Howard Thurman Center Space Program Committee

From Dr. Jean Morrison, University Provost and Chief Academic Officer

This past spring, the Howard Thurman Center Vision Committee issued a final report, which laid out a series of recommendations for leveraging and building upon the Center’s mission as we work to nurture a diverse and inclusive University community. Under its expanded mission, the Howard Thurman Center for Common Ground “will be an interdisciplinary, interracial, interreligious, intersectional, and interpersonal hub where students can relate what they learn in the classroom to a broader quest for understanding, social progress, and peace.”

In keeping with this updated mission, the Committee has recommended moving the Thurman Center from its current limited space in the George Sherman Union to a larger, state-of-the-art facility that can become a visible symbol for Boston University and where students and members of our community can participate in casual and more structured conversations and meetings. The new center would offer space for expanded programming activity and staffing. It would also serve as an incubator for launching new initiatives, as well as for convening and co-hosting special events across the University.

To this end, I have appointed a Space Program Committee to develop a detailed plan for the new center – an inventory of the quantity, type, and size of each space that is needed in the facility. I am pleased to announce that Amy Barrett, Assistant Provost for Academic Space Planning, and Pedro Falci, Assistant Director of the Howard Thurman Center for Common Ground, have agreed to co-chair this critical effort.

The Howard Thurman Space Program Committee will be tasked with drafting a set of recommendations that ensures the new design is consistent with the concept articulated by the Howard Thuman Center Vision Committee.

This is an immensely exciting project – one that will serve our students, faculty, and staff for many years to come and greatly bolster our efforts to promote diversity and inclusion at every level of our community. The ideas and input of the Space Program Committee will be critical as we commence both the design and fundraising phases of this effort.

It is my hope that the Space Program Committee can complete its work by the end of the fall semester so that we may consider potential locations and engage in a design process during the spring semester. I want to thank the members of the Howard Thurman Center Space Program Committee, in advance, for their participation and leadership in this planning process. I am confident their input will help us to deliver a successful project.

Howard Thurman Center Space Program Committee Members


Amy Barrett, Assistant Provost for Academic Space Planning
Pedro Falci, Assistant Director, Howard Thurman Center for Common Ground


Marié Abe, Assistant Professor, School of Music, College of Fine Arts

Lynne Cooney, Artistic Director, Boston University Art Gallery

Ty Furman, Managing Director, BU Arts Initiative

Brenda Hernandez, Associate Director for Diversity & Inclusion, School of Law

Bob Hill, Dean, Marsh Chapel

Nazli Kibria, Professor and Chair, Department of Sociology, College of Arts & Sciences

Pamela Lightsey, Associate Dean for Community Life and Lifelong Learning and Clinical Assistant Professor of Contextual Theology and Practice, School of Theology

Steve Singer, Associate Dean of Students and Shared Business Services

Howard Thurman Center Space Program Committee – 9.19.16