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David Alexander Elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

David Alexander, president emeritus of Pomona College, has been elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Founded in 1780, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences is an international learned society composed of the world's leading scientists, scholars, artists, business people, and public leaders.

The 175 new Fellows and 20 new Foreign Honorary Members, who comprise the Class of 2006, include two former presidents of the United States; the Chief Justice of the United States; a Nobel laureate; winners of the Pulitzer Prize in poetry, drama, music, investigative reporting, and non-fiction; a former U.S. poet laureate; and a member of the French Senate.

This year's new Fellows include former Presidents George H.W. Bush and William Jefferson Clinton; Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts; Nobel Prize-winning biochemist and Rockefeller University President Sir Paul Nurse; the chairman and vice chairman of the 9/11 commission, Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton; actor and director Martin Scorsese; choreographer Meredith Monk; conductor Michael Tilson Thomas; and New York Stock Exchange Chairman Marshall Carter along with leading scientists and scholars from across the nation.

The newly elected class also includes: Elbert Rutan, designer and constructor of the Voyager, the first vehicle to circumnavigate the earth without refueling and other renowned experimental aircraft; Charles Thacker, designer of the world's first personal computer workstation; Stanford law professor Lawrence Lessig, who is a leading expert on the legal and social consequences of the information revolution; Bancroft Prize-winning historian William Cronon; National Book Award-winning author Xuefei Jin; former U.S. Poet Laureate Rita Dove; Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paula Vogel; Los Angeles Times editor Dean Baquet; and New Yorker editor David Remnick; and Kenneth Chenault, Chairman and CEO of the American Express Company.

Fellows and Foreign Honorary Members are nominated and elected to the Academy by current members. A broad-based membership, comprised of scholars and practitioners from mathematics, physics, biological sciences, social sciences, humanities and the arts, public affairs and business, gives the Academy a unique capacity to conduct a wide range of interdisciplinary studies and public policy research.

Alexander was the seventh president of Pomona College, serving from 1969 to 1991. Under his leadership, Pomona solidified its reputation as one of the nation’s premier liberal arts colleges. During his tenure as president, Pomona’s endowment increased from $24 million to $296 million, total giving rose from $2 million to $21.4 millions, the number of full-time faculty increased from 131 to 150, and endowed professorships doubled from 22 to 44.

In addition to his leadership of Pomona College, Alexander has served on the board of directors of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, the American Council on Education, the Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, and Community Supported Television of Southern California (KCET, Inc.).

"Throughout its history, the Academy has convened the leading thinkers of the day, from diverse perspectives, to participate in projects and studies that advance the public good," said Chief Executive Officer Leslie Berlowitz. "I am confident that this distinguished class of new Fellows will continue that tradition of cherishing knowledge and shaping the future."

The Academy will welcome this year's new class at its annual Induction Ceremony on October 7 at the Academy's headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The current membership includes more than 170 Nobel laureates and 50 Pulitzer Prize winners. An independent policy research center, the Academy undertakes studies of complex and emerging problems. Current Academy research focuses on science and global security; social policy; the humanities and culture; and education.

Pomona College, one of the nation’s premier liberal arts institutions, offers a comprehensive program in the arts, humanities, social sciences and natural sciences. Its hallmarks include small classes, close relationships between students and faculty, and a range of opportunities for student research. Pomona is one of only a handful of schools that has need-blind admissions and meets the full financial need of each accepted student.