The U.S. Senate voted yesterday to confirm William D. “Bro” Adams as the new chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities . The NEH is an independent federal agency that supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities.
Adams, who recently stepped down as the president of Colby College, holds a Ph.D. from the University of California at Santa Cruz History of Consciousness Program. He studied in France as a Fulbright Scholar. He also served for three years in the U.S. Army, including a year in the Vietnam War.
His military service, Adams said , paved the way for his life’s work in education. It “made me serious in a certain way, ” he said. “As a 20-year-old combat infantry advisor, I came face to face, acutely, with questions that writers, artists, philosophers, and musicians examine in their work—starting with, ‘What does it mean to be human?’”