Featuring John W. Boyer, AM’69, PhD’75, Dean of the College and Martin A. Ryerson Distinguished Service Professor of History

Since the presidency of William Rainey Harper, the University of Chicago has cultivated a powerful and distinct identity marked by intellectual rigor, merit, and free debate. In this talk, based on his book published in autumn 2015, The University of Chicago: A History (University of Chicago Press), College Dean John W. Boyer, AM’69, PhD’75, shows that this identity is profoundly interwoven with the University’s history—a history that is unique in the annals of American higher education.

Dean Boyer’s book, The University of Chicago: A History (University of Chicago Press, 2015), highlighting the College and greater University through the ages, will be available for purchase at the event.

Contact harperlectures@uchicago.edu or 773.702.7788.

Event Details

2:00 p.m.  Registration and networking
2:30 p.m.  Presentation and discussion
3:30 p.m.  Reception

$10/recent graduate (College alumni of the past 10 years and graduate alumni of the past five years)
Free for UChicago graduates from the current academic year
Two complimentary registrations for members of the Chicago, Harper, Phoenix, and Medical and Biological Sciences Alumni Association philanthropic societies

Parking Information

Complimentary parking is available on-site.

Featured Faculty


In 2012, John W. Boyer was appointed to a fifth term as Dean of the College, a position he has held since 1992. During his tenure Boyer has strengthened the College curriculum and the admissions program, increasing the size of the College from 3,450 to more than 5,900 students over the last fifteen years. He established the Careers programs and the Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts, which brings young postdoctoral scholars to Chicago to experience Core teaching and to learn through mentorship from senior faculty.

Boyer was also instrumental in creating many new international programs for the College and in founding of the University of Chicago Center in Paris, which is managed by the College.

Boyer has served as an editor of the Journal of Modern History since 1980. In 1992 and 1993 he was Acting Dean of the Division of Social Sciences. He was also Chair of the Council on Advanced Studies in the Humanities and Social Sciences from 1986 to 2009.

A specialist in the history of the Habsburg Empire and of Central Europe in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Boyer has written three books on the history of Vienna. Boyer regularly teaches European Civilization in the College, as well as courses on religion and politics in modern European history. He has also written a major scholarly history of the University of Chicago, which was published recently by the University of Chicago Press. Boyer received his PhD from the University of Chicago in 1975 and joined the faculty in the same year.