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Alonzo Church ’24 *27

Published in Feb. 5, 1997, issue

Alonzo Church, a philosopher and mathematician, died Aug. 11, 1995. He was 92. He attended Ridgefield School in Connecticut, where he helped edit the school magazine. At Princeton he won the Class of 1861 Prize during his sophomore year, became Phi Beta Kappa, and was a member of Whig Hall.

Alonzo earned his PhD in mathematics and after post doc work at Harvard and in Europe joined Princeton's faculty in 1929. He left in 1967, when he joined UCLA's philosophy department.

He raised the prestige of mathematical logic through his involvement with the Journal of Symbolic Logic. In 1936, Church became the Journal's first editor, a position he held until 1979.

He was elected to the American Academy of the Arts and Sciences in 1967, to the Natl. Academy of Sciences in 1978, and to the British Academy in 1980. Alonzo received honorary degrees from Case-Western Reserve U. in 1969, Princeton in 1985, and SUNY-Buffalo in 1990. Among his contributions to logic, mathematics, and computer science are the Church Lambda Operator, Church's Thesis, and Church's Theorem.

Alonzo is survived by a son and two daughters, eight grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. His wife, Mary Julia Kuczinski, died in 1976.

The Class of 1924

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