The W.G. Pearson Center Vision

William Gaston Pearson empowered young black students with a thirst and demand for the rigorous and enriching education they deserved until the end of his career. Pearson spent his lifetime working to increase opportunities for those around him, and the building named for him has continued to house his value of education, fierce belief in all students, and hope of a better Durham ever since.

In 2017, in partnership with the Durham Public Schools, Durham County, and Self-Help Credit Union, Student U acquired The W.G. Pearson Center and is now the master tenant. Alone, Student U cannot adequately honor William Gaston Pearson and fulfill his vision for Durham. Those housed at The W.G. Pearson Center will advocate for equitable community improvements and continued community pride.

Over the past year, Student U has engaged with members of the Hayti community, Durham leaders, and long-time partners to dream fearlessly about what is possible at The W.G. Pearson Center. The results form the vision for the building’s future.

4 Vision Pillars for The W.G. Pearson Center

  1. The W.G. Pearson Center will remain a youth-centered space that houses activities and programs that enrich the lives and outcomes of young people.
  2. The W.G. Pearson Center will be accessible to the surrounding community of neighbors and organizations.
  3. The W.G. Pearson Center tenants will collaborate to have the greatest possible collective impact on Durham.
  4. The W.G. Pearson Center’s financial model will enable it to be sustainable in the long term.

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