General Clara Adams-Ender to be 2016 U of M Homecoming Grand Marshal

General Clara Adams-Ender

General Clara Adams-Ender will serve as Grand Marshal for the University of Minnesota’s 2016 Homecoming Parade on Friday, October 21. The parade begins at 6:30 p.m. from its starting point at 12th Avenue Southeast and University Avenue. It will proceed down University Avenue and end at Walnut Street. 

The University of Minnesota Alumni Association (UMAA) chooses a Grand Marshal each year for the parade. Many of these alumni have made great contributions to the University and their community.

General Clara Adams-Ender earned a Master of Science Degree in Nursing at the University of Minnesota in 1969 and recently committed a bequest of $2 million to the school. The Clara Adams-Ender Endowed Leadership Chair will support a dean at the School of Nursing.

“The U was instrumental in my earning my master’s and moving on to executive positions,” said Adams-Ender.

“General Adams-Ender is a shining example of the impact University of Minnesota alumni have on the university and the world,” said University of Minnesota Alumni Association President and CEO Lisa Lewis. “We are thrilled that she is serving as this year’s Homecoming Grand Marshal.”

The daughter of sharecroppers and the fourth of 10 children, Adams-Ender wanted to study law but went into nursing at her father’s urging. She earned a bachelor’s and two master’s degrees on Army scholarships and embarked on a remarkable 34-year military career.

She was named one of the 350 women who changed the world by Working Woman magazine. Her remarkable 34-year military career included being promoted to brigadier general; overseeing 22,000 nurses as chief of the Army Nurse Corps; and being the first Army nurse to command a major Army base, which involved managing 12,000 people and a budget of $90 million.

After retiring, Adams-Ender spent 15 years as president of Caring About People with Enthusiasm, a management consulting firm. She also wrote a book, My Rise to the Stars: How a Sharecropper's Daughter Became an Army General.

The 2016 Homecoming celebration begins on Saturday, October 15 with the U of M Day of Service, which strives to unify campus and community through one big day of service and gratitude. Other Homecoming highlights include Party on the Plaza, described as the “ultimate Golden Gopher Pep Fest”; blood drives in Minneapolis and St. Paul; a lip sync contest; a concert featuring Kesha and Jidenna; Ski-U-Mania, a festive pre-game jubilee at the McNamara Alumni Center; and the Homecoming football game at TCF Bank Stadium. For a complete schedule of Homecoming events, including times and locations, please visit

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