Office of Communications (

President William (Br0) AdamsThe United States Senate today confirmed former Colby College president William D. Adams as chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities. President Barack Obama nominated Adams in April to lead the nation’s cultural agency.

“The endowment plays an enormously important role in the civic and cultural life of the United States,” said Adams, “and I am eager to help deepen public appreciation for the quality and impact of its work. I am especially eager to extend the reach of two recent special initiatives—‘Standing Together’ and ‘Bridging Cultures’—and to highlight the important work that NEH is doing in strengthening public institutions and communities. I look forward to meeting and working with our friends, supporters and grant recipients around the country.” Adams also expressed his gratitude to President Obama and the Senate for the nomination and prompt confirmation.

“Throughout his career, Dr. Adams has demonstrated strong leadership and an unwavering commitment to the humanities,” said Maine Senator Angus King. “I am exceedingly confident that he will build on that legacy as chairman of the NEH and guide the agency with the same ability and character he has shown at Colby.”

Maine Senator Susan Collins called Adams “a proven leader whose engagement and direction have enriched the State of Maine.” She noted his service in the Vietnam War, as a Fulbright Scholar, and as a board member for both the Maine Film Center and Maine Public Broadcasting Corporation. “I congratulate him on this appointment,” Collins said.

Adams was instrumental in creating Colby’s Center for the Arts and Humanities, which serves as a model for other colleges and universities. He also spearheaded a dramatic expansion in size and quality of the Colby College Museum of Art, transforming it into one of the nation’s finest college art museums.