Barry Bluestone

Profile Updated: October 26, 2020
Barry Bluestone
Barry Bluestone


Barry Bluestone


Barry Bluestone


Yes! Attending Reunion
Residing In: Cambridge, MA USA
Spouse/Partner: Mary Ellen Colten (Deceased)
Occupation: Founding Dean, School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs
Children: Joshua Colten Bluestone - Born 1991 - Personal Trainer - Boston, Massachusetts
Elementary School:

Bagley; McCullough


After Mumford, I attended the University of Michigan where I completed my undergraduate degree and Ph.D. in Economics. There I was active in student government and Students for a Democratic Society. In 1971, I moved to Boston, Massachusetts to assume a teaching/research position at Boston College. Expecting to spend just two years in Boston before returning to the midwest, I ended up spending 16 years at BC and then 11 years at the University of Massachusetts Boston where I directed the Ph.D. program in Public Policy (and, incidentally met my future wife who had graduated from Mumford in 1966! I ended up marrying my "high school sweetheart" ... who I didn't meet for the very first time until 1986.) In 1999, I moved to Northeastern University in Boston where I have worked ever since. I began the Center for Urban and Regional Policy (which in 2008 was renamed the Kitty an Michael Dukakis Center) and then helped build Northeastern's new School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs and "retired" as dean of that school in June 2012. In 1995 I spent time in Washington, D.C. as Special Policy Advisor to House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt. Today I work on issues of urban and regional policy focusing on affordable housing, transportation, economic development, and education. Now half-time, I am learning how to slow down and smell the roses.

My wife and I (Mary Ellen Colten) have lived in Cambridge, Massachusetts since 1987 when we were married. Our son, Josh, went to school in Cambridge and sadly turned down Michigan to attend Northwestern ... at least we got him to the Midwest.) We have also been lucky to have a home on Cape Cod in Truro, Massachusetts where we hope to spend a lot more time once we retire. I've taken up golf again ... after not playing since high school and college ... and M.E. is a terrific sailor, having taught sailing at camp back in Michigan in the 1960s. I still get a lot of miles in each summer on my road bike ... although my "triathlon" team (the "Four Forties") which consisted of four guys (me on bike, two friends in a canoe, and a runner) stopped competing in the Josh Billings RunAground in Western Mass after twenty years when we all turned sixty.

Despite the 40 years I have now spent in Boston, Detroit still is "home" and while I don't get to the city as often as I used to, every trip there is still a great pleasure. In my work, I have the opportunity to give speeches all across the country, often with an urban theme. I always begin by telling stories of Detroit and how it was the richest, most exciting, and friendliest city in the nation back when we were at Mumford.

School Story:

In my junior year, Coach Jim Kelly invited me to try out for the Varsity Football team. At 5'7" and 140 lbs ... and not particularly speedy ... I was hardly star material. Coach Kelly kept urging me on and I only got in one game for two plays that year and didn't play football in my senior year. But that football experience gave me a sense of self-confidence that I had lacked before, and it has served me well ever since.

If memory serves, the Mustang football team had a front line mostly comprised of white kids and a backfield anchored by Tommy Binion and David Montgomery. The year was 1961, the first year of the freedom rides in the South. This was before the March on Washington, before the civil rights laws of the 1960s. Where else in America would you find a high school where the quarterback was African-American and the third string pulling guard was a small, slow white kid next to a massive right tackle (Steve Frank), also white. I don't think anyone of us could have gone to a better school anywhere in the country or grown up in an environment so wonderfully well ahead of its time.

Hobbies, Goals, Ambitions:

Cycling, golf, sailing

Goals! Someday ... but not yet ... I'd like to retire!

Please be aware that by registering on this web site you are agreeing to let us put your information into our Reunion souvenir book.
If you have a question about this, please contact Joanie at:

Yes, I agree.

Barry's Latest Interactions

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Barry Bluestone posted a message. New comment added.
Sep 27, 2021 at 10:11 AM

Posted on: Sep 25, 2021 at 4:51 PM

Dear Joanie, Happy Birthday and so glad you are doing well. Lovely new puppy.
Keep in touch. Barry

Sep 18, 2021 at 4:13 PM

Happy birthday Marty. So good to be catching up regularly with you.

Barry Bluestone added a comment on Profile.
Aug 08, 2021 at 9:56 AM
Barry Bluestone added a comment on Profile. New comment added.
Jun 12, 2021 at 12:34 PM

Posted on: Jun 12, 2021 at 12:34 PM

Apr 26, 2021 at 4:32 PM
Mar 03, 2021 at 10:18 AM

Happy Birthday, Tom. If we all get vaccinated this spring and you are in the States this summer, love to find a time to get together ... and possibly do some cycling together.

Barry Bluestone has a birthday today.
Dec 27, 2020 at 4:33 AM
Barry Bluestone has a birthday today.
Dec 27, 2019 at 4:36 AM
May 23, 2019 at 3:00 PM

Very sad to hear of Judy Klein's passing. She was a wonderful joyous friend both at Mumford and the University of Michigan. My condolences to her many friends and family.

Barry Bluestone has a birthday today.
Dec 27, 2018 at 4:33 AM
Barry Bluestone has a birthday today.
Dec 27, 2017 at 4:33 AM
Dec 29, 2016 at 3:10 PM

Thanks to all of my Mumford classmates who sent me birthday wishes. Now let's hope for a better 2017!

Barry Bluestone has a birthday today.
Dec 27, 2016 at 4:33 AM
Jul 05, 2016 at 10:29 AM

Dear Tommy,

Happy Birthday, my friend. Forgot to email you last October when my wife and I took a trip to Northern Michigan and first stopped by the camp she went to as a kid (Camp Arbutus) and learned that Arbutus is now owned by Hayo-Went-Ha. So the current director opened up our old camp to us and we had a trip down memory lane. As beautiful as ever.

Hope all is well with you.

If you are in Nairobi now, check out Sanergy. Our friend Joel's son, David Auerbach set this up some years ago to provide environmentally clean toilets in the villages and it has been quite successful.

Stay in touch! Barry

Barry Bluestone has a birthday today. New comment added.
Dec 27, 2015 at 11:25 AM

Posted on: Dec 27, 2015 at 4:33 AM

Jul 06, 2015 at 6:34 AM

Happy Birthday, my friend. Are you back in Kenya? Do you know about Sanergy and our young friend David Auerbach?

Barry Bluestone has a birthday today.
Dec 27, 2014 at 4:33 AM
Barry Bluestone posted a message. New comment added.
Dec 27, 2015 at 4:29 PM

Posted on: Mar 15, 2014 at 9:17 AM

Wishing you a Happy, Happy Birthday, my friend ... from freezing-ass cold Boston!

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Posted: Dec 17, 2013 at 1:22 AM
Posted: Dec 17, 2013 at 1:22 AM