The First Portrait of a Person of Color in Harvard’s Faculty Room

Peter J. Gomes was pastor of Memorial Church at Harvard University for more than 40 years before his death in 2011. Gomes, who also served as the Plummer Professor of Christian Morals at Harvard, was born in Boston and attended public schools in Plymouth. He was a 1965 graduate of Bates College and held a graduate degree from Harvard Divinity School. He was the author of many books and the recipient of 39 honorary degrees.

Harvard University recently honored Professor Gomes with the unveiling of a new portrait in the Faculty Room of University Hall. The portrait, painted by Chinese artist Yuqi Wang, shows Professor Gomes in full academic regalia. Among the nearly 40 notable figures from Harvard’s past whose portraits now hang in the Faculty Room, Gomes is the first person of color among the esteemed group.


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