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Bro Adams ’72 Discusses Relevance of the Humanities

Colorado College alumnus William "Bro" Adams '72, chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, is featured in an article in The Chronicle of Higher Education that emphasizes Adams' focus on making the humanities meaningful to the public.

In the article, "A Very Public Intellectual: Can Bro Adams persuade the public that the humanities matter?" Adams discusses the relevance of the humanities and how humanities can be resources for daily life.

"When I was deciding what sort of tone to set at the NEH, I decided it would be worth our while to talk about the humanities as being very closely connected to our values, our culture, our history, and our most important ideas," he says. Adams took the helm of the NEH in 2014, and since then has discussed the need to promote projects that tackle new challenges, such as cyber-surveillance, which "share boundaries with science." He has encouraged initiatives that emphasize relevance and accessibility.

After interrupting his studies to join the Army and serve in Vietnam, he returned to Colorado College and graduated magna cum laude with a philosophy degree. He served as president of Colby College and Bucknell College, vice president and secretary of Wesleyan University, and as program coordinator of the Great Works in Western Culture program at Stanford University.

Earlier in his career, he held various teaching positions at Stanford University, Santa Clara University, and the University of North Carolina. In 1977, he became a Fulbright Scholar and conducted research at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes and the Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris, France. Colorado College awarded Adams an honorary degree in 1996.

Thanks to The Chronicle of Higher Education for allowing their article to be viewed for 30 days from the posting of this CC story.

Report an issue - Last updated: 12/16/2020