What was founded in 1986 as a cultural hub for Boston University students and a tribute to the legacy of Dr. Howard Thurman (Hon.’67)—philosopher, poet, renowned educator, and former dean of Marsh Chapel—the Howard Thurman Center for Common Ground took a big leap forward in 2020. Moving from its original home in the George Sherman Union, it settled into a new, more visible space at 808 Commonwealth Avenue.
With oversized windows facing out onto campus and five times as much room as the old location, the new Howard Thurman Center opened with great anticipation on January 21. It has a welcoming great lounge, 180-seat event space, terraced staircase, and upstairs there are rooms for classes, lectures, and socializing as well as a listening space for meditation and reflection.
Kenneth Elmore (Wheelock’87), associate provost and dean of students, predicted at the opening that students mourning the loss of the cozy basement space in the George Sherman Union will quickly find ways to bring that same feeling into the new center. “Intimacy does not depend on the design of a space,” Elmore told the crowd packed into the new center’s first floor, “but on those who use it. Intimacy and coziness are created by people.”