“…this council’s leadership was fundamentally and closely involved in the evolution of that hugely important concept and practice of the public humanities…”
— NEH Chairman, William “Bro” Adams

On November 12th, California Humanities was proud to welcome the Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, William “Bro” Adams to help us launch our 40th anniversary year and celebrate the 50th anniversary of the National Endowment for the Humanities. When President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the legislative act in 1965 that led to the creation of the National Endowment for the Humanities, little did anyone know that we would be celebrating the impact of the public humanities here in California 40 years and almost $29 million in funded projects later. A gathering of partners, board members, alumni board member and grantees joined us at the Scottish Rite Center in Oakland to reflect on our meaningful work in promoting the humanities and making them accessible across the state for the past four decades.

Chairman Adams, with a notable career in higher education, most recently as President of Colby College in Maine, has close ties to California: he got his PhD at UC-Santa Cruz and taught political philosophy at Santa Clara University, and coordinated the Great Works in Western Culture program at Stanford University. The Chairman was also an early California Humanities grant recipient as one of the producers of an award-winning six-part radio series, Vietnam Reconsidered: Lessons from a War, which drew on proceedings from a conference of the same name at the University of Southern California in February 1983. The Chairman spoke eloquently of the importance of the humanities field to a civil society: “Most of the greatest challenges we have as a country are not technical, they are problems that emerge at the intersection of history and culture and values and our ideas. That’s where we work and that’s what we do and that’s the gift we give to this country.”


Photos from left to right
Chairman William “Bro” Adams
The Jon Hatamiya Quartet
Past & Current Leadership of California Humanities
Reception Attendees

Photo Credits: Four Seven Photography