The president of the Harvard Alumni Association Thursday (June 5) announced the results of the annual election of new members of the Harvard Board of Overseers. The results were released at the annual meeting of the association following the University’s 352nd Commencement. The six newly elected overseers, in order of their finish, are: Roger W. Ferguson Jr. 20,184; Pauline R. Yu, 18,859; Michael F. Cronin, 16,960; Leah Zell Wanger, 16,663; Joan Argetsinger Steitz, 16,645; Merrick B. Garland, 15,656; and the candidate who received the seventh-highest number of votes, 14,632.
Roger W. Ferguson Jr. (Washington, D.C.) is vice chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. After receiving his A.B. from Harvard in 1973, he studied law and economics, also at Harvard, earning a J.D. and an A.M. in 1979, and a Ph.D. in 1981.
Pauline Yu (Los Angeles) is dean of humanities and professor of East Asian languages and cultures at the University of California, Los Angeles. She will become the president of the American Council of Learned Societies in the summer of 2003. She received her undergraduate degree from Harvard in 1971, followed by a Ph.D. from Stanford in 1976.
Michael F. Cronin (Weston), born and raised in Dorchester, is the co-founder and managing director of Weston Presidio, a leading private-equity firm. He received his undergraduate degree from Harvard in 1975, and then continued his studies at the Harvard Business School, receiving the M.B.A. in 1977.
Leah Zell Wanger (Chicago) is lead portfolio manager of the Acorn International Fund and head of international equities for the Liberty Wanger Asset Fund. A 1971 graduate of Harvard, she received an A.M. in 1971 and a Ph.D. in 1979 in modern European history, also from Harvard.
Joan Argetsinger Steitz (New Haven, Conn.) is Sterling Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry at Yale University, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. A 1963 graduate of Antioch College, she continued her studies at Harvard, receiving an A.M. in 1967 and a Ph.D. in 1967. She also received an honorary doctorate from Harvard in 1992.
Merrick B. Garland (Washington, D.C.) has been a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit since 1997, after serving as principal associate deputy attorney general of the United States. He received his A.B. in 1974 and his J.D. in 1977, both from Harvard.
The first five elected candidates will serve six-year terms. The sixth-place finisher, Merrick Garland, will complete the unexpired term of Deval Patrick, who is stepping down a year early in light of other professional obligations.
In 2003, there were eight candidates nominated by the Harvard Alumni Association, as prescribed by the election rules. 31,875 alumni and alumnae cast ballots in the election, representing 15.1 percent of the eligible voters.
The primary function of the Board of Overseers is to encourage the University to maintain the highest attainable standards as a place of learning. Overseers carry out this mission by visiting faculties, departments, and other important programs throughout the University so that they can inform themselves about the quality of teaching, research, and administration and then identify problems and offer advice to faculties and University officials.