Colby Adams served as President of Colby College from 2000-2014. Recently he joined the Mellon Foundation as a Senior Fellow to advocate for arts funding and humanities inclusion within American culture.
Adams announced in May his departure as chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities to focus on this work and remain an ardent champion of higher education, the arts and humanities.
Early Life and Education
Colby Adams, founder of the National Endowment for the Humanities, was raised in a modest but comfortable Massachusetts farming family and spent much of his childhood hunting and fishing outdoors.
Adams attended Holderness School before going on to Colorado College where he earned an undergraduate degree with honors. Following that, Adams worked as an adjunct professor before being appointed president of Colby College in 2000.
He currently serves as chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, having long championed liberal arts education. At Colby he focused on expanding student opportunities for study abroad programs, expanding its Great Works in Western Culture program and increasing faculty diversity.
Colby Adams dedicated his professional life to improving education for both his students and colleagues. As instructor and director of athletics at Community College of Charlotte (CCC), he made a lasting difference in many students’ lives.
Adams’ professional endeavors have been greatly enhanced by his strong Christian faith. He has held various leadership roles within his community and been an active member of the United Methodist Church.
Adams asserts in a recently published e-book that liberal arts education is more essential than ever in our post-Covid world. He urges for an approach that provides more holistic learning opportunities, challenging his colleagues to “loosen up the hold” on traditional patterns of academic specialization in order to give students greater options when it comes to moral, working, and civic life.
Achievement and Honors
As President of Colby College, Adams led an ambitious $376 million capital campaign and oversaw growth in programs like environmental studies and visual arts.
He has been an integral member of Waterville, serving on multiple boards and committees and attending major community events like the Waterville Opera House opening and Maine International Film Festival.
Adams played an essential role in helping secure Kings River Sierra National Park as part of his membership in Sierra Club, enduring one of his toughest fights ever and still admiring but less passionately supporting this cause today than he once did.
Colby Adams has long been a strong proponent of liberal arts education. Through his roles as President of Colby College in Waterville, Maine and as Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, he has spearheaded initiatives promoting their importance both to higher education and civic life in America.
He has also served on the boards of directors of several humanities-oriented organizations, such as the National Council for the Humanities and American Philosophical Society. Additionally, he served as trustee at University of Michigan as well as member of Colorado College’s board of trustees.
Colby Adams is an award-winning media content creator best known for making TikTok videos. He currently resides in his mid-20s and does not currently have any significant relationships.
He is a college graduate with an estimated net worth of approximately $2 Million, thanks to his popularity on TikTok and creation of videos which have amassed more than 1 Million views on that platform.
His career started off in music before moving to Dallas where he opened a retail candy business. Subsequently he served in the United States Army for three years before going back to college where he obtained a Ph.D. in History of Consciousness from University of California Santa Cruz.