupational and Environmental Health Services in 1995 from Hunter College of the City University of New York, New York, N.Y.; and is a 2004 graduate of the Federal Senior Executive Service (SES) Development Program.

Nancy Adams has continuously supported up-and-coming OSEH students and generously invested in the success of professionals in the industry. After stepping down as the long time Chair of the Millersville University OSEH External Advisory Board (EAB) in 2021, she continues to serve as a member of the Board that provides guidance and counsel for the OSEH program and its students.

W. Gary Adams, MS, MPH, CIH, CSP (1947-2022) retired from the OSEH profession after holding senior management positions in industrial hygiene and occupational and environmental safety with the US Department of Labor OSHA, Brookhaven National Laboratory, the US Department of State and the US Department of Treasury.

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