Feature Stories Campus Events All Stories

Alex Jones Inducted into Prestigious Academy

Washington and Lee alumnus Alex S. Jones, of the Class of 1968, director of the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School, was among 177 of the nation’s most influential artists, scientists, scholars, authors and institutional leaders who were inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences earlier this month.

Founded in 1780, the American Academy is one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious learned societies, and an independent research center that draws from its members’ expertise to conduct studies in science and technology policy, global security, the humanities and culture, social policy and education.

Since its founding by John Adams, James Bowdoin, John Hancock and other scholar-patriots, the American Academy has elected leading “thinkers and doers” from each generation. The current membership includes more than 250 Nobel laureates, some 100 Pulitzer Prize winners and many of the world’s most celebrated artists and performers.

A 1987 winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Alex covered the press for The New York Times from 1983 to 1992. In 1991, he co-authored (with his late wife, Susan E. Tifft) The Patriarch: The Rise and Fall of the Bingham Dynasty. In 1992, he left the Times to work on The Trust: The Private and Powerful Family Behind the New York Times (also co-authored with Tifft), which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle award. In 2009, he wrote Losing the News, an examination of the current state of the news media, in which he argues that the loss of local newspapers and a sharp decline in investigative reporting is dangerous for America.

Alex received an honorary doctorate of humane letters from W&L in 2009. He has also been a Nieman Fellow at Harvard, a host of National Public Radio’s On the Media and host and executive editor of PBS’s Media Matters.

If you know any W&L alumni who would be great profile subjects, tell us about them! Nominate them for a web profile.