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U Chemist Gains Prestigious Honor

May 26, 2005 — C. Dale Poulter, a distinguished professor of chemistry at the University of Utah, has been elected as a fellow of the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

The academy was founded in 1780 during the American Revolution by some of the United States’ early leaders, including John Adams and John Hancock. The group’s purpose is “to cultivate every art and science which may tend to advance the interest, honor, dignity and happiness of a free, independent and virtuous people.”

Poulter was among 196 new fellows and 17 new foreign honorary members elected recently to the academy, and the second University of Utah chemist picked for such an honor in recent years. Peter Stang, dean of the university’s College of Science and a distinguished professor of chemistry, was elected in 2002.

“It is a special privilege and honor to be a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, as it recognizes outstanding achievements in all areas, including the arts and humanities and not just the sciences,” Stang says. “It also is nice to be in the company of luminaries like Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Edison. Poulter is a preeminent bio-organic chemist with major, seminal contributions to the field that are recognized by this singular honor.”

Peter Armentrout, a distinguished professor who chairs the university’s chemistry department, says: “Dale Poulter’s latest honor comes on the heels of several other recognitions of his many contributions in chemistry. … Thus, it is no surprise to his colleagues in chemistry that he joins Peter Stang from our department as a fellow in one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious associations.”

Others elected as new fellows with Poulter included U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist, actor-director Sydney Poitier, journalist Tom Brokaw, Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, and “Angeles in America” playwright Tony Kushner.

Poulter and other new fellows will be inducted during an Oct. 8 ceremony at the academy’s headquarters in Cambridge, Mass.