“Well, here’s the thing. We’ve got to find creative ways to make sure that the monies are there. That’s going to take all of our superstars, our entrepreneurs. Just because you don’t have the billion-dollar endowments, it doesn’t mean that what you contribute doesn’t make a difference. It makes a huge difference. We’ve got to find ways to raise my money. We’ve got to make sure that our professionals come back and serve as speakers, teachers, guest professors, all of that, because what really makes a difference is when a student can get the information from a person who’s lived it. The by-the-book thing, it doesn’t really work anymore because we have Google and all of these searches. You can search online for something on how to make a speech, and there’s even an example on YouTube or something like that.
“You really need people who are professional speakers who have done it, who can tell a student, ‘Hey, you don’t want to do a speech concerning this. You don’t want to do a speech concerning that.’ Or, ‘You don’t want to use your words like that. You want to get the most out of it.’ Then show them which words make the most powerful statements. You can’t get that from the internet, so you will always need HBCUs. You will always need colleges and universities that strive for excellence. There’s never going to be a time when we don’t need the HBCUs.
“HBCUs have survived this long because of the dedication of the professors and the staff and the presidents of those colleges and universities, because we don’t get the $100 million endowment. And it’s unfortunate to me that we don’t get the billion-dollar buildings and things that would make life better and more viable. But what you do get is a sense of community. You get a sense of I’m here with people who really care about me, I’m not just a number. I’m not just somebody that they want to count as a minority. Because, you know, I’ve dealt with all situations.
“My first university was a university here in the city of Houston that was not a historically black university. Even as a person who went to class, did all that I was supposed to do, there was this thing that was missing. Then there was this issue with my internship, and when the professor told me that I was going to have to stay another year, in my senior year, and I’m like, ‘No, no, no, no, sir. No, no, no, sir. That’s not a part of the plan. I have a plan, and that is not a part of the plan.’ I talked to one of my father’s friends, he’s like, ‘Adams, why were you over there anyway?’ And so I transferred to Texas Southern University. Got into Texas Southern University. Did all my classes and got my internship at one of our major affiliates here. It was just like, OK, how far ahead would I have been, I probably would’ve graduated a year before had I been at a place where folks took a real responsibility for being accountable for my … I don’t want to say matriculation, but my growth. As a person.
“I learned so much more there. It wasn’t just a cookie-cutter kind of, OK, here it is by the book. No, I had instructors who had been on television, and they had already done sportswriting and all of that stuff because I am radio/TV, journalism. That was my goal.”
Adams has a daughter who goes to Howard University now. “And she’s loving it. She’s loving the camaraderie.”