Instituted in 1963 as Special Collections and renamed in 2003 to honor its founder, the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center is the repository for the papers of individuals in the fields of literature, criticism, journalism, drama, music, film, civil rights, diplomacy, and national affairs. Although contemporary public figures is the specialty of the Center, there are substantial holdings of earlier historical documents and over 140,000 rare books.
I HAVE A DREAM! WHAT IT MEANS TO THE BOSTON UNIVERSITY COMMUNITY TODAY
Walter Fluker, Martin Luther King, Jr. professor of ethical leadership at the School of Theology, shares what Martin Luther King, Jr.’s speech, “I Have a Dream,” means to him today.
Hardin Coleman, dean of the School of Education, shares what Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech means to him.
Raul Fernandez, associate director of the Student Activities Office, shares what Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech means to him.
Katherine Kennedy, director of the Howard Thurman Center, shares what Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech means to her.
Ruha Benjamin, assistant professor of sociology and African American studies, shares what Martin Luther King, Jr.’s speech, “I Have a Dream,” means to her today.
Dean of Students Kenneth Elmore shares what Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech means to him.
Dexter McCoy (COM’14) shares what Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech means to him.
Robert Allan Hill, dean of marsh chapel, shares what Martin Luther King, Jr.’s speech, “I Have a Dream,” means to him today.
Vita Paladino, director of the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center, shares what Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech means to her.
The Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr. came to Boston University in 1951, searching for a multicultural community and a setting for his study of ethics and philosophy. He became “Dr. King” by earning a Ph.D. in systematic theology here in 1955.
During these years, Howard Thurman was named dean of the University’s Marsh Chapel. King not only attended sermons there but also turned to Thurman as his mentor and spiritual advisor. Among the lessons that inspired him most were Thurman’s accounts of a visit to Mohandas Gandhi in India years earlier. It was Thurman who educated King in the mahatma’s ideas of nonviolent protest. As the bridge between Gandhi and King, BU’s progressive dean helped sow the seeds of change in the U.S. and beyond.
Boston University preserves the legacy of our greatest alumnus in several ways. Our library houses thousands of King’s personal papers and correspondence. On Marsh Plaza in front of the chapel, you can see an inspiring sculptural tribute to his famous words, Free At Last. And everywhere on our campus, you can hear what we still consider to be the strongest statement of King’s life’s work: the enormous variety of voices and viewpoints that ring out on our campus.
Some thoughts, some memories, some reflections about Martin Luther King & the March on Washington by The Dev. Dr. Gil Caldwell
I was a third year student of the School of Theology, when in the spring of 1958 I read that Martin Luther King was to be in Boston for a speaking engagement. I was at the time an officer in the student government association at BU Sth that I believe was named, the Mt. Vernon Student Association, named for the location of the school when it was on Beacon Hill. I spoke to some of my colleagues in the Association about Dr. King coming to Boston and suggested that we invite him to the school. They said yes, and I was asked to make an attempt to reach him.
I found out the name of the Hotel where Martin Luther King was staying and I called the Hotel asking for Dr. King’s room. Much to my surprise, the Hotel operator put me through to his room and he answered the phone! I asked him about visiting the school and he said yes. He toured the school, and then went downstairs to the Refectory where a picture was taken of him seated with some of the students. I remember being seated on his left, and I believe it was the late Angelo Mongiore who had a picture taken of us, that has been published in Focus magazine.
Read more here.
How a Man Became an Icon
Martin Luther King, Jr., collection spotlights how BU shaped its most famous alum
In the video below, Vita Paladino, director of the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center, guides viewers through BU’s Martin Luther King, Jr., collection. Martin Luther King, Jr. (GRS’55, Hon.’59) (below) announcing in 1964 that he’s giving his papers to BU. Photo by BU Photography
Watch the video below, and read more in the BU Today
Oral History Interview with Rev. James Lawson
Reverend James Lawson (STH’60) discusses his journey from a small town in Ohio to being recognized as one of the leading advocates and organizers of nonviolent resistance during the American civil rights movement. The conversation is led by questions from School of Theology faculty Dr. Phillis Sheppard, Dr. Walter Fluker and Dean Mary Elizabeth Moore.
Annual Lowell Lecture by Rev. James Lawson
In a candid lecture piecing together instructive narratives from his lifetime of nonviolent resistance activism, Reverend James Lawson (STH’60) challenges society’s pre-occupation with consumerism and compliance to an economic ethos that privileges a few at the expense of many and calls for an organized resistance that would surpass all previous justice-seeking movements.
Hosted by School of Theology on October 26, 2011.
Boston University Alumni Howard Thurman and Martin Luther King Jr.
A retrospective on the relationship between Martin Luther King and Howard Thurman, former Boston University Dean, for BU’s “Choose to be Great” capital campaign. Published on May 23, 2013