Fri, 04/14/2017

Gretchen Holbrook Gerzina, dean of the Commonwealth Honors College and the Paul Murray Kendall Chair in Biography at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, is among 228 accomplished scholars, scientists, writers, artists, and civic, business and philanthropic leaders elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

The incoming class, which was announced today, includes philanthropist and singer-songwriter John Legend, award-winning actress Carol Burnett, Xerox Corporation chairman Ursula Burns, mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani, immunologist James P. Allison, and writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

Founded in 1780, the academy is one of the country’s oldest learned societies and independent policy research centers, convening leaders from the academic, business, and government sectors to respond to the challenges facing and opportunities available to the nation and the world. Members contribute to academy publications and science, engineering and technology policy studies, works on global security and international affairs, the humanities, arts, education and American institutions, and the public good.

The new class will be inducted at a ceremony on October 7 in Cambridge, Mass.

“I am enormously honored and delighted to have been elected to this august society,” says Gerzina. “Just looking at the list of members past and present has been very humbling.”

Past members have included scientist J. Robert Oppenheimer, author Margaret Atwood, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and author Kurt Vonnegut. For more information on Dean Gerzina's accomplishments and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, please read an article written by UMass Amherst's Daniel J. Fitzgibbons here.