Chris Wilson takes a seat at a long wooden table in the University of Baltimore law library, 12 floors above Mt. Royal Avenue. He has the bright, airy space almost to himself in the mid-afternoon. Wearing a dark business suit, dress shirt, and wide-knotted, royal-purple tie, Wilson is all business as he lights up a MacBook Pro and bows his clean-shaven head to concentrate on the screen. His boyish face and alert brown eyes make him look younger than his 36 years, which is fitting because Wilson isn’t an attorney or law student, but an undergrad at UB’s Merrick School of Business, where he’ll complete his degree in business administration this December. Specializing in entrepreneurship, he has won business plan competitions, been named a Ratcliffe Scholar, and earned a place in the school’s rigorous Entrepreneurship Fellows Program.
In addition to his course load, Wilson is the founder, owner, and operator of the Barclay Investment Corporation—a small general contracting company—as well as the House of DaVinci, a startup furniture repair and upholstery business.
In short, he’s a busy man because he’s making up for lost time. In fact, Wilson isn’t supposed to be here at all. At 17, he killed a man. Tried as an adult for first-degree murder, he was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison. By all odds, Wilson should still be serving time at Patuxent Institution in Jessup, where he served more than a decade of the 16 years he spent behind bars.
By Andrew Hazlett – October 2015