Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book


Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Hanna Holborn Grey  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Non-Fiction Other

Audience: Adult;

Born: 1930 in Heidelberg, Germany


-- Hanna Holborn Grey on WorldCat -- http://www.worldcat.org/search?q=hanna++holborn+grey


Illinois Connection

Hanna Grey was president of he University of Chicago from 1978 to 1993.

Biographical and Professional Information

Hanna Greythe daughter of Hajo Holborn, a professor of European history who fled to America from Nazi Germany, and Annemarie Bettmann, a philologist. She attended Sidwell Friends School in Washington D.C. She graduated from Bryn Mawr College and traveled to Oxford as a Fulbright Scholar. She met and married Charles Montgomery Gray in 1954 while both were graduate students at Harvard University, earned a Ph.D. from Harvard in 1957, and taught there, becoming an assistant professor in 1959.She was named Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Northwestern University in 1972, and became professor of history at, and Provost of, Yale University in 1974. She served as acting President of Yale University for fourteen months.Gray then returned to the University of Chicago, serving as president from 1978 to 1993, and, in that capacity, was the first female (full) president of a major university in the United States.She retired in June 1993, but remains Harry Pratt Judson Distinguished Service Professor Emerita and continues to offer advanced undergraduate and graduate courses in history. Her husband Charles Gray died in April 2011.She moved to Chicago when her husband obtained a position at the University of Chicago and she herself obtained a position there, becoming a tenured faculty member in 1964.


Published Works Expand for more information


Titles At Your Library

Searching for Utopia: Universities and Their Histories
ISBN: 0520270657

University of California Press. 2011

In Searching for Utopia, Hanna Holborn Gray reflects on the nature of the university from the perspective of today’s research institutions. In particular, she examines the ideas of former University of California president Clark Kerr as expressed in The Uses of the University, written during the tumultuous 1960s. She contrasts Kerr’s vision of the research-driven “multiveristy” with the traditional liberal educational philosophy espoused by Kerr’s contemporary, former University of Chicago president Robert Maynard Hutchins. Gray’s insightful analysis shows that both Kerr, widely considered a realist, and Hutchins, seen as an oppositional idealist, were utopians. She then surveys the liberal arts tradition and the current state of liberal learning in the undergraduate curriculum within research universities. As Gray reflects on major trends and debates since the 1960s, she illuminates the continuum of utopian thinking about higher education over time, revealing how it applies even in today’s climate of challenge.


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