Campus & Community

Murray Center marks 25 years

2 min read

The Murray Research Center at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study will hold a day of activities in celebration of its 25th anniversary on Friday, Sept. 28, in Radcliffe Yard. Dedicated to the study of lives over time, the Murray Center promotes the use of social science data to explore human development and social change.

“The Murray Center’s anniversary events will feature state-of-the-art thinking about the study of lives from different disciplinary perspectives,” said Annemette Sorensen, director of the Murray Center. Activities include:

  • From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., a panel discussion, “Representing Lives Over Time,” will feature John Model, professor of education and human development at Brown University; Gish Jen, fiction writer and a Radcliffe fellow this year; Susan Ware, editor of “Notable American Women”; and Dan McAdams, a professor of psychology at Northwestern University. 
  • At 3 p.m., William McKinley Runyan, a professor in the School of Social Welfare and a research psychologist at the Institute of Personality and Social Research at the University of California, Berkeley, will give a lecture, “The Study of Lives at Harvard: Biographical Glimpses of Murray and Erikson Interacting with Skinner and the Experimentalists.” 
  • At 6 p.m., Jacquelynne Eccles, a professor of psychology at the University of Michigan, will speak on “Identity: A Lifelong Project.” 
  • The day will end with a gala celebration and buffet with friends of the Murray Center.Since its founding in 1976, the Murray Research Center has established a national archive of materials from more than 270 studies, which are available for new research; more than 70 of these studies are longitudinal. The archive is also an integral part of an active research center that conducts and supports research on human development, the life span, and issues that especially affect women.

    Henry Murray, for whom the center was named, was a professor of clinical psychology at Harvard who helped found the interdisciplinary Department of Social Relations, which eventually merged with the Department of Psychology. Murray once said, “[T]he study of lives is . . . the only possible way of obtaining the granite blocks of data on which to build a science of human nature.”

    The public is invited to all events. For more information, call the Murray Center at (617) 495-8140 or check its Web site,