Western Michigan University President Edward Montgomery has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a prestigious group whose membership includes former First Lady Michelle Obama.

The academy was founded in 1780 by John Adams, John Hancock and others who believed the new republic should honor exceptionally accomplished people and engage them in advancing the public good. With his election, Montgomery joins a distinguished list of fellows. Such esteemed individuals as founding father Benjamin Franklin, poet and essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson and civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr. are among those who have been elected to the academy over its history. - WMU release

Montgomery is about to finish his second year as WMU's president. Prior to taking over the presidency at WMU, he was a "nationally renowned" labor economist who has had a long, distinguished career in academia and at the highest levels of U.S. government, where he held key positions during the Clinton and Obama administrations.