Yale Bulletin and Calendar

May 26, 2000Volume 28, Number 33

Pictured after the presentation of the Wilbur L. Cross Medals are (from left): Evelyn Boyd Granville, Shelley E. Taylor, Graduate School Dean Susan Hockfield, James G. Arthur and Ruth Barcan Marcus.

Wilbur L. Cross Medals

Following the University-wide Commencement on May 22, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences awarded its highest honor, the Wilbur L. Cross Medal for outstanding achievement in professional life, to four individuals who earned their doctoral degrees at Yale.

The medals are named in honor of William Lucius Cross, who was dean of the Graduate School from 1931 to 1939. The award citations for the 2000 medalists follow.

James G. Arthur '70 Ph.D.

Internationally renowned research mathematician, you have brought great honor to Canada, your native land, to Yale, your graduate school alma mater, and to the University of Toronto, where you earned bachelor's and master's of science degrees. Later as a Toronto "University Professor," a title of distinction awarded to very few, you inspired several generations of students. Over the years you conducted research and made discoveries that projected you into a position of leadership among the mathematical theorists of the world.

Your work in automorphic forms and representation theory -- particularly your innovative trace formula -- have advanced the quest for a grand unified mathematical theory. An earlier, Canadian-born Yale Ph.D. and Wilbur Cross medal recipient, R. Langlands, had developed a profound and far-reaching mathematical model to link two great streams of mathematical thought: analysis which deals with how phenomena such as planetary motion vary with respect to time, and algebra which deals with integers and prime numbers. Your work demonstrates that many of Langlands' visions were in fact mathematical realities. You developed fundamental new concepts and tools in mathematical research which allowed you to make spectacular advances in the pursuit of a unified theory.

You have been elected as a fellow in the Royal Society of Canada and the Royal Society of London and were honored with the 1999 Canadian Gold Medal for Science and Engineering, the 1999 Faculty Award of Excellence and the Henry Marshall Tory Gold Medal of the Royal Society of Canada. To these prestigious distinctions, the Yale Graduate School Alumni Association proudly adds its highest honor, the Wilbur Lucius Cross Medal.

Evelyn Boyd Granville '46 M.A., '49 Ph.D.

Distinguished teacher of mathematics, space research specialist, pioneer among African-American women, the foundations of your remarkable career preceded the civil rights movement of the 1960's and the women's rights movement that followed; a career that, in the tradition of Dean Cross, included important public service and academic scholarly achievements. Born in the nation's capital, you excelled at Dunbar High School, segregated but, at that time, exceptional in the quality of its teachers and motivated students. Next you attended Smith College and graduated summa cum laude, with honors in mathematics and election to Phi Beta Kappa. After four years as a Yale graduate student, you earned, in 1949, one of only two Ph.D.'s in mathematics ever awarded to an African-American woman in the United States, and the first at Yale.

In an era when academic opportunities for women and for minority persons in research universities were limited, you spent two years teaching at Fisk University and then left academia to analyze mathematical problems in the development of missile fuses for the Department of the Army. You accepted a research position at the International Business Machines Corporation to work on orbit computations and computer procedures for Projects Vanguard and Mercury. Later, you moved to Space Technology Laboratories and then to North American Aviation, where you joined the Apollo team to work on celestial mechanics, orbital computations and digital computer techniques. While a lecturer at the University of Southern California, you found time to develop a math-enrichment program for elementary school children in Los Angeles. In 1967 you joined the faculty of California State University, Los Angeles, and became professor emerita 17 years later, in 1984. But you did not actually retire until 1997, after you had served at the University of Texas at Tyler as professor and chair of mathematics. One of three African-American women honored by the National Academy of Sciences in 1999, you have also been awarded honorary degrees by Smith College and Lincoln University.

Like Lewis Carroll's Alice, you have made us "think that very few things were really impossible." The Yale Graduate School Alumni Association expresses our admiration for you as a scholar who has contributed to the advancement of our national welfare and proudly awards you its highest honor, the Wilbur Lucius Cross Medal.

Ruth Barcan Marcus '42 M.A., '46 Ph.D.

Brilliant, inventive, iconoclastic philosopher; devoted and demanding teacher, your work on the logic of modality has brought credit to your graduate school alma mater and has redirected a central current of philosophical research. While still a graduate student you developed a quantified form of modal logic which brought upon itself both accolades and ire, the sure sign of a successful invention. Standing your ground against the established American arm of positivism, you kindled the fire of a new theory of reference whose refiguring of the philosophy of language and knowledge has been the decisive contribution of analytic philosophy in the last third of the 20th century. Your more recent work on moral conflict and moral dilemmas has cast those issues in the raking light of your acute logical mind. As the first chair of the Department of Philosophy at the University of Illinois in Chicago, you built a program and an entire department. Returning to Yale in 1973, you were for 20 years the guiding analytical spirit in the department's philosophical research and teaching; you preserved and enriched a long tradition of Yale logicians.

Among your many honors are the Medal of the College de France, election as fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from the University of Illinois, and the chairmanship of the National Board of Officers of the American Philosophical Association.

Intellectually exciting teacher and scholar, inspiration to women in a field where there were almost none, extraordinarily accomplished philosopher, the Yale Graduate School Alumni Association acknowledges your distinguished career and awards you its highest tribute, the Wilbur Lucius Cross Medal.

Shelley E. Taylor '72 Ph.D.

The most distinguished social psychologist of this era, you have conducted brilliant, meticulous research to elucidate two central subfields -- social cognition and health psychology -- in both of which you were a founder. Your exceptional contributions have changed the direction of studies in modern psychology. You wrote the first textbook for social cognition, and another book more accessible to the general public, "Positive Illusions." You investigated the social psychological experience of being diagnosed with breast cancer and the emotions of people coping with HIV/AIDS; you also pioneered strong educational programs for new generations of scholars in health psychology. Thus, health care practices have been improved by the advances in theory for which you are both directly and indirectly responsible. More recently, you have investigated how social support and social conflict affect risks for illness, a line of research now known as social neuroscience.

Your scholarly work reflects an ability to integrate large, often seemingly diverse bodies of research and has led to new, valuable avenues of inquiry. A respected and beloved leader in the field of psychology, you have been elected president of both the Western Psychological Association and the Society for Personality and Social Psychology. Among your honors are two major awards from the American Psychological Association: the Distinguished Scientific Award for an Early Career Contribution to Psychology in 1980 and the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award in 1996.

In an era in which we are told that "we are drowning in information while starving for wisdom," you have repeatedly provided wisdom in the field of psychology. The Yale Graduate School Alumni Association expresses our deep admiration for your excellence in theoretical and community-based research, and awards you its highest honor, the Wilbur Lucius Cross Medal.

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Baccalaureate Address

Honorary Degrees

Senior Class Day

Teaching Prizes

Scholastic Prizes

Roosevelt L. Thompson Prize

Athletic Awards

David Everett Chantler Prize

Other Student Awards and Honors

Wilbur Cross Medals


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