LeRoy Breunig, 80, French Expert

LeRoy C. Breunig, an authority on modern French poetry and art criticism who served as interim president of Barnard from 1975 to 1976, died Jan. 27 in New York Hospital. He was 80 years old and lived in Manhattan.

Breunig, dean of the faculty at Barnard from 1970 to 1975 and chairman of the French department from 1953 to 1970, was professor emeritus of French.

He was interim president of Barnard following the resignation of Martha Peterson in 1975 until the appointment of Jacqueline Anderson Mattfield as president in 1976.

He then returned to teaching at Barnard and also taught graduate courses on contemporary French poetry at Columbia.

A noted scholar of Apollinaire, Breunig was the author of many articles, books and book reviews published both in this country and in France. His books include Apollinaire on Art: Essays and Reviews 1902-1918 (1972), and, most recently, The Cubist Poets in Paris (1995).

Breunig was born in Indianapolis, Ind. He earned his A.B. degree at DePauw University, and his master's degree and Ph.D. at Cornell.

He also studied at the University of Bordeaux in France.

He was an assistant professor of Romance languages at Harvard before joining Barnard's French department in 1953 as an associate professor.

He was named full professor in 1960.

For the year following his retirement in 1980, Breunig coordinated French language study offered by Barnard and Columbia College's Reid Hall program in Paris.

He is survived by his wife, Ersi Lukia Niskos Breunig, and by a granddaughter. Mrs. Bruenig was director of the Language Laboratory at Barnard from 1969 until she retired in 1987.

Columbia University Record -- February 9, 1996 -- Vol. 21, No. 16