Whether it’s hunting big game, treating dental patients, or making a big time philanthropic gift, Dr. Bill Adams (’69) of Albertville, Ala., believes in going all out. Adams recently made an $800,000 planned gift commitment to endow a professorship for the UAB School of Dentistry. The dental school will realize the gift through his estate.

“If I don’t give back, who is? Look, I have the assets to give back and make a difference by endowing a faculty position in the future. If it hadn’t been for dental school, I wouldn’t have the assets. Hopefully, more people will give back,” said Adams.

Because he didn’t have the greatest experience in dental school, it might surprise the casual observer of his philanthropic desire to support the School of Dentistry. Shifting in his seat during our lunch time interview, he said “Dental School was a lot different when I was a student. The professors didn’t always see eye to eye with the students. It was very demanding, even better than the military”.

An operatory room in the School of Dentistry Comprehensive Care Clinic was named for Dr. Adams in 2019.After graduating from dental school in 1969, like many of his classmates, Adams joined the U.S. Army. He spent nine years at Ft. Knox in Kentucky and Ft. Sam Houston and Ft. Hood, both in Texas. He then traded his Texas spurs for a parka and a stint in Alaska. Working alongside dentists who graduated from other schools, he poked his fork at me and said “I had a lot better training than the other dental officers when I joined the army”. After nine years of full-time service, he was ready to head back to Alabama, where he started his practice in Albertville. He also continued serving in the military, first as a Colonel in the Army National Guard and later with the Army Reserves until 2002.

Though Adams retired from full-time dentistry in 2014, he occasionally fills in for other dentists when they have emergencies or need a vacation. He’s also a fixture at the Alabama Dental Alumni Weekend, soaking up continuing education speakers and catching up with colleagues in the hallways. Adams may hold the record for the most continuing education hours by an Alabama dentist. He estimates he’s logged more than 6,000 hours of courses, including 1,200 hours devoted to treating craniofacial pain. Long ago he completed the AGD Master’s program, completed the Institute for Advanced TMJ Studies, and became a Diplomate of the American Board of Craniofacial Sleep Medicine and a Diplomate of the National Board of Craniofacial Pain. “I learn something every time I do it. You should never stop learning. I’m always looking to pick up a pearl,” he said.

During the COVID-19 pandemic he’s been careful to limit indoor meetings and activities. As we sit across from one another and enjoy our meat and three’s, the 78 year old still has a spark in his eyes when he talks about dentistry and what the profession means to him. “It was always about the patients. I really miss my patients and my staff,” he said.

Now, with his dental career in his rearview mirror, Adams is focused on his giving back to various charities and enjoying his hobbies. First, he recites facts about building a monarch butterfly garden, then he pulls out his cell phone to swipe through many of his hunting pictures. Adams is an avid turkey and deer hunter, and not just your average ole Alabama white tailed deer. No, he has photo after photo of unbelievably large mule deer and large game he has hunted in Mexico and Africa. And while he won’t be going on a safari this year because of the pandemic, he is already thinking about his next big hunt outside the U.S. Adams loves hunting also as much as dentistry, and that’s saying a lot.

To learn more on how you can make a gift of any size through your estate, contact Scott Huffman at (205) 790-2802 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..