CAMBRIDGE, Mass.-- WMU President Edward Montgomery was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences today. This year's class includes former first lady Michelle Obama, former governors Mitch Daniels and Deval Patrick, and some 200 others saluted by the academy for achievements in academia, the arts, business, government, and public policy and public affairs.
“It’s a humbling honor to be included with a group of very distinguished academics and public servants," says Montgomery, accompanied by his family at the ceremony held at Harvard University, where he earned his master's degree and doctorate.
"Anytime you get to be thought of in the same breath as some of our founding founders, you have to be excited and incredibly humbled.”
Founding fathers Benjamin Franklin and George Washington, poet Ralph Waldo Emerson, and civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr. are among those who have been elected to the academy over the centuries.
The American Academy of Arts and Sciences was founded in 1780 by John Adams, John Hancock and others who believed the then-new republic should honor exceptionally accomplished people and engage them in advancing the public good.
Montgomery, in addition to being WMU's president, is a nationally renowned labor economist, with a long and distinguished career in higher education and at the highest levels of federal government service. As an economist, he held positions in the Clinton and Obama administrations, including as deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor when Clinton was in the White House.
Others inductees in this year's class include author Jonathan Franzen, artist Mark Bradford, NPR host Michel Martin, Dr. Nora Berrah, a University of Connecticut physics professor and former WMU professor, as well as recent WMU honorary degree recipient and landscape ecology and ecosystem restoration expert, Dr. Bojie Fu of the Chinese Academy of Sciences/Beijing Normal University.
About president MONTGOMERY
Montgomery was named WMU's ninth president on Aug. 1, 2017. He came to WMU from Georgetown University, where he had served as founding dean and professor of economics at the McCourt School of Public Policy.
During a more than 35-year academic career, he has held faculty positions at Carnegie Mellon and Michigan State universities as well as the University of Maryland, winning teaching awards some five times over the years. During President Bill Clinton's administration, he held a number of positions, including as chief economist and deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor. During President Barack Obama's administration, Montgomery was a member of the president's auto task force and led the interagency White House Council for Auto Communities and Workers.
As WMU's president, Montgomery has launched initiatives focused on student success, revitalizing the south campus neighborhood, the development of a new budget model impacting all areas of campus, and the implementation of the revised core curriculum, WMU Essential Studies. As part of his commitment to helping students complete their studies, he also implemented a targeted grant program to assist financially at-risk students and boost student graduation.
For more WMU News, arts and events, visit WMU News online.