Northeastern’s Center for Urban and Regional Policy will take the name of Mass­a­chu­setts’ longest-​​serving gov­ernor and his wife.

The research and policy “think and do tank” will be known as the Kitty and Michael Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy, or in short The Dukakis Center, according to Barry Blue­stone, dean of Northeastern’s School of Social Sci­ence, Urban Affairs and Public Policy, and director of the center.

It is so apt to name the center after Michael and Kitty because both of them have been so devoted throughout their lives to all the issues the center has been involved with,” he said. “I can’t think of any couple who I’d rather have the center asso­ci­ated with than the two of them.”

Ed Klotz­bier, Northeastern’s vice pres­i­dent for stu­dent affairs, began working for Dukakis as a North­eastern co-​​op stu­dent in 1987, and was with him through Dukakis’ pres­i­den­tial cam­paign of 1988. He said he was con­stantly impressed by Dukakis’ devo­tion to the nitty-​​gritty of urban policy.

He held what he called Regional Days around the state, bringing his admin­is­tra­tion to cities and towns to address impor­tant issues,” Klotz­bier said.

Young people, also, were at the top of the governor’s agenda.

He always loved being in a room with stu­dents and talking to them about the impor­tance of get­ting involved in gov­ern­ment and public ser­vice,” said Klotz­bier, who worked for the gov­ernor through 1990. “Northeastern’s stu­dents are so for­tu­nate to have such an engaged and expe­ri­enced public figure here.”

As the center enters its second decade, Blue­stone hopes to build on its work with local eco­nomic devel­op­ment and housing issues, branching out into areas such as devel­op­ment in Mass­a­chu­setts, as well as urban trans­porta­tion and envi­ron­mental sus­tain­ability, to name a few.

As The Dukakis Center, we’re hoping that with all the sup­port we’re get­ting we’ll be able to greatly expand our research base,” he said.

One project in the near term is a summit on immi­gra­tion planned for the university’s campus this spring. Working with the Office of New Bosto­nians, The Dukakis Center will build on con­nec­tions Kitty Dukakis made during her former post as director of the Refugee Policy Group and member of Refugees Inter­na­tional, Blue­stone said.

Kitty and Michael Dukakis will be hon­ored at a tribute dinner and the governor’s 75th birthday cel­e­bra­tion Nov. 15 at the Westin Copley Hotel.

Actress Olympia Dukakis, who starred in “Steel Mag­no­lias” and “Moon­struck,” among other films, will emcee the event for her cousin Michael. Come­dian Jimmy Tingle and harpist Deb­orah Henson-​​Conant will perform.

About 1,000 guests are expected to attend.

For many, this will be the first time they’re learning about what we’re doing here at North­eastern,” Blue­stone said, noting, “It’s a way for North­eastern to tell the world what we’re doing through the center, to serve greater Boston and the Com­mon­wealth in all these ways.”

Blue­stone founded the policy center in 1999, and built its rep­u­ta­tion by both researching and sug­gesting solu­tions to urban prob­lems. Among its most famous work, the center pre­pared annual Housing Report Cards out­lining the scope of afford­able housing, and devel­oped the state’s newest and far-​​reaching leg­is­la­tion, chap­ters 40R and 40S. Both encour­aged afford­able housing through incen­tive programs.