History Major

Chris Beam, Ph.D.

Adjunct Professor
Chris Beam

Office Location

Bailey 200, Gorham Campus



Academic Degrees

  • B.A. Williams College, 1967
  • Ph.D. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1976


Professor Beam has taught at the University of Southern Maine in an adjunct capacity since 1991.  his professional life has been devoted to the study of the past as an archivist and teacher.  From 1977 to 1988, he worked at the National Archives in Washington, D.C., where he spent more than four years processing the Nixon White House tapes, worked with diplomatic documents, and served on the staff that appraised federal records.  From 1988 to 2005, he was director of the Edmund S. Muskie Archives and college archivist at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine.  Since 1989, he has also taught a wide variety of topics in history at the University of Southern Maine and other local institutions, offering courses on the Vietnam War, the Nixon presidency, the Afghanistan conflict, and all phases of U.S. , Western European and world history.  A native of Brunswick, Maine, Professor Beam graduated from Williams College in 1967; served three years in the U.S. Marine Corps, including a tour in Vietnam (1968-1969); and earned a Ph.D. in History from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (1976). His major academic interests are the Vietnam War, the Nixon presidency and the Watergate scandal.