Remembering Dr. Carl Adkins

The professor emeritus of English taught at Buena Vista University for over thirty years, serving in roles including chair of the faculty senate, assistant dean, leader of curriculum development and head men's tennis coach.

Dr. Carl Adkins, professor emeritus of English, passed away on Jan. 27, 2017, in Asheville, N.C. Adkins was a published author and respected faculty member who retired from BVU in 1998, ending his tenure of over thirty years. He taught in the areas of English composition, creative writing, literature and poetry.

In addition to teaching at BVU, Adkins served on numerous university committees and departments. His roles included being chair of the faculty senate, assistant dean, leader of curriculum development and head men’s tennis coach. Adkins was also the founder of the BVU Writing Center and was known for initiating the BVU Shakespeare Bowl, the first African American and women’s literature curricula in Iowa and for hosting many seminars, dinners and forums in his home. Adkins stayed in touch with many of his former BVU students and colleagues over the years, and in 2005, he taught a poetry writing workshop during the January Interim.

Upon his retirement from BVU, Adkins moved to Denver, Colo., where his wife, Catherine Alter, was the dean of the Graduate School of Social Work (GSSW) at the University of Denver. While in Colorado, Adkins founded and served as director of the GSSW Writing Center and taught freshman composition for one semester at the Community College of Aurora. When Alter retired in 2007, the couple moved to Asheville where Adkins volunteered as a writing coach for student-athletes at the University of North Carolina (UNC) Asheville.

Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife; children, Charles, Scott and Marcia; grandchildren, Tasha, Megan, Kirsten, Charlie and Theo; stepchildren, Sarah, Sue and Steven; and step-grandchildren, Sam, Sari and Zoe.

Memorial donations may be sent to the UNC Asheville Foundation, Athletics Scholarship Fund, Attn: Janet R. Cone, Athletics Department, 1 University Heights, CPO #2600, Asheville, NC 28801.