A Forgotten W&M Sports Venue: Cornelia Storrs Adair Hall

Cornelia Storrs Adair Gymnasium, 1963: The exterior of Cornelia Storrs Adair Gymnasium in 1963. [Source: University Archives Photograph Collection, UA 8; Creator: William & Mary]

Have you ever been to Adair Hall? Maybe you took a Kinesiology class, or had dance practice, or used the glued-on hand holds to boulder along the outside wall. Dedicated in 1963 as the Women’s Gymnasium and Physical Education building, Adair Hall was home to Tribe Swimming & Diving before the Student Recreation Center opened in 1989. The Diving Team remained in Adair Hall for several years after the swim team moved across campus.

According to the William & Mary website cited below, “The building was named for Cornelia Storrs Adair (1885-1962), a William & Mary student from 1921 to 1923, and the first woman recipient of the Alumni Medallion in 1934. She was also a teacher, the president of National Education Association in 1928, and a member of the Richmond Chapter of the Virginia Society for Crippled Children and Adults.”

The tennis courts were re-purposed for use as the present day parking garage (circa 2006) which also houses the W&M Police Department and the Parking Office.

The Adair pool is stilled used today for various club practices. The gym is used by academic classes, various clubs, and Tribe Volleyball and Basketball (both teams) as overflow practice space when needed.

Adair Hall remains a busy space!

Bob Gough

Cornelia Storrs Adair Gymnasium Pool, 1963: The pool in Cornelia Storrs Adair Gymnasium at its 1963 Dedication. [Source: University Archives Photograph Collection, UA 8.; Creator: William & Mary]
An undated image of Cornelia Storrs Adair Hall and tennis courts. [Source: University Archives Photograph Collection, UA 8.; Creator: William & Mary]

A photo of Cornelia Storrs Adair, class of 1923. A student at William & Mary from 1921-1923, Adair was a member of Phi Beta Kappa in 1927, and the first woman recipient of the Alumni Medallion in 1934. [Source: University Archives Photograph Collection, UA 8.; Creator: College of William and Mary]
Cornelia Storrs Adair Tennis Courts Ribbon Ceremony, circa 1976: An image of the Cornelia Storrs Adair Tennis Courts Ribbon Ceremony, circa 1976, with President Thomas Ashley Graves, Jr. on the left. [Source: University Archives Photograph Collection, UA 8.; Creator: William & Mary]
 

Cornelia Storrs Adair Gymasium, undated: An undated image of the exterior of Cornelia Storrs Adair Hall. [Source: University Archives Photograph Collection, UA 8.; Creator: William & Mary]

Sources: Special Collections Research Center, William & Mary Libraries., “Cornelia Storrs Adair Hall, Constructed 1961-1963,” TribeTrek, accessed September 12, 2019, https://tribetrek.wm.edu/items/show/48.
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