Two professional scholars-a historian from Yale and a physicist from the University of Illinois-will be the new members of the Harvard Corporation.
President Pusey announced yesterday that John M. Blum '43 of Yale and Charles P. Slichter '45 of Illinois will take seats this year as Fellows of the Corporation.
They succeed William L. Marbury and R. Keith Kane '22, the two senior Fellows who are retiring this year. Blum will take Marbury's place on February 1, and Slichter will replace Kane on September 1.
The Board of Overseers met yesterday morning to approve the nominations. The Corporation-composed of the five Fellows plus the President and Treasurer-chooses its own successors, subject to approval by the Overseers.
Blum and Slichter will be the first actively-teaching professors to be made Fellows in nearly 100 years, and the Corporation they join will be the first since the late 18th century to have two university teachers as members.
They will also be the first faculty members from other universities ever to serve on Harvard's most powerful governing board.
The two men they replace are both lawyers. The other three Fellows-like most Corporation members since the 1780's-are also business and professional men: Albert L. Nickerson '33 is a retired executive of Mobil Oil; Francis H. Burr '35 is a lawyer with the Boston firm of Ropes and Gray; and Hugh D. Calkins '45 is a lawyer in Cleveland.
The choices of Blum and Slichter came after a four-month election process, beginning with the Corporation's announcement last September that it was seeking suggestions for its two new members.
Through November and December, the Corporation held a series of special meetings to review more than 500 names that were submitted by faculty, alumni, and others.
Blum said last night that he first learned he was under consideration four weeks ago, when President Pusey gave him a call.
"I was totally stunned when the invitation was first put to me," he said. "I didn't hear until this morning that the Overseers had voted to confirm."
Slichter was away from his Champaign, H1. home last night and could not be reached for comment.
Both Blum and Slichter did undergraduate and graduate work at Harvard, and both have built substantial academic records since then.
After graduating summa cum laude from Harvard in 1943, Blum served on Navy patrol craft in the Pacific during World War II. He then returned to Harvard to earn his A. M. in 1947 and his Ph. D. in 1950.
Blum joined the Yale faculty in 1957, after teaching for nine years at M. I. T. He has also taught in England, as the Pitt Professor at Cambridge University in 1963-64, and as Commonwealth Lecturer at University College, London, in 1967.
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