Arlen Specter Center

2020 Specter Center Overview

This infographic provides data reflecting the robust activities of the Arlen Specter Center. Our Research Fellows’ papers are being downloaded from the Jefferson Digital Commons at an increasing rate, and past RoundTables are still being viewed on YouTube and heard on SoundCloud.  

Our Mission

The mission of the Arlen Specter Center at Thomas Jefferson University is to facilitate and promote public service and civic education in a cross-disciplinary, nonpartisan setting. The work of the Center includes programming inspired by Senator Specter’s long-term interests and accomplishments. In collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh, the Center preserves, organizes and provides access to Senator Specter’s historic archive of papers, photographs and political documents for the benefit of researchers and scholars and the public.

The Specter Center hosts a variety of events including: Roxboro House Roundtables; the Knowledge Exchange; and special events.

Evan Laine, JD Evan Laine, JD - Director, Arlen Specter Center; Director, Law & Society Program; and Associate Professor of History.

Forthcoming Book

Arlen Specter: Scandals, Conspiracies, & Crisis in Focus

by Evan Laine 

Five-term Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter was consistently in the middle of major historical events and profoundly influenced their outcomes. Specter often documented these significant events by taking photos of himself embroiled within them. These images captured such stories as meetings with PLO leader Yasser Arafat, which may have preserved Mid-East peace, and encounters with Cuban Prime Minister Fidel Castro discussing the US embargo and the JFK assassination. This book, however, does not simply reveal the photos, but rather the rich narratives behind these frozen moments that document the historical tapestry of controversies, risks, mistakes, victories, and defeats of Specter’s long career. Whether Specter’s legacy merits praise or criticism, these photos illustrate the life of a man who made a difference.

Arlen Specter Center

Historic Roxboro House

The home of the Arlen Specter Center is in the historic Roxboro House at Jefferson, located in the East Falls section of Philadelphia. Built circa the 1800s, the house was considered a historic and important touchstone to both Philadelphia and America's origins by Senator Specter, making it the ideal location for the Center.