Don Michael Randel
President, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
Randel is a music scholar of international reputation and president of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Until 2006 he was president of the University of Chicago.
Raised in Panama, where his father operated a small business, Randel attended Princeton University, where he received his bachelor’s, M.F.A., and Ph.D. degrees in music.
He joined the Cornell University faculty in the department of music in 1968. In his many years at Cornell, he served as music department chair, vice-provost, associate dean, and dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. In 1995 he was named provost of the university. He became president of the University of Chicago in July 2000.
His scholarly specialty is the music of the Middle Ages and Renaissance in Spain and France, but his interests incorporate music as diverse as Latin pop and jazz.
Under Randel’s editorship, the New Harvard Dictionary of Music was published in 1986, and he completed the companion Harvard Biographical Dictionary of Music in 1996. Randel also edited the Harvard Concise Dictionary of Music and Musicians, which was published in 1999.
Among the cornerstones of Randel's years at Chicago were the Chicago Initiative, an ambitious, two-billion-dollar fund-raising effort aimed at expanding the university and its activities dramatically; and a partnership with the Chicago Public Schools to provide scholarships to the university for local public-school students.
Photo credit: Peter Kiar/University of Chicago News Office
© 2006 Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.