Assistant Professor of Economics Theodore Papageorgiou has been named the inaugural holder of the Felter Family Assistant Professorship, a faculty appointment established in honor of retired Professor of Economics Richard W. Tresch.

The professorship is the result of a gift from John Kenneth Felter ’72, M.A. ’72, in recognition of the role Tresch played in his life and the lives of thousands of other economics majors he taught during a 49-year career at Boston College.

Theodore Papageorgiou

Theodore Papageorgiou

 “I am humbled to join the growing group of endowed chairs at Boston College who, to me, represent the absolute highest level of scholarship and service to this community,” said Papageorgiou, whose scholarship focuses on labor economics, international trade, and macroeconomics. “This recognition means a great deal to me, especially since I’m the inaugural holder of this chair.”

Papageorgiou joined Boston College in 2019 after teaching at McGill University for four years. He earned a doctorate in economics at Yale University. Since joining BC, he has taught Macroeconomic Theory to undergraduates and Labor Economics to graduate students.

 “My current research focuses on both labor economics, as well as transportation economics,” said Papageorgiou. “My research in labor economics currently focuses on better understanding the process through which workers and employers meet each other and how this process changes over the business cycle. With respect to transportation economics, I study oceanic shipping and delve into the fundamental question of understanding the role of transportation markets in international trade.”

The professorship expands on Felter’s philanthropic support for the Economics Department and the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences. He has already established the Felter Family Endowed Faculty Fellowship and the Felter Family Economics Department Doctoral Fellowship.

To this day, Felter said, Tresch’s teaching, mentorship, and ongoing friendship continue to influence his life and work as an attorney and teacher. Retired from the Boston firm Ropes & Gray, Felter has taught at Harvard University and last fall offered the course Cross Currents: Thinking about Law and Economics (and Psychology) at BC.

“What I found so interesting about his Principles of Economics class was not only the substantive subject matter, but also Dick’s teaching style,” said Felter. “He was a master of the Socratic method. He challenged students to apply economic theory to real-world situations. After taking that class, I switched my major to economics. I was also fortunate to take Dick’s graduate Public Finance course and he agreed to supervise my Scholar of the College independent study. So, I took full advantage of  opportunities to learn from the master.”

Tresch, beloved by his students and the 1996 Massachusetts Professor of the Year, retired in 2018. A citation from Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker at the time acknowledged Tresch as a “preeminent teacher, stalwart administrator, contributor to the social science of economics, an esteemed author, and public-sector theorist.”

Boston College’s endowed assistant professorships support early-career faculty with additional funds for research and professional development.

The Felter professorship supports an assistant professor with demonstrated excellent teaching skills within the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences, with a preference for a faculty member in the Economics Department.

“We are grateful for Ken’s ongoing support of the Morrissey College as an alumnus, philanthropist, and teacher,” Morrissey College Dean Gregory Kalscheur, S.J., said. “The Felter Family Assistant Professorship is essential to fostering the kind of world-class teaching and research in which our faculty take great pride. It is fitting recognition for Theo Papageorgiou’s accomplished scholarship and our Economics Department.”

Ed Hayward | University Communications | March 2022
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