The Bertha Crosley Ball Center for Compassion offers research-based educational and experiential programs to calm minds, open hearts, deepen relationships, and strengthen communities.  

The Bertha Crosley Ball Center for Compassion, the first of its kind in any regional comprehensive university in the United States, draws its mission from the diverse, vibrant, progressive, working-class community of Maine.  It offers programs and trainings that highlight the importance of compassion training as a personal practice and as a tool for undoing systemic oppression and racism.

The trainings offered are similar to those developed at the Stanford University Center for Compassion and Altruism Research (CCARE), Emory University, and the Center for Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin.  These protocols are grounded in current neuroscience research which shows that these practices, when done consistently, will generate long-lasting neural patterns that promote self-compassion and engagement.  

USM’s Center for Compassion is implementing an innovative cross-disciplinary approach: faculty are participating in personal compassion training so they can bring their knowledge and experience to the curriculum in every discipline, centering the University in compassion course by course, semester after semester.  The Center also hosts public talks and workshops by nationally-recognized speakers in the field of Compassion Studies and Social Justice. 

Mission Statement