Former President, University of Chicago
Emerita of History, University of Chicago
Hanna H. Gray was President of the University of Chicago from July 1, 1978 through June 30, 1993. She is now President Emeritus and the Harry Pratt Judson Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of History of the University of Chicago
Mrs. Gray is a historian with special interests in the history of humanism, political and historical thought, and politics in the Renaissance and the Reformation. She taught history at the University of Chicago from 1961 to 1972 and is now the Harry Pratt Judson Distinguished Service Professor of History in the University of Chicago’s Department of History.
She was born on October 25, 1930, in Heidelberg, Germany. She received her B.A. degree from Bryn Mawr in 1950 and her Ph.D. in history from Harvard University in 1957. From 1950 to 1951, she was a Fulbright Scholar at Oxford University.
She was an instructor at Bryn Mawr College in 1953-54 and taught at Harvard from 1955 to 1960, returning as a Visiting Lecturer in 1963-64. In 1961, she became a member of the University of Chicago’s faculty as Assistant Professor of History, becoming Associate Professor in 1964.
Mrs. Gray was appointed Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and Professor of History at Northwestern University in 1972. In 1974, she was elected Provost of Yale University with an appointment as Professor of History. From 1977 to 1978, she also served as Acting President of Yale.
She has been a Fellow of the Newberry Library, a Fellow of the Center of Behavioral Sciences, a Visiting Scholar at that center, a Visiting Professor at the University of California at Berkeley, and a Visiting Scholar for Phi Beta Kappa. She is also an Honorary Fellow of St. Anne’s College, Oxford.
Mrs. Gray is a member of the Renaissance Society of America. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the American Philosophical Society, the National Academy of Education, and the Council on Foreign Relations of New York. She holds honorary degrees from a number of colleges and universities, including Oxford, Yale, Brown, Columbia, Princeton, Duke, Harvard, and the Universities of Michigan and Toronto, and the University of Chicago.
She is a member of the Harvard Corporation, Chairman of the Board of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Chairman of the Board of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, a member of the board of the Marlboro School of Music, and a Regent of the Smithsonian Institution.
In addition, Mrs. Gray is a member of the board of directors of the Cummins Engine Company. Mrs. Gray was one of twelve distinguished foreign-born Americans to receive a Medal of Liberty award from President Reagan at ceremonies marking the rekindling of the Statue of Liberty’s lamp in 1986. In 1991, she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award, from President Bush. She received the Charles Frankel Prize from the National Endowment of the Humanities and the Jefferson Medal from the American Philosophical Society in 1993. In 1996, Mrs. Gray received the University of Chicago’s Quantrell Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. In 1997, she received the M. Carey Thomas Award from Bryn Mawr College and in 2000, the Medal of Distinction from Barnard College.