Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Howard Washington Thurman Memorial

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Institution Name: Morehouse College
Original/Historic Place Name: Howard Washington Thurman Memorial
Location on Campus: Martin Luther King Chapel Plaza
Date(s) of Construction:
1995completion in May Dwight, Ed
Designer: Ed Dwight (Kansas City, MO)
Type of Place: Landscape site
Style: (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, culture, education, history, landscape, religion
Narrative: see below
References: see below
1995-present (2006)outdoor space (and tour site)
1995-present (2006)memorial site (for Dr. Howard Thurman and his wife, Sue Bailey Thurman)

Dr. Howard Washington Thurman is considered a Twentieth Century holy man.
His influence is seen upon the College's emergence as a center of the Ghandi-inspired strategy of nonviolent resistance. Under his tutelage, Morehouse became an early laboratory for the study of nonviolence as a tool for confrontation and change, ultimately impacting Dr. Martin Luther King's leadership in the civil rights movement. Ebony and Life magazines identified Dr. Thurman as one of the 10 greatest preachers in America.

Thurman is also considered a forerunner in the religious movement of celebrating the unity of all people, embracing a religious spirituality that was intercultural, interracial, interdenominational, and international. His influence continues and has touched the lives of countless chaplains, deans, imams, ministers, priests, preachers, rabbis, and lay persons.

A 1923 graduate of Morehouse College, Thurman was a teacher and preacher to Morehouse and Spelman. He served as the first dean in Andrew Rankin Chapel at Howard University and Daniel Marsh Chapel at Boston University. Dr. Thurman was co-founder and pastor of the Church for the Fellowship of All People in San Francisco, which recently celebrated its 50th anniversary, and he was the author of 23 books, including Jesus and the Disinherited and The Inward Journey. He died in 1981.


Bacote, Clarence A. The Story of Atlanta University, A Century of Service, 1865-1965. Atlanta, GA: Atlanta University, 1969.

Campus Master Plan, Morehouse College, Atlanta, GA, 2002.

Carter, Edward R. The Black Side; A Partial History of the Business, Religious, and Educational Side of the Negro in Atlanta, Ga. Atlanta, GA, 1894.

Jones, Edward A. A Candle in the Dark, A History of Morehouse College. Valley Forge, PA: Judson Press, 1967.


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Last update: November 2006