Even as S. Allen Counter’s portrait was unveiled in the southeast corner of Annenberg Hall, artist Stephen Coit ’71 noted that there was a reason the picture was not in the center of the wall.
“Because there will be more,” said Coit. “This is just the beginning.”
Counter, the founding director of the Harvard Foundation for Intercultural and Race Relations who died last summer, helped bring to the walls of Harvard portraits of minorities who have made significant contributions to the University.
Subjects have included Archie Epps III, former dean of students; Rulan Pian, who taught music and East Asian languages and civilizations; and Caleb Cheeshahteaumuck, Class of 1665, the first Native American to graduate from Harvard.
As the 19th picture in the Portraiture Project, Counter’s reflects the legacy of a leader whose impact is felt deeply both at Harvard and abroad.
In an emotional afternoon ceremony, his oldest daughter, Philippa, remembered her father as a Renaissance man who grew up in the Jim Crow South and “worked hard to achieve what he did.”
“Harvard University is a better place, a more welcoming place for students of all backgrounds because of him,” she said.