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Alumni Profile: Adam Steiner, Grosse Pointe South Class of 2002

As a Kerby Elementary student, Adam Steiner, GPS Class of 2002, made a decision that would shape his future. In third grade, Steiner tried out for the school’s select choir after being influenced by his then crush, which sparked his interest in the performing arts. 

With a strong commitment to the arts throughout his time in school, it was no surprise for Steiner when he took his passion for performing all the way to Broadway. Starring in productions such as “Cats” and “Shrek the Musical” and “Gypsy,” Steiner notes the important role South played in his showmanship. 

“I knew right away,” Steiner said. “I mean, it was all I cared about, and all I thought about from my formative years. When I got to South, there was no question that that was the direction I was going, so everything in my world was that. It was so important to the development of myself and becoming an adult, is having that background from South.”

During his time as a student at South, Steiner found success in the theater and choir programs. Under the guidance of choir director Ellen Bowen, Steiner was able to further his passion for the arts, while developing vital skills for his future that kept him grounded and focused. 

“She pretty much carried me through — has continued to carry me through my adult life with all the knowledge, ability, work ethic and personality she instilled in us as students at South,” Steiner said. “The choirs were really important to my growth. For anybody, having some sort of passion or interest, especially when you get up to the high school age is so important, because it really helps shape your adult life and gives you the tools that you need for the real world.”

After following a rigorous practice schedule as a member of the South choir, Steiner acknowledges that he was equipped with technical and endurance skills when he went on to study musical theater at Western Michigan University. 

“We rehearsed Monday through Friday, from 3-10 p.m., Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m and Sunday 12-5 p.m.,” Steiner said. “That was pretty much year round. That amount of focus and dedication to something with [Bowen] as the leader really helped prepare me for what I went on to do in college and immediately after college.”

After pursuing a career in the arts for most of his life, Steiner eventually decided to change professions, inspiring him to launch The Campus Shop located in The Village of Grosse Pointe, with his father and brother. As a business owner, Steiner has expanded his skill set for business acumen, while also using his expertise in theater to his advantage.  

“When we rented this initial space, we didn't have a name, we didn't have a single t-shirt design,” Steiner said. “We didn't know what we were going to do. We knew we wanted to put something in the village for the community that represented something to the hometown, but at that point in time, we didn't know anything. That ability that I carry with me from back in when I was in New York, and auditioning for random shows — the idea of having the guts and like not being afraid of the outcome, building your own outcome has been very important to me.” 

Since its opening in 2019, Steiner hopes The Campus Shop can serve as an institution in Grosse Pointe that can withstand generations. 

“What we're really trying to do at this point in time is really build more of a community around it that makes it into a go to space in Grosse Pointe that has been there and beat the test of time and reimagined itself over and over so that we can continue to grow in the community, with the community and be a part of the community.”

After exploring different pathways throughout his lifetime, Steiner stresses the relevance of maintaining individualism in a high school setting.

“It's important to stay true to yourself, because yourself is who you're going to be with forever,” Steiner said. “So not being afraid to be an individual and be yourself and explore things, even if it's not the status quo. Giving up who you are, not trusting yourself or not believing in yourself is by far the worst thing that any high school kid could do.”

Want to Nominate Someone to be Profiled?

To celebrate the first 100 years of educational excellence at Grosse Pointe Public Schools, student writers in Grosse Pointe North’s journalism classes are partnering with Grosse Pointe Alumni and Friends to profile alumni from our illustrious first century.  

Are you or someone you know interested in being profiled in a story that will be distributed district-wide across various social media and school news platforms?

Start by nominating yourself or someone you know here.

Be sure to check out the latest edition of GPPSS student newspapers, North Pointe Now, and The Tower Pulse.

About the Author

Hello, my name is Katie Madigan and I am currently a junior at Grosse Pointe North High School. Journalism is one of my biggest passions and I find pleasure in writing stories and creating pages for North’s student-led publication, North Pointe, as Managing Editor. When I’m not in the journalism classroom I also participate in many other extracurricular activities. I take pride in being a member of varsity cross country, varsity track, Peer-to-Peer, Kids Need Opportunities To Socialize and Fashion Club. However, outside of school I also take a strong interest in fashion design and enjoy sewing my own garments, sketching designs or researching creations by some of my favorite designers.

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