At its June meeting, the Catholic Memorial School Board of Directors unanimously elected Mrs. Barbara Finigan Fitzgerald P’16 as its next board chair. She will begin a three-year term on July 1.
Barbara first joined the CM community as a parent when her son, Tim ’16, enrolled in the fall of 2013. During her time as a parent, Barbara and her husband, Paul, were impressed with CM’s close-knit community, diversity, and the individual attention each boy receives. Since that time, she has witnessed the innovation, creativity, and forward-thinking initiatives that have advanced CM’s academic program. She appreciates the work the current Board of Directors and CM Administration have done to enhance the overall educational program and the campus over the last five years.
Upon her election, Barbara said, “I look forward to continuing the strategic vision for CM that the Board and Administration are following as we help the CM community pursue excellence in academics, student development programs, and engagement with alumni and parents.”
Since she and her family joined the CM community, she has been a tireless advocate for CM. Barbara and her husband were instrumental in the renovation of the student commons, which was named in honor of Fr. Daniel Kennedy ’92, a close friend of the Fitzgerald family.
Barbara joined the board in 2016. Most recently, she served as the chair of the board’s advancement committee working closely with Mr. Jack Moynihan ‘81 P ’18, Vice President of Institutional Advancement. With their efforts, CM has seen consistent growth in philanthropic support as well as increased engagement with current parents and alumni.
Professionally, Barbara has her own consulting practice, offering her expertise as a strategic advisor and mentor to non-profits and businesses. Previously, she was Executive Vice President/Chief Legal Officer at Hasbro, Inc. She began her legal career as an associate at the law firm of Brown Rudnick Freed Gesmer.
“Barbara is a strong leader, intelligent, personable, strategic, and an excellent communicator. She has high energy and appreciates the unique and innovative aspects of a Catholic Memorial education. Her experience as a corporate executive, lawyer, and recent CM parent will provide leadership, great insights, and unique perspective to the board,” said Mr. Michael Costello ‘67, Barbara’s predecessor as board chair.
Barbara is beginning her term during an exciting time at CM. On June 5th, CM broke ground on its Center for Integrated and Applied Learning (CIAL). The $9.7 million project is the largest capital project undertaken in the school’s history. She will oversee the board during the final phase of fundraising and the construction of the CIAL. The CIAL is the culmination of a five-year strategic overhaul of teaching and learning at CM which has transformed CM’s academic program into one of the premiere programs in the Greater Boston area.
“Barbara Fitzgerald is an extremely talented and accomplished executive. She has a great skill set, passion for education, and a commitment to Catholic Memorial. Her experience as an executive at Hasbro provides our school with a partner that embraces innovative thinking,” said Dr. Peter Folan, CM’s President.
Barbara is a strong proponent of Catholic education. She is a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross where she majored in economics and political science. In addition, she is a graduate of Marquette University’s law school where she served as editor-in-chief of the Marquette Law Review. Her son will enter his senior year at the College of the Holy Cross in the fall and her daughter, Erin, is currently studying at Boston College.
When she assumes her position in July, Barbara will become the first female board chair in the school’s history.