Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Sonny Rollins Elected to American Academy of Arts & Sciences

Tenor sax titan Sonny Rollins is one of 229 leaders in the sciences, social sciences, humanities, arts, business, and public affairs who have been elected members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, it was announced on Monday. A center for independent policy research, the Academy is among the nation's oldest and most prestigious honorary societies and celebrates the 230th anniversary of its founding this year.

A complete list of the 2010 class of new members is available at

"It is a tremendous privilege and honor to be made a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences," says Rollins. "Not only for me, but for what I represent -- the great American music called jazz."

In the humanities and arts, other new members include Francis Ford Coppola, Denzel Washington, Suzanne Farrell, and Thomas Hampson. The scholars, scientists, writers, artists, and civic, corporate, and philanthropic leaders in the 2010 class include winners of the Nobel, Pulitzer, and Shaw Prizes; MacArthur and Guggenheim fellows; and Grammy, Tony, and Oscar Award winners.

Rollins was nominated for this honor by the Minneapolis-based Academy member Dr. Apostolos P. Georgopoulos, a neuroscientist, amateur saxophonist, and longtime Rollins fan. "It's a terrific tribute to a legend," says Georgopoulos, "and a jewel in the Academy's crown."

The new class will be inducted at a ceremony on October 9, at the Academy's headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Since its founding in 1780 by John Adams, James Bowdoin, John Hancock, and other scholar-patriots, the Academy has elected leading "thinkers and doers" from each generation, including George Washington and Benjamin Franklin in the 18th century, Daniel Webster and Ralph Waldo Emerson in the 19th, and Albert Einstein and Winston Churchill in the 20th. The current membership includes more than 250 Nobel laureates and more than 60 Pulitzer Prize winners.

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