Lehman Adams, Jr.


Honorary Degree (2004)
Doctor of Science
Location: Indianapolis
Presenter: Adam Herbert


Lehman David Adams, Jr. was born to Willa Amanda Clark Adams and L.D. Adams, Sr. on February 19, 1925 in Mansfield, Louisiana. He graduated from Wilberforce College in 1945 with a BS degree in Chemistry and Biology and a minor in Mathematics. Lehman attended the Indiana University School of Dentistry and graduated with a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree in 1949. He was in the top 10 percent of his class. Lehman entered the United States Air Force in July 1949 and was assigned to Kessler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Mississippi, where he met his wife Gloria. Upon returning to Indianapolis to practice dentistry in 1951, he entered the Indiana University Graduate School of Dentistry in January 1952 for five more years of study. Lehman was the first African American graduate student at the IU Graduate School of Dentistry. He studied and performed oral surgery, periodontal surgery and radiology. He became a member of the IU School of Dentistry faculty in August 1954 and remained on the faculty until 2007.

Lehman was a longtime member and former elder of Witherspoon Presbyterian Church. He was a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Masonic Lodge, Meridian #33, Sigma Pi Phi BouleĀ“, and the Omicron Kappa Upsilon Honorary Dental Fraternity. He was also active in the NAACP, the National Dental Association, American Dental Association, Indiana Dental Association, and the Indianapolis Dental Society. Dr. Adams also helped to establish the Circle City Classic annual celebration in Indianapolis, as well as co-chaired the Tanselle-Adams Commission to address police use of deadly force.

Lehman passed away on June 20, 2010.