Barry F. Sullivan, alumnus and trustee emeritus, 1930-2016

Trustee Emeritus Barry F. Sullivan, MBA’57, a banking chief and former chair of the University of Chicago Board of Trustees, died Aug. 11 at the age of 85.

Sullivan, who was elected to the Board of Trustees in 1980, served as chair of the board from 1988 to 1992. In his professional life he was a prominent banking executive and civic leader. From 1957 to 1979, he worked at Chase Manhattan Bank, rising to the level of executive vice president. From 1980 to 1991, he served as chairman and CEO of First Chicago Corporation. He then served as the vice chairman of Sithe Energies, Inc.; director of Liati Group, LLC; and vice chairman and COO of KRoad Power. He also was a director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

In 1992, Sullivan joined the public sector as deputy mayor for finance and economic development of New York City and later served as the COO of New York City’s board of education. He was president of the Greater New York Chamber of Commerce. He also served as a trustee of Columbia University, Georgetown University and the Art Institute of Chicago.

Sullivan became a life trustee at UChicago in 1996 and a trustee emeritus in 2007. He served as vice chair of the board from 1985 to 1987 before being named chair of the board. In 1990 he received the University’s Distinguished Alumnus Award. In 2004, he was inducted into the Founder's Circle of the Harper Society and received an honorary doctor of laws degree. He was a former member of the Council on Chicago Booth and a former trustee of the University of Chicago Medical Center.

Sullivan grew up in the Bronx in New York City and played basketball at Georgetown University. After service in Korea in the U.S. Army from 1952 to 1954, he earned a BA from Columbia University in 1955 and an MBA from what is now the Booth School of Business in 1957.

Sullivan is survived by his five children: Barry Jr., MBA’86; Gerald, MBA’86; Mariellen, Scott and John, as well as 17 grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his spouse Audrey, who had served as a member of the Women’s Board.

In keeping with tradition, a memorial resolution in Sullivan's honor will be presented at the Board of Trustees meeting in November.