Tulane Alumni Association




Distinguished Alumnus/a Award 2004


Darryl Berger

Attending the Tulane School of Law was a true homecoming for Darryl Berger (L'72). Growing up just a few blocks from the university, Mr. Berger spent his childhood playing on campus, swimming in the University Center's indoor pool (now the bookstore), and on a few mischievous occasions, sneaking in to catch a free glimpse of the football games at Tulane Stadium.

As an undergraduate, Mr. Berger attended Vanderbilt but decided to return home for his law degree. During his three years studying law at Tulane, Mr. Berger's enthusiasm for his hometown university continued to grow. He attributes his business successes to the critical thinking and problem-solving skills he developed as a student at Tulane Law School. Although Mr. Berger has never used his degree to practice law, the successful real estate developer says it has been invaluable at both the negotiating table and in social situations.

"The confidence and ethos one acquires in law school give one an added personal dimension and a real sense of self-confidence," he said. "To me, that aspect of my education is even more important than the practical business knowledge I received."

Mr. Berger is the owner of Darryl Berger Companies, Inc., a real estate investment firm that he founded in 1972, during his third year of law school. While finishing his last year of law school, the 24-year-old and a partner purchased a 1.100-unit apartment on Canal Street. He and his partner worked 12 hours a day on the project, attending to every detail. 

Since that time, Mr. Berger has been at the forefront of real estate transactions of all types. His company is best known for its development of the Jackson Brewery, a 22-acre riverfront property that became the anchor for a movement to reunify the French Quarter with the riverfront. Today, Mr. Berger's company focuses primarily on commercial development projects, including retail and hotel development. Recent New Orleans projects have included Canal Place and the newly opened Loews Hotel.

But Mr. Berger still has very close ties to Tulane University. He has served as the chair of the President's Council and is a former member of the University College Dean's Advisory Council, the Associate's Club, the Law School Dean's Advisory Council, and the Board's Technology and Communications Committee. He is also a frequent speaker at the Tulane School of Law, sharing his business experience with the school's future graduates.

For Mr. Berger, Tulane is a place where he developed childhood memories, built the foundations of his career, and developed friendships that have lasted a lifetime. But one of these memories stands out among the greatest: In his last year at law school, he and three friends formed the "Hot Rod Lincoln Band." To this day, more than 30 years later, the band still gets together and plays.

Alumni Relations, Tulane University, 6319 Willow Street, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5901