Heartbreaking News, Dr. Allen Counter



Dear Harvard College Community,

It is with deep sadness that I share with you that Dr. Allen Counter passed away peacefully this morning after a brief illness.

For over 45 years, Dr. Counter faithfully served Harvard University as a neuroscience professor and as the Director of the Harvard Foundation for Intercultural and Race Relations. In 1981, he worked closely with then President Derek Bok and the Reverend Peter Gomes to create the Harvard Foundation with a vision to “improve relations among racial and ethnic groups within the University and to enhance the quality of common life.” Dr. Counter devoted his life to advancing this vision, and many of us at Harvard College, including myself, felt personally Allen’s uncommon dignity and gentleness. In his time at Harvard, Allen has been a thoughtful teacher, leader, and mentor to many in our community. In a weary world, Allen's example lives in our hearts and minds. We are grateful for his friendship, and for the legacy that he has left for our College.

A memorial service to celebrate Dr. Counter's life and lasting contributions to Harvard will be planned in the fall. We will communicate these plans in the coming months. We will also respect his family’s wishes with regards to what information they would like to communicate about funeral services. Any additional information will be shared with you as it becomes available.


Dean Khurana
Danoff Dean of Harvard College