The Man Behind the Howard Thurman Center
Raul Fernandez loves bringing students together
At 10 a.m. on a weekday, Raul Fernandez sits at his desk checking the day’s schedule. He’s booked solid — meetings, activities, and special events fill every moment.
With calls pouring in and a list of people to talk to, Fernandez (COM’00) could be running a large corporation. But his job is far different: he is assistant director of the Howard Thurman Center, BU’s multicultural center, based on the common ground philosophy of Baptist minister and civil rights activist Thurman (Hon.’67), dean of Marsh Chapel from 1953 to 1965. The center, on the lower level of the GSU, hosts cultural programs and services designed to build community through shared experience.
After the New York native graduated from the College of Communication, he worked in media for IMB Lotus and other universities before coming back to BU in 2006.
Fernandez embodies the ideologies and hopes the center promotes through its over 50 cultural programs and student groups, helping run the center and getting the word out to the campus and the community. No two days are the same and there is never a dull moment.
“What I like to do is help folks pursue their passions,” Fernandez says, adding that he loves being involved with students and helping them connect with one another. He points to a student who wanted to start a Czech group. The response among students was enthusiastic, and with Fernandez’s help, the organization officially starts up this semester.
“Just being able to get people from where they are to where they want to be,” he says, “is a good part of the job.”
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