President Obama nominates UCSC alumnus as NEH chair

UC Santa Cruz alumnus Dr. William “Bro” Adams (Photo courtesy of Colby College)

President Obama announced today his intent to nominate UC Santa Cruz alumnus Dr. William “Bro” Adams as Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Adams earned his Ph.D. from UC Santa Cruz in the History of Consciousness program, after receiving a B.A in philosophy from Colorado College.

“Bro brings demonstrated leadership and decades of experience as an administrator at major universities and liberal arts institutions,” said Obama. “His clear dedication and lifelong commitment to the humanities make him uniquely qualified to lead the nation’s cultural agency. I’m proud to nominate Bro as Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities and look forward to working with him in the months and years to come.”

In a recent interview, Adams noted, "UC Santa Cruz decisively shaped my intellectual interests and fostered a strong appreciation for the liberal arts tradition."

Adams is currently president of Colby College, a position he has held since 2000. He was previously president of Bucknell University from 1995 to 2000; vice president and secretary of Wesleyan University from 1993 to 1995; and program coordinator of the Great Works in Western Culture program at Stanford University from 1986 to 1988. Earlier in his career, he held various teaching positions at Stanford University, Santa Clara University, and the University of North Carolina. 

Adams additionally served in the Vietnam War as a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. In 1977, he became a Fulbright Scholar and conducted research at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes and the Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris. Adams is a member of the Board of Directors of the Maine Film Center and the Maine Public Broadcasting Corporation.

His nomination is subject to Senate confirmation.