Biography of President Cristle Collins Judd

The 11th president of Sarah Lawrence, Cristle Collins Judd, came to the College from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, where she served as a senior program officer for Higher Education and Scholarship in the Humanities. Responsible for grants and initiatives supporting colleges and universities, the arts, civic engagement, and the public humanities, she regularly convened leaders from across higher education.

A native Texan, Dr. Judd earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music performance and musicology from the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, followed by graduate work at King’s College, University of London, from which she holds master’s and PhD degrees in music theory. Judd’s first academic appointment was at the University of Melbourne (Australia), followed by the University of Exeter (England).

In 1993, Judd joined the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania, where she rose through the faculty ranks and was the first woman tenured in the music department. At Penn, she chaired a number of university-wide committees and spearheaded a variety of initiatives, including establishing the College House Music Program, a living-learning program that distributed music performance and instruction throughout the campus. A respected pedagogue, she was the inaugural recipient of the Dean’s Award for Innovation in Teaching.

In 2006, she was appointed dean for academic affairs and professor of music at Bowdoin College, where she served for nine years. The first woman to be appointed dean, her tenure was marked by enhanced support for the arts, improved academic facilities, a renewed focus on environmental and coastal studies, and a new program in digital and computational studies. She secured funding to support faculty development and, working with faculty, led efforts to develop and implement critical new programs and policies around diversity and inclusion, governance, faculty development, and work-life balance. Upon conclusion of her term, Bowdoin’s Board of Trustees voted to name her Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor Emerita.

A highly regarded scholar, Judd’s research on the music of the Renaissance and the history of music theory is widely published and she is a sought-after guest speaker. She has received both of the major scholarly awards in her discipline: the Emerging Scholar Award and the Wallace Berry Award from the Society for Music Theory. Her research has been supported by grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and a New Directions Fellowship from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. She has served on the boards of the Society for Music Theory and the American Musicological Society, as well as on the editorial boards of various journals.

Cristle Collins Judd is married to Robert Judd, who is the executive director of the American Musicological Society. They have three daughters: Sarah (20), Hannah (22), and Katie (28).