Another Light on the Hill Black Students at Tufts

Bernard Harleston

Dean Bernard Harleston was a passionate leader who cared deeply about his students, both at Tufts and other institutions. He came to work at Tufts for the first time in 1956, as an assistant professor of psychology. Then in 1968, he was offered provost position with a teaching opportunity at Lincoln University. His time at Lincoln was short, lasting only two years. He came back to Tufts as Dean of Faculty of Arts and Sciences. A decade later, Harleston stepped down as Dean to go on sabbatical. Shortly after sabbatical, Harleston left Tufts once and for all to accept the position as President of City College of New York (CUNY).

Bernard Harleston earned his B.S. degree in 1951 from Howard University, as a Phi Beta Kappa graduate and went on to earn his doctoral degree from the University of Rochester. During his time at Tufts, he was an associate member of the American Psychological Association, Society of Sigma Xi, and American Association for the Advancement of Science. He also served as chairman of the Tufts University faculty committee on Negro education, and was a director of a pre-college summer study program for disadvantaged youths. Some of his most notable work is the 15-week lecture series “Principles of Behavior,” which was presented on Boston’s educational channel, WGBH-TV. This series earned a special mention award in the Japan Prize Competition.

Harleston married his wife Marie, a graduate of Howard University and a psychiatric social worker and counselor. Together they had two sons.

In 2016, South Hall dormitory was renamed after Dean Bernard Harleston as Harleston Hall.


Biography written and researched by Alejandra Garcia.


Vertical File Collection. Vertical files, H. Harleston, Bernard W. (Dean) 1956 -- 1980. UA073.008.VF.00209. Tufts University. Digital Collections and Archives. Medford, MA.