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American Academy Inducts Class of 2003

William H. Gates, Sr., Frank Thomson Leighton, Carolyn R. Bertozzi, and Michael Wood Speak at Induction Ceremony Sherrill Milnes Performs


Press Release

The American Academy of Arts and Sciences held an Induction Ceremony for the Fellows and Foreign Honorary Members from the class of 2003 in Cambridge, Massachusetts today. The new class of 187 Fellows and 29 Foreign Honorary Members includes four college presidents, four Nobel Prize winners, and four Pulitzer Prize winners. Lawyer and philanthropist William H. Gates, Sr., MIT professor and Akamai founder Frank Thomson Leighton, chemist Carolyn R. Bertozzi, and chair of Princeton University's Department of English Michael Wood spoke at the ceremony, which also featured a performance by prominent operatic baritone Sherrill Milnes. All are members of the class of 2003.

Academy President Patricia Meyer Spacks officiated at the day's celebrations. Vice President Louis W. Cabot, Secretary Emilio Bizzi, and Chief Executive Officer Leslie Berlowitz greeted the new members. Academy Fellows and project committee members Robert Post, Joel E. Cohen,Linda Greenhouse, and William Allen provided new members with an overview of ongoing Academy programs that range from designing recommendations for better corporate governance and the relationship between Congress and the Supreme Court to providing universal basic and secondary education to the world's children.

"The Academy is pleased to honor the accomplishments of these outstanding and influential individuals. Throughout its history, Fellows of the Academy have been dedicated to advancing intellectual thought and constructive action in American society. We have inducted individuals this year who have already achieved the goal of helping humanity through their own work. We have no doubt that they will assist our mission as well," said Academy President Patricia Meyer Spacks. Leslie Berlowitz, the Academy's Executive Officer, added, "The Induction ceremony introduces our new Fellows and Foreign Honorary Members to the Academy's unique blend of rich history, cutting-edge thinking, and interdisciplinary collaboration. It is a day when the world's foremost marine biologist might enjoy a conversation with a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist. We are especially pleased with the insightful remarks by this year's speakers."

New Fellows and Foreign Honorary Members are nominated and elected by current members of the Academy. Members are divided into five distinct classes: I – Mathematical and Physical Science; II – Biological Sciences; III – Social Sciences; IV – Humanities and Arts; and V – Public Affairs, Business, and Administration. The unique structure of the American Academy allows members to conduct interdisciplinary studies that draw on the full range of academic and professional fields of its members. Past projects have included work on arms control, inequality, and the rise of fundamentalist religions around the world. Information on the Academy's current program areas can be found at its website:

The Academy was founded in 1780 by John Adams, James Bowdoin, John Hancock, and other scholar-patriots "to cultivate every art and science which may tend to advance the interest, honor, dignity, and happiness of a free, independent, and virtuous people." The Academy has elected as Fellows and Foreign Honorary Members the finest minds and most influential leaders from each generation, including George Washington and Ben Franklin in the eighteenth century, Daniel Webster and Ralph Waldo Emerson in the nineteenth, and Albert Einstein and Winston Churchill in the twentieth. Its current membership of over 3,900 Fellows and 600 Foreign Honorary Members includes more than 150 Nobel laureates and 50 Pulitzer Prize winners. Drawing on the wide-ranging expertise of its membership, the American Academy conducts thoughtful, innovative, non-partisan studies on international security, social policy, education, and the humanities.

This year's election maintains the Academy's practice of honoring intellectual achievement, leadership, and creativity in all fields. Among the Fellows elected in 2003 are Peter Agre, who recently won the Nobel Prize in chemistry; Lawrence S. Bacow, president of Tufts University; poet Robert Creeley; Jeri Laber, senior advisor to Human Rights Watch; Nobel Prize-winning physicist Donald Glaser; Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Laurel Thatcher Ulrich; William Allen, director of the Center for Law & Business at New York University; botanist Stephen P. Hubbell, founder and chairman of the National Council for Science and the Environment; Sharon P. Rockefeller, president and Chief Executive Officer of Virginia's public television station WETA; writer Charles Johnson; director of the division of neuroscience at Children's Hospital in Boston Michael E. Greenberg; recording industry pioneer Ray Dolby.


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