NEH Chairman to Visit Delaware September 6-8, 2016

By Ciera Fisher on

2016 Chairman Adams Website

William D. Adams, chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), will visit Delaware from September 6-8. During his visit, Chairman Adams will meet with faculty, students and administrators of cultural heritage organizations throughout the state and give a public talk at the University of Delaware.  The Delaware Humanities Forum (DHF) will welcome Chairman Adams to Wilmington on September 6 where he will meet with representatives from the Delaware Historical Society.

On September 7, DHF and Delaware State University (DSU) will host Chairman Adams on DSU’s campus. The campus was the original location of the Delaware Humanities Forum’s office when the organization was founded over 40 years ago. Adams will tour the campus as DSU celebrates their 125th year and meet with select faculty and students from DSU’s College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences to discuss “The Importance of the Humanities at Historical Black Colleges and Universities in the 21st Century.”

At 2:30 p.m., Chair Adams will give a public talk at the University of Delaware in Newark. His talk, The Common Good: The NEH at 50, is free and open to the public and will include a question-and-answer session. It will take place in the Gore Recital Hall of the Roselle Center for the Arts. This talk is part of the UD Thought Leader Speakers Series and is co-sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences’ Interdisciplinary Humanities Research Center.

Chairman Adam’s will also join the University of Delaware for the opening of the the “First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare,” a touring exhibition supported by the NEH. Dr. Michael Witmore, the Director of the Folger Shakespeare Library will give an opening lecture “Shakespeare for the Centuries” on September 7 at 4 p.m in the University of Delaware’s Morris Library, Class of 1941 Lecture Room. This lecture is partially sponsored by a grant from the Delaware Humanities Forum.

An opening reception for the exhibition will begin at 5:30 p.m. in the University of Delaware’s Old College Gallery. Chairman Adams will give brief remarks. If you plan to attend the opening reception of the exhibition, please RSVP to or 302-831-8037.


About Chairman Adams and the NEH
William D. “Bro” Adams is the tenth chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities. He was president of Colby College from 2000 until his retirement in 2014 and is a committed advocate for liberal arts education. He is known as “Bro,” a nickname given by his father in honor of a friend who died in World War II.

He earned his undergraduate degree in philosophy at Colorado College and a doctorate from the University of California at Santa Cruz History of Consciousness program. He studied in France as a Fulbright Scholar and is an Army veteran who served a year in Vietnam.

Writing in the NEH magazine Humanities last year, Adams said:

“Over the last five decades, NEH has made roughly 63,000 grants, totaling $5.3 billion, and leveraging an additional $2.5 billion in matching grants. This impressive stream of funding has supported some 29,000 research fellowships for humanities scholars; roughly 1,900 film, television, and radio documentaries; 5,280 grants for the preservation of humanities materials, collections, and resources; more than 4,000 seminars and institutes for nearly 85,000 college faculty and high school teachers; and hundreds of challenge grants to museums, libraries, historical sites, and colleges and universities in every part of the country.

But the raw numbers don’t reveal much about the fundamental character and direction of NEH’s programs or about their impact on the country. In studying the agency’s history, I’ve been struck by the Endowment’s impressively broad reach and influence in every sphere it touches, as well as by the concomitant growth of the humanities infrastructure in the United States.”

In Delaware, recent NEH grants have supported a wide range of programs, including major funding for the Delaware Humanities Forum, Hagley and Winterthur museums, UD and DSU. Smaller grants have supported initiatives at such organizations as the state Public Archives and Division of Libraries, Old Swedes Church Foundation, Lewes Public Library and the Delaware Division of Parks and Recreation in Dover.

Grants have funded graduate education and public humanities training institutes at UD and Winterthur, research fellowships, scholarly book projects and the preservation and storage of collections, among many other projects.

The Delaware Humanities Forum is one of 56 state and jurisdictional humanities councils in the United States. Each council is partially funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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