Former President Bro Adams announces national initiative

Former College President and current Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) William “Bro” Adams recently announced a new national education initiative. The initiative is called ‘The Common Good: The Humanities in the Public Square’, and aims to deepen the nation’s understanding of the important role that the humanities play in our daily life.

According to its website, the NEH is an independent federal agency, that since 1965 has “serve[d] and strengthen[ed] our republic by promoting excellence in the humanities and conveying the lessons of history to all Americans.” Since its founding, the agency has given over 71,000 grants, totaling $5 billion. Adams’s dedication the liberal arts throughout his career culminated in him being tapped for the position of Chairman last summer.

Adams announced The Common Good program in a speech at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. on January 15. He stated his belief that the initiative “will bring the humanities and humanities scholars into the forefront of current discussions of American life.”

The NEH is hopeful that new grants will help humanists answer important questions for the rest of society, such as how they can illuminate the positive and negative ways in which technology is affecting our communities.

The initiative will introduce a partnership with the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation that will give “second life” to notable out-of-print books. Additionally, the American Library Association will support the program and spread knowledge of the humanities via a new theme of “Latino Americans: 500 Years of History.”

As a war veteran himself, Adams noted a key component in the program will be to extend grants and support projects “connecting the humanities to the experiences of veterans and other aspects of war.”

The NEH, which currently receives 146 million dollars in funding per year, has not yet announced how it will pay for The Common Good. Regardless of how much funding the program requires, it is expected to be resisted by a Congress in which certain members have suggested cutting funding for the NEH entirely.

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