Dean David Hempton Elected to Royal Irish Academy

May 22, 2020
Dean David N. Hempton
Dean David N. Hempton. / Photo: Stephanie Mitchell, Harvard Staff Photographer

Dean David Hempton has been elected an Honorary Member of the Royal Irish Academy.

Hempton, who is also the Alonzo L. McDonald Family Professor of Evangelical Theological Studies and John Lord O'Brian Professor of Divinity, was admitted along with 28 other new members in a virtual ceremony on May 22.

Election to membership of the Royal Irish Academy is the highest academic distinction in Ireland. The Academy has been honoring Ireland’s leading contributors to the world of learning since its establishment in 1785. It is an all-island independent forum of peer-elected experts that draws on its members’ expertise to make a significant contribution to public debate and policy formation on issues in science, technology, and culture.

The distinction of Honorary Membership is usually reserved for academics who have made a major international contribution to their disciplines, but who are not normally resident in Ireland.

“I could not be more delighted with the award of this significant honor,” said Hempton, “especially as it brings me into closer contact once again with academic colleagues in Ireland.”

Dean Hempton was formerly director of the School of Modern History at Queen’s University Belfast before he accepted an appointment at Boston University and then Harvard.

Mary Canning, president of the Academy, said “Ireland should be immensely proud of these women and men who have brought international acclaim to our country. As members of the Royal Irish Academy they will strengthen our capacity to provide the expert advice Ireland needs at this time.”

Members, past and present, with Harvard connections include poet Seamus Heaney and former Harvard University President Drew Gilpin Faust.