Center History

Established in 1997 through the generosity of the Boyer family, The Ernest L. Boyer Center at Messiah University has sought to preserve and advance Boyer’s legacy and to make his work more accessible to a wide range of audiences.

After Boyer’s passing in 1995, the Boyer family worked with the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching to identify an institution that could preserve and make accessible Boyer’s personal papers, including his voluminous writings, speeches, and related materials. They decided to donate the papers to Messiah University—Boyer’s alma mater, and the institution on whose board he served for many years. 

This decision marked the creation of the Boyer Center in 1997. In 2004 the Center found a permanent physical home in Boyer Hall, an academic building named in honor of Dr. Boyer in recognition of his many contributions to the university. The Center’s home in Boyer Hall includes offices for the director, the administrative assistant, and the archives coordinator, as well as several displays of Boyer memorabilia and publications.

The Center has become the hub of a dynamic community that is committed to advancing educational excellence for the common good. Over the years the Center’s mission has grown to include a variety of programs and events. At the same time, the Center has retained its original vision of being a home for research and scholarly production. 

In 2018, the Center launched its first digital exhibit, Ernest L. Boyer and the Common Good. The exhibit features select materials from the Center's archival collection, highlighting the common good as a constant theme in Boyer’s life and scholarship. To date, the Center has made available over 20,000 speeches, manuscripts, photographs, and other materials. At the same time, the Center continues to host researchers from across the U.S. and around the world that seek to draw on Boyer’s vast corpus to advance the conversation on education in the present.