Hanna H. Gray, president emeritus and Harry Pratt Judson Distinguished Service Professor of History of the University of Chicago, has been elected chairman of the Trustees of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, effective November 4.
Hanna H. Gray, president emeritus and Harry Pratt Judson Distinguished Service Professor of History of the University of Chicago, has been elected chairman of the Trustees of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, effective November 4. The Institute is the largest philanthropic organization in the United States.
Gray succeeds Irving S. Shapiro, who has been chairman since 1990. Shapiro, former chief executive of E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company, is currently of counsel to the law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. He will continue as a Trustee and as a chairman emeritus. Both Gray and Shapiro are among the original Trustees named by the Delaware Court of Chancery in 1984.
Gray was president of the University of Chicago from 1978 until 1993. Before that she had been on the faculties of Bryn Mawr, Harvard, Chicago and Northwestern, where she was dean of the college of arts and sciences. She returned to the University of Chicago to become its president from Yale University, where she was provost, professor of history and, from 1977 to 1978, acting president.
As a historian, she has special interests in the history of humanism, political and historical thought, and politics during the Renaissance and the Reformation. She is a member of the Renaissance Society of America, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the American Philosophical Society. She holds numerous honorary degrees.
Gray is a fellow of the Harvard Corporation, a regent of the Smithsonian Institution and a trustee of the Marlboro School of Music. She is chairman of the board of trustees of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. She is a member of the board of directors of J.P. Morgan & Company, the Cummins Engine Company, Atlantic Richfield Company, Ameritech and the Council on Foreign Relations.
Gray has received many awards. Born in Germany, she was one of 12 distinguished foreign-born Americans to receive a Medal of Liberty 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.