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Week of 17 January 2003· Vol. VI, No. 17

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Christopher Barreca elected chairman of Board of Trustees

By Brian Fitzgerald

“Flattered” to be unanimously elected chairman of the BU Board of Trustees on January 9, Connecticut attorney Christopher Barreca says that his goal is to focus on the University’s presidential search -- and to help continue the momentum that BU has developed over the past few decades, as it has become “one of the premier universities not only in our country, but in the world.”

Christopher Barreca Photo by Kalman Zabarsky


Christopher Barreca Photo by Kalman Zabarsky


Barreca (DGE’50, LAW’53) succeeds Richard DeWolfe (MET’71), who recently announced his intention to step down as chairman following the sale of his business, the DeWolfe Companies, Inc., the largest real estate company in New England.

“Chris Barreca is an extraordinarily generous and loyal trustee,” says DeWolfe. “He has dedicated himself to the advancement of Boston University from the first day following his graduation from BU, and his service has proved that.”

Barreca attended Boston University’s General College and earned his J.D. degree from the BU School of Law in 1953. He obtained his LL.M. degree from the Northwestern University School of Law in 1968. At present, he is senior counsel in the Stamford, Conn., law firm of Paul, Hastings, Janofsky, and Walker. Barreca first served on the BU Board of Trustees from 1970 to 1973, and has continuously been a trustee since 1977.

“This is a critical time for the University, and I think it’s important now, as we go forward, that we have a united front in searching for a new president,” says Barreca, a member of the presidential search committee. He anticipates BU attracting “some of the best and brightest” candidates to the position because of the University’s reputation.

Barreca, 74, credits BU Chancellor John Silber, who was president from 1971 to 1996, with “having the tenacity that was needed” to build the University’s standing in the world of higher education. “In some people’s eyes, he is a controversial figure,” he says, “but it’s only because he has always been a fighter. And in his position, sometimes you need to be.”

Barreca says that it’s essential that the University choose “an outstanding individual who can help bring BU to the next stage of its development,” alluding to the massive capital campaign the University is preparing to launch, planned improvements to the Charles River Campus, and its continued academic growth. These infrastructure upgrades include the construction of the Agganis Arena, a recreation and wellness facility, and more student residences at the John Hancock Student Village, as well as new bioscience and computer science facilities and a new law school building.

“The intellectual caliber has always been strong at BU, but the development of our physical plant hasn’t yet matched the level of our intellectual strength,” Barreca says. “We’re in a fantastic setting at the apex of the ‘golden triangle’ on the Charles River. We’ve got MIT and Harvard as the two legs, and Boston University as the apex across the river.” He says that it is important to build on BU’s recent fundraising success “and to keep our momentum going. We’ve still got some work to do with our physical plant.”

Barreca has had a long and distinguished career as an attorney, specializing in labor and employment law. He has been a lecturer at Northwestern University and an adjunct professor in the schools of law at both the University of Louisville and the University of Bridgeport. He was senior labor and employment law counsel for the General Electric Company at its headquarters in Fairfield, Conn., before joining Paul, Hastings in 1993.

He has served as chairman of a number of committees of the American Bar Association and the American Arbitration Association. He is the author of Labor Arbitrator Development (1983), Labor Arbitration: A Practical Guide for Advocates (1990), and Labor Arbitration: Case and Materials for Advocates (1997), as well as numerous articles.

Attending BU on the G.I. Bill after serving for a year and a half in the U.S. Army at the end of World War II, Barreca was president of LAW’s Student Bar Association and was named “Man of the Year” by the BU News in 1952, the year he edited the BU yearbook. He was president of the BU Alumni Association from 1977 to 1979 and received the University’s Alumni Award in 1984.

“I’m proud to have had such a long association with BU, which has been most of my adult life,” he says. “When I attended BU, it was during that postwar period when the University was in the forefront of being a truly equal-opportunity institution, in terms of gender, race, and religion. I think this is an important aspect of BU’s heritage.”

The Pittsfield, Mass., native met his wife, Alice (SAR’53), while they were students at BU, and both have been members of the Executive Board of the Boston University Alumni. Barreca has served as a selectman and on the Board of Education in Weston, Conn., where they have lived for many years.


17 January 2003
Boston University
Office of University Relations