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Colby President William D. Adams announced Jan. 9 that he will retire on June 30, 2014.

Since his arrival in 2000, Adams has overseen the growth of the academic program, most notably in the areas of environmental studies and the visual arts. Adams also oversaw the founding of the Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement and a new center for the arts and humanities. He led a $376-million capital campaign, the largest in Maine history, which included numerous building projects, the College’s expansion on the Colby Green, and the gift of the Lunder Collection of American Art.

“I am honored to have had the opportunity to lead such a remarkable place,” Adams said. “Colby is an outstanding institution; among the very finest of its kind anywhere. But the thing you notice, living and working on this campus among our students, faculty and staff and working with the College’s volunteer leadership, is that Colby never forgets that it is meant to grow and improve. There is a hunger for excellence here and a sense of ever-expanding potential. I know that Colby’s next president will find, among these colleagues, scope and enthusiasm for pursuing whatever great things lie ahead for this College.”

“He has been an extraordinary leader, mentor and friend to many across the entire Colby community,” Board of Trustees Chair Bob Diamond ’73 said of Adams. “His positive impact on our curriculum, our physical plant and Colby’s broader reputation with alumni, parents and prospective students has been enormous. Among other things, he spearheaded efforts that have significantly enriched our student body, attracting a more diverse and international group and—by dramatically increasing Colby’s endowment for financial aid—he has helped expand access to Colby for all qualified students. Because of his efforts, Colby is well prepared for the future, and we owe him our most sincere gratitude.”

Prior to becoming Colby’s 19th president, Adams served as president of Bucknell University for five years. Before Bucknell he taught political philosophy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Santa Clara University, coordinated the Great Works in Western Culture program at Stanford University, and was vice president and secretary of Wesleyan University. He is a graduate of Colorado College and the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Michael Gordon ’66, chief operating officer of New York-based Angelo Gordon & Company, will chair a search committee to find President Adams’s successor. The committee will begin its work this winter.

Slideshow | Presidential Highlights: William D. Adams