Mission Statement

The mission of the Lonnie B. Harris Black Cultural Center is to complement the academic program of studies and enrich the quality of campus life for African and African-American students at Oregon State University. Integral to this mission are the following aims:

  • Retention of African, African-American, and all students of color
  • Provision of support services that empower and enable said students to matriculate successfully and in a timely manner
  • Provision of leadership development opportunities
  • Provision of a safe place for all students
  • Development and promotion of events/activities that promote an
    environment in which cultural diversity is valued, and the uniqueness
    of the individual is respected
  • Development and promotion of events/activities that educate all
    students, faculty members, and the greater Corvallis community, on the
    histories and issues affecting all peoples of African heritage.


The Lonnie B. Harris Black Cultural Center came about much the same way as many Cultural Centers around the country; through student protests, sacrifice, relentless determination, and struggle. Students rose above the challenges when they were put to the test. In 1968, the Black Student Union (BSU) membership was approximately 50 Black students. In March of 1969, Educational Opportunities Program (EOP) and Organizations of Minority and Special Services Programs recruited 26 students of African descent and 15 other students came on their own. During the same year the BSU declared their intention to leave OSU due to discriminatory acts. Students boycotted classes and sporting events. In the winter of 1969, 25 Black students picked up withdrawal slips. Between 1969 and 1972, the number of students recruited by EOP increased from 50 to approximately 125 students.

In 1970, the Office of Minority Affairs was created. Three years later, a cultural center opened on campus for students of color. The Native Americans, Hispanics, and Blacks collectively had a center to call their own. On April 26th, 1975, the BSU opened a cultural center to call their own, thanks to the associated students of OSU, the Alumni Center, and the community. After the official opening in 1975, the BSU Cultural Center's name was changed to the Lonnie B. Harris Black Cultural Center. Lonnie B. Harris was the first director of the EOP. He was also a member of the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.

The BCC provides the following resources for all its visitors:

  • Cable television with VCR
  • Stereo system
  • Computers
  • Full kitchen, living room, and conference rooms
  • A library of books on African-American topics
  • A wonderful place to relax and unwind