Former Trustee Neil Chayet, A60, Dies

An expert on the law, Chayet devoted five decades of service to the university

Former Tufts University trustee and advisor Neil Chayet, A60, passed away on Aug. 11, following a battle with cancer. He was 78.

Chayet majored in government at Tufts. He was a member of the Tufts Board of Trustees from 1971 to 1981, serving on the trustees’ University Advancement Committee and Executive Committee. He was also a member of the Tisch College Board of Advisors and the Cummings School Board of Overseers. He had been a faculty member at Cummings School, the School of Medicine and the School of Dental Medicine.

Neil ChayetNeil Chayet
In addition to Tufts, Chayet graduated from Harvard Law School, and went on to write and broadcast the CBS radio program Looking at the Law for 42 years, heard in the Boston area on WBZ radio. He was also a faculty member at the Harvard Medical School Department of Psychiatry and enjoyed a long legal career focusing on medical issues.

“Neil was a natural-born teacher and performer; he loved any classroom, any teaching venue,” said Sol Gittleman, former Tufts provost. “He always used his expertise to teach about the law.”

Most recently, Chayet launched Chayet Communications Group, and focused through consulting and public speaking on teaching others to resist and avoid conflict in daily life. He developed a 13-week curriculum for the undergraduate course Conflict! New Ways of Thinking About Life’s Challenges, which he taught at Tufts’ Experimental College last spring. “His Experimental College class on ethics and the law was a favorite time for him,” Gittleman said. “Neil had a warm place for Tufts in his heart.”

Chayet also served on the boards of the Massport Security Advisory Council, the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Science and the Philips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum, among others.

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