Franco-American appreciation to NEH and William Adams

LEWISTON, Me– A well attended veterans exhibit and program was hosted by the Franco-American Collection on May 23rd, at the University of Southern Maine Lewiston Auburn College (USM LAC), with the support from a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) grant.  In fact, the NEH grant made the collection and digitization of a century’s worth of Maine’s Franco-American military history a reality. This data was shared with the community in a free public program titled, “Franco-Americans in International Service”.  Thankfully, the data collected is continuing to be digitized in the archives of the Franco-American Collection, while more is expected, as a result of the success achieved with this significant project.

Joseph LePage and Doris Bonneau with plank owner certificate

Collection of Franco-American military data on “digitization day” with Mr. Joseph LePage, a World War II veteran and Franco-American Collection president Doris Bonneau. Mr. LePage was a “plank owner” of the USS Chicago meaning he was “on board”, at the time of the ship’s commissioning.

Therefore, it goes without saying that that the Board of the Franco-American Collection (FAC) , an archives located within the USM LAC in Lewiston, is grateful for the NEH support.  This funding allowed for the capturing of Franco-American veterans’ history, through digitization of records, and personal memories. The contributions of military service data created a larger base of original historic records.

In the expression of community appreciation for the veterans digitization funding, it is with equal admiration that we acknowledge the leadership of outgoing NEH Chairman, Mr. William D. Adams, of Falmouth, Maine, who announced his resignation on the organization’s website and it was reported in local Talk of the Towns, news, in “The Notes”.  In fact, the resignation of Mr. Adams became effective on May 23, the same day as the “Franco-Americans in International Service” community program.

Posted on the NEH website was this statement:  WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 22, 2017)—William D. Adams, the tenth chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, announced today his resignation from the agency, effective Tuesday, May 23, 2017.

Adams was nominated by President Barack Obama in April 2014 and was confirmed by the United States Senate three months later. His service to NEH followed 14 years as president of Colby College in Waterville, Maine.

In a brief statement to staff, Adams expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to serve as the chairman of NEH and his admiration for the work of the agency. “Leading this important organization has been one of the most exciting and gratifying experiences of my life,” he said. “I’m especially appreciative of the excellent and dedicated staff of the agency, who taught me so much about the importance of the humanities and the innovative and meaningful work that is going on at NEH and across the country.”

Shortly after arriving at the agency, Adams launched support for programs to demonstrate the relevance of the humanities to the challenges of contemporary life. “We wanted to show how important the humanities are to the really big questions that we’re grappling with as a country and indeed as a global community,” Adams said. “In these divided political times, we also wanted to remind people of the idea of the common good and to make clear how the humanities might serve to bring citizens together in advancing the general welfare of the country.”

William D. Adams NEH

William D. Adams resigned from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), he lives in Falmouth ME.  Extending an invitation to him, to visit the USM LAC Franco-American Collection.

Adams led the NEH in the administration of grants to support the common good, like the Franco-American Collection’s veterans digitization project.

In explaining his decision to step down, Adams noted the positive resolution of the agency’s funding for the remainder of of the current year and the beginning of the administrative transition at NEH. “We’re encouraged that Congress and the President increased our funding for the current year and that the White House has initiated the process of bringing new political appointees to the agency,” Adams said. He also noted his desire to pursue his scholarship and to spend more time with his family. Adams will return to Falmouth, Maine, where he lives with his wife, Lauren Sterling.

As a grateful member of the Board of Directors of the Franco-American Collection at USM LAC, in Lewiston, I invite Mr. Adams and his family to visit the archives, where they can see the result of the important NEH support for Franco-American veterans history.




Juliana L'Heureux

About Juliana L'Heureux

Juliana L’Heureux is a free lance writer who publishes news, blogs and articles about Franco-Americans and the French culture. She has written about the culture in weekly and bi-weekly articles, for the past 27 years.