History

The Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning was established in 1975 to enhance the quality of undergraduate education in Harvard College. Originally named the Harvard-Danforth Center (in recognition of the Danforth Foundation grant that funded the Center at the outset) it was renamed in 1991 to honor former Harvard President Derek Bok, an active supporter of the Center both during his presidency and today. Traditionally, retiring Harvard presidents have had buildings named in their honor; President Bok is the first to have his name given instead to an organization. Harvard's continuing support of the Center in the years following its founding reflect a belief that research, teaching, and learning are compatible at the very highest levels.

 

A 1978 article provides a glimpse into the early years of the Danforth Center. Read More

Harvard’s Teaching and Learning Center was one of the first in the nation.  This article examines the history of Teaching and Learning Centers in the U.S., including a spotlight on the Danforth Center. Read More

The Danforth Center/Bok Center has been offering seminars and workshop for teaching fellows for decades.  This 1980 article highlights a seminar that included instruction on teaching writing. Read More

As a farewell gesture to President Derek Bok, The Danforth Center of Teaching and Learning was renamed as the Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning in May, 1991.  Bok served as President of Harvard University from 1971 to 1991. Read More

This history of the Bok Center captures life at the Bok Center in 2001. Read More

In recent years, Harvard faculty are increasingly introducing active learning into their classrooms. Read More

Professor Robert Lue was named the inaugural Richard L. Menchel Faculty Director of the Bok Center in February 2011. Read More