The Howard Thurman Center

  • Howard Thurman, former Dean of Marsh Chapel, was a mentor to BU alumnus Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • The Howard Thurman Center (HTC) promotes cultural awareness through engaging discussions and seminars and is a place where expression in all its forms – cultural, ethnic, religious, sexual orientation, and more – is embraced
  • To further its mission, the center has opened a vibrant new location in 2020 at 808 Commonwealth Avenue, which occupies about 19,000 square feet, and includes a lounge, open kitchen, small library, and classrooms
  • The HTC hosts engaging events and community building programs, like the ever popular Coffee and Conversation, where you can chat with fellow students and BU staff
  • Programs range from free Rosetta Stone language software, cultural councils, art exhibits, to book clubs and LGBTQ services


The HTC stands for the Howard Thurman Center here on campus, and it's located in our George Sherman Union.

Howard Thurman was one of the former deans of Marsh Chapel, and this center is actually dedicated to him, and it's all about common ground.

The idea of common ground is a part of Howard Thurman's teaching. While I may be from a very different place form you, and grew up very differently, there's probably something within us that makes us the same, and that's what we can connect on. Howard Thurman really helped BU work and focus more on building rights for people around the city, and students that were here.

So his philosophy was very well known. He was also a mentor to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., when he came to get his graduate degree at our school of theology. So he really had an instrumental effect on some of Dr. King's thoughts and teachings, and really helped him to hone his skills while he was here at the University.

There is a plethora of events that happen in the Howard Thurman center, and surrounding the center as well. Several different cultural groups have their weekly meetings in here. There's also an event called Tea Time, that happens every Thursday in the Howard Thurman center, where people just come together and drink tea.

Every week, with coffee and convo, which is facilitated by our Dean of students, students have the opportunity to come in and talk, and discuss with him different events. So it might be recent events that are going on, or it could be something as cools as an album discussion and listening party, which I've found to be really interesting.

The Howard Thurman center is definitely an asset on this campus. And I think it's important, because it gives people a place where they can come and feel comfortable, a place that they can feel at home, and where they can meet new friends.