President Cristle Collins Judd to Receive Distinguished Alumni Award from Rice University

Sarah Lawrence College President Cristle Collins Judd will receive one of five Distinguished Alumni Awards from her alma mater Rice University on May 11.

The Distinguished Alumni Award is presented by the Association of Rice Alumni (ARA) to graduates “who have advanced the interests and standards of excellence of Rice University through distinctive professional or volunteer careers.”

“I am deeply honored to receive this recognition from my alma mater,” Judd says of the award. “I count myself fortunate to have benefited from a terrific education at Rice, to have been the recipient of generous financial aid that made my education possible, and to have made friends and colleagues for life among my Rice classmates.”

A native Texan and a 1983 Rice graduate, Judd earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music from The Shepherd School of Music’s five-year honors program. She holds master’s and doctorate degrees in music from King’s College, University of London. A highly regarded scholar of music of the Renaissance, Judd has received numerous fellowships and awards and regularly speaks on her research on campuses and at conferences.

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. A respected pedagogue, she was the inaugural recipient of the Dean’s Award for Innovation in Teaching.

In 2006, Judd 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. Upon conclusion of her term, Bowdoin’s Board of Trustees voted to name her Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor Emerita.

Prior to taking office as Sarah Lawrence College’s 11th president in 2017, Judd served as senior program officer for Higher Education and Scholarship in the Humanities at The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. In this role, she regularly convened leaders from across higher education and was responsible for grants and initiatives supporting colleges and universities, the arts, civic engagement, and the public humanities.

Cristle Collins Judd is married to Robert Judd, a 1981 alumnus of Rice University and executive director of the American Musicological Society. They have three daughters: Sarah, Hannah, and Katie.

Judd and her fellow honorees will be recognized at Rice’s Laureates Awards Dinner on May 11.

About Sarah Lawrence College

Founded in 1926, Sarah Lawrence is a prestigious, coeducational liberal arts college that consistently ranks among the leading liberal arts colleges in the country. Sarah Lawrence is known for its pioneering approach to education, rich history of impassioned intellectual and civic engagement, and vibrant, successful alumni. In close proximity to the unparalleled offerings of New York City, the historic campus is home to an intellectually curious and diverse community.