Barry Bluestone

Profile Updated: October 10, 2023
Barry Bluestone
Barry Bluestone


Barry Bluestone


Barry Bluestone


Yes! Attending Reunion
Residing In: Boston, MA USA
Spouse/Partner: Mary Ellen Colten (Deceased)
Occupation: Founding Dean, School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs - Retired
Children: Joshua Colten Bluestone - Born 1991 - Clinical Social Worker - Brooklyn, New York
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. During my fifty years at Boston College, UMass Boston, and Northeastern University, I worked on issues of urban and regional policy focusing on affordable housing, transportation, economic development, and education. I retired from university teaching and research in 2018

My wife and I (Mary Ellen Colten) lived in Cambridge, Massachusetts from 1987 when we were married until her death in 2017. 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 I have been spending a lot more time since retirement. I've taken up golf again ... after not playing since high school and college. 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 50 plus 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 had 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! Enjoy retirement and travel as much as possible until I can't!

Finally retired officially at the end of 2018 ... but still seem to keep busy

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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May 28, 2023 at 5:27 PM

Happy Birthday Deirdre! Hope all is well in your world. Much love, Barry Bluestone

Barry Bluestone posted a message. New comment added.
Jan 13, 2023 at 7:32 PM

Posted on: Jan 13, 2023 at 11:40 AM

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DAN. Hope all is well!

Barry Bluestone has a birthday today.
Dec 27, 2022 at 4:33 AM
Barry Bluestone added a comment on Profile.
Aug 13, 2022 at 11:02 AM
Jun 22, 2022 at 8:45 PM
Mar 31, 2022 at 8:49 AM

Happy Birthday Janet. Love to catch up one of these days.

Dec 30, 2021 at 9:11 AM

Happy Upcoming Birthday!

Barry Bluestone has a birthday today.
Dec 27, 2021 at 4:33 AM
Barry Bluestone posted a message. New comment added.
Dec 20, 2021 at 5:13 PM

Posted on: Dec 09, 2021 at 12:26 PM

Happy Birthday!

Barry Bluestone posted a message. New comment added.
Dec 09, 2021 at 9:46 PM

Posted on: Dec 09, 2021 at 12:25 PM

Happy Birthday, Adria!

Nov 25, 2021 at 9:29 AM

Happy Birthday Nancy! Hope to see you the next time I can get to Detroit.

Nov 08, 2021 at 2:15 PM

Happy Birthday, Joann. Hope all is well in your world.

Oct 24, 2021 at 3:29 PM

Happy Birthday, Judy ... and my best to you and Jerry.

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

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