The building was named for Cornelia Storrs Adair (1885-1962), a William and Mary student from 1921 to 1923, Phi Beta Kappa 1927, 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 Virginia Society for Crippled Children and Adults in 1946.
Adair Hall houses an Olympic sized pool, lounge, gymnasium, dance studio, classrooms, and offices for both the Kinesiology Department and the Dance Program at William & Mary. It was originally built as a women's physical education building. Construction began in 1961 and the dedication ceremony was held on November 15, 1963. During construction in 1962, a ditch on the women's athletic field for the sewerage line to Adair and Yates caved in. Construction worker Charles S. Taylor was killed and another worker was seriously injured.
- The following citations are for the student newspaper the Flat Hat: 9/21/1962, p. 13; 9/28/1962, p. 11 (pictures); 2/22/1963, p. 12; 5/17/1963, p. 15 (picture); 10/11/1963, 4A (picture); 11/8/1963, p. 2; 11/15/1963, 1 (picture).
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