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Memoir

Robert Axelrod
Regents' Proceedings

Robert Axelrod, Ph.D., William D. Hamilton Distinguished University Professor, Mary Ann and Charles R. Walgreen, Jr. Professor for the Study of Human Understanding, and professor of political science in the College o f Literature, Science, and the Arts, and professor of public policy in the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, retired from active faculty status on May 31, 2019.

Professor Axelrod received his B.A. degree from the University of Chicago in 1964 and his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Yale University in 1966 and 1969, respectively. He joined the University of Michigan faculty as an associate professor in 1974, and was promoted to professor in 1980. He held a number of professorships, including the Arthur W. Bromage Distinguished University Professor of Political Science and Public Policy, the Mary Ann and Charles R. Walgreen Professor for the Study of Human Understanding, and the William D. Hamilton Distinguished University Professor.

Professor Axelrod was best known for his interdisciplinary work on the evolution of cooperation. His research interests included international security and sense-making. He consulted and lectured on promoting cooperation and harnessing complexity for the United Nations, the World Bank, the U.S. Department of Defense, and various organizations serving health care professionals, business leaders, and K-12 educators. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1985), the National Academy of Sciences (1986), and the Council on Foreign Affairs (1996). Professor Axelrod was awarded fellowships from the National Science Foundation, the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. He received, with co-author William Hamilton, the Newcomb Cleveland Prize from the American Association for the Advancement of Science for an outstanding paper published in Science during 1980-81. Professor Axelrod was awarded the Johan Skytte Prize in Political Science from the Johan Skytte Foundation (2013), the National Medal of Science bestowed by the president of the United States (2014), and an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Harvard University (2015).

The Regents now salute this distinguished faculty member by naming Robert Axelrod, William D. Hamilton Distinguished University Professor Emeritus, professor emeritus of political science, and professor emeritus of public policy.