Schuyler Chapin

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See also Wikipedia's article about "Schuyler Chapin".

Schuyler Chapin was an Emmy award-winning producer and was dean of the School of the Arts for eleven years. The New York Times referred to him as "Patriarch of the Arts".

Chapin's prominence in the worlds of art, culture, and academe may be surprising, given he did not attend college, nor even graduate from high school, having failed to complete a math requirement (one can only imagine how he would have felt about Frontiers of Science). His familial roots in New York, however, ran deep - he could trace his ancestry back to 17th century New Amsterdam and to Revolutionary War confidantes of George Washington, and he grew up in a world of servants and governoresses on the Upper East Side.

Despite his lack of academic success, he managed to find a place studying at the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Once there, however, he was summarily informed that he lacked talent. At his teacher's suggestion, he vowed to become an impresario instead. He later held prominent roles in the arts world, serving as assistant general manager of the Metropolitan Opera and as New York City Commissioner for Cultural Affairs under mayor Rudolph Giuliani. Decades after his attendance, his old high school recognized his achievements with a degree honoris causa.

Chapin took the SoA deanship after his rocky tenure at the Met. He said he told the University President, William McGill, that he had never gone to college, but McGill responded, jokingly, "Oh well, it’s the arts".

He received the Butler Medal in 2005 for overseeing the growth of SoA, including the doubling of its enrollment under his leadership.[1]

Chapin died in 2009, at the age of 86.[2]


Preceded by
Bernard Beckerman
Dean of the School of the Arts 
Succeeded by
Peter Smith