The Howard Thurman Center

In 1953, theologian Howard Thurman became the first black dean at a predominantly white U.S. university: Dean of Boston University’s Marsh Chapel. Through his sermons and activities, Thurman led what he called “the Search for Common Ground,” an intercultural dialog that helps people discover what they share, rather than what draws them apart.

Common Ground is alive and well today at BU, a year-long program that starts with a community-building experience during freshman orientation. Throughout the year, it continues with receptions, seminars, discussions and presentations, involving students of all races, religions and ethnic groups.

The Common Ground program is one way The Howard Thurman Center encourages African-American, Hispanic/Latino-American, Asian-American and Native American students to develop a sense of community on campus.