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Pres. Oxtoby Inducted in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

David Oxtoby at induction ceremony for the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

David W. Oxtoby, President; Professor of Chemistry, Pomona College, signs the American Academy of Arts and Sciences' Book of Members, a tradition that dates back to 1780.

Pomona College Pres. David W. Oxtoby was among 180 influential artists, scientists, scholars, authors, and institutional leaders who were inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences at an Oct. 6 ceremony, in Cambridge, Mass.

Founded in 1780, the American Academy is one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious learned societies, and an independent research center that draws from its members’ expertise to conduct studies in science and technology policy, global security, the humanities and culture, social policy, and education.

“Induction recognizes the achievement and vitality of today’s most accomplished individuals who together with the Academy will work to advance the greater good,” said Academy President Leslie Berlowitz. “These distinguished men and women are making significant strides in their quest to find solutions to the most pressing scientific, humanistic, and policy challenges of the day.”

Other newly elected members with Pomona ties include: Sally Elgin ’67 and Pomona parent, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor, and Viktor Hamburger Professor of Arts and Sciences, Professor of Biology, Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine; Henry Wellman '70, the Harold W. Stevenson Collegiate Professor of Psychology, University of Michigan; and former Pomona faculty member Steven Koblik, currently president of the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens.

Participants in the ceremony included: Yale University historian David Blight; actor Daniel Day-Lewis; American baritone Thomas Hampson; Supreme Court advocate Maureen Mahoney; University of Wisconsin biologist Margaret McFall-Ngai; business leader and philanthropist Penny Pritzker; and Cornell University mathematician Steven Strogatz.

New members who attended the Induction include, in the humanities and the arts: writers Thomas Mallon and Scott Russell Sanders; poet Gerald Stern; illustrator Jerry Pinkney; and choreographer Chistropher Wheeldon.

In the sciences: Stanford University physicist Philip Bucksbaum; University of Oregon volcanologist Katharine Cashman; Princeton University astrophysicist David Spergel; cancer researchers Tyler Jacks of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Brian Drucker of Oregon Health and Science University; and Yale University genetisist Richard Lifton.

In the social sciences: Gallup Senior Scientist Edward Diener; University of Chicago economist Luigi Zingales; Northwestern University law professor Shari Diamond; and Harvard Graduate School of Education Dean Kathleen McCartney.

In public affairs, civic leadership, philanthropy and business: former Tennessee Governor Philip Bredesen; former U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Karl Eikenberry; journalist Judy Woodruff; philanthropist Sanford Weill; and corporate leaders Kenneth  Frazier (Merck & Company), Jeffrey Immelt (General Electric Company), and Edmund Kelly (Liberty Mutual).

College and university presidents include: David Oxtoby (Pomona College); Carolyn “Biddy” Martin (Amherst College); Michael McRobbie (Indiana University); and L. Rafael Reif (Massachusetts Institute of Technology).

An alphabetical list of the new Academy members is located at: http://www.amacad.org/news/alphalist2012.pdf [pdf] . The new class listed by discipline is located at: http://www.amacad.org/news/classlist2012.pdf [pdf] .

Since its founding by John Adams, James Bowdoin, John Hancock, and other scholar-patriots, the American Academy has elected leading “thinkers and doers” from each generation. The current membership includes more than 300 Nobel laureates, some 100 Pulitzer Prize winners, and many of the world’s most celebrated artists and performers.