Director, Advancement Communications
Georgia State University wasn’t part of the plan for Mark Adams (MBA ’97).
Future generations of students, however, will be more likely to attend – and graduate from – Georgia State thanks to a generous gift to the J. Mack Robinson College of Business from Adams, regional director for JPMorgan Wealth Management. A combination of annual gifts, which will help students immediately, and a planned gift naming the Georgia State University Foundation as the beneficiary of a life insurance policy will fund the Mark C. Adams Family Scholarship, which will assist Robinson students who have demonstrated financial need.
Growing up locally in south Dekalb Co., Adams viewed Georgia State – like many at the time did – only as a commuter school. With financial assistance from his working-class parents, he graduated from Clemson University planning to work for a few years before going to graduate school.
However, the realities of professional life, like bills, expenses and saving for a house, made attending full-time unrealistic. The flexibility of Robinson’s part-time MBA program allowed Adams to continue his professional career at Citizens & Southern National Bank while earning his graduate degree.
A chance encounter with a Georgia State alum at a 2014 networking event led Adams, then in a leadership role with Bank of America, to meaningfully reconnect with the university. He was soon selected for the Alumni Association Board of Directors, then the Robinson Advisory Board. In 2020, Adams became a trustee for the Georgia State Foundation.
Serving the university in various capacities over the last decade enabled Adams to develop strong connections with students, faculty and leadership. It has also been a great source of inspiration, one that led to him to create a lasting legacy at the university.
“As I thought about my legacy and how I wanted to be significant in my community, I saw giving back to Georgia State – a place that’s been so important to my personal success – as a way to make a meaningful difference in students’ lives,” said Adams. “The university’s innovative culture and programs, and the intention behind them, have been impactful at scale, helping produce more Black college graduates than any not-for-profit institution in the U.S.”
“Eliminating the achievement gap and helping students stay enrolled through graduation is not just noble, it’s powerful. It creates economic mobility and can change families’ financial trajectories for generations.”
Thanks to Mark Adams, a degree from Georgia State can be part of more future Panthers’ plans.
Explore the many ways donor dollars are making a difference at Georgia State at giving.gsu.edu.