Empower - The Campaign for Northeastern University

No Limits



Strategy for Success

Over the past seven years, we have designed a strategy for success and pursued it with unwavering focus. The primary components of our approach have been:

  • Invest in the Northeastern advantage, our co-op model, and take it around the world
  • Recruit the most talented and accomplished students
  • Build our faculty at a time when other universities are retrenching
  • Make strategic investments in research where we have opportunities for leadership

A relentless focus on these goals has led to clear and quantifiable results. The pages that follow provide a snapshot of these results, along with selected members of the Northeastern community who exemplify our success.

These achievements are both remarkable and collective. We all share in the pride of what has been accomplished and—in true Northeastern fashion—we will build on our success to reach even higher.



Joseph E. Aoun

Our Mission

To educate students for a life of fulfillment and accomplishment

To create and translate knowledge to meet global and societal needs


Northeastern has built a diverse community of accomplished, entrepreneurial, and highly engaged students from around the world— the perfect match for an approach to learning that integrates classroom study with professional experience on seven continents.

the best way to learn

Real-World Advantage

co-op placements in 2012-2013
increase in global co-ops since 2006-2007


co-op employers in the U.S. and around the world

Sharlene Juste
“Northeastern's global study and co-op programs have really helped me explore my interests. My journey has been across four different continents, and at the end of that I know what I want to do with my career.”
—Sharlene Juste, '13, whose experiential-learning opportunities at Northeastern included co-ops in Ghana and Singapore and Dialogue of Civilizations programs in France and Brazil.
“I discovered what I love through international co-op. I really enjoy sharing knowledge with people and creating new knowledge.”
—Alexandra Liu, '13, whose global experiences included two co-ops in China and Dialogue of Civilizations programs in Spain, Switzerland, and the Balkans.

Lab Tested


increase since 2006 in number of undergraduate student research projects that received funding from Northeastern's Office of the Provost

We Mean Business

IDEA Venture Accelerator provides student and alumni entrepreneurs with guidance, gap funding, and links to investors.

number of active ventures in IDEA's 2012–2013 portfolio, up 67 percent from 2011–2012
“What we developed is an autonomous aircraft that is capable of tracking down a known source of a radio transmission. The intention of this project was to provide a fast solution to emergency response type situations. One of the places this type of technology could lead to is more of these type of drones working as a team to get a better sense of direction.”
—Chase Hathaway, '13, who was one of several electrical engineering students whose senior capstone project involved developing TRAQ, an autonomous quadcopter that uses a unique four-element antenna array to locate and navigate to the source of a radio signal. Along with Hathaway, the student team members were: Cameron Olean, '13; Ben Leathe, '13; Tim Hickson, '13; Dan Petrillo, '13; and Andrew Barada, '13.
TRAQ Quadcopter

International Stars


number of countries where Northeastern has placed students in experiential learning opportunities, 2006–2013


undergraduates had a global learning experience in 2012–2013


increase since 2006 in the number of countries where Northeastern offered experiential learning opportunities

“My project reclaims more than 50 acres of derelict industrial land and converts it back to its original form as salt marsh, allowing for the city to have this continuous coastal parkland.”
— Benjamin Greer, '14, architecture, who created a sustainable model for urban coastal development that mitigates the impact of sea-level rise.

Northeastern's Got Talent


National Merit and National Achievement Finalists in the entering fall 2013 class, up from three in the 2006 class

Strength in Our Numbers

Rise in undergraduate applications, fall 2007–fall 2013

Rise in undergraduate applications, fall 2007-fall 2013

Mean two-part SAT scores for entering freshmen

Mean two-part SAT scores for entering freshmen

In the Top 10

Percentage of entering freshman ranked in the top 10% of high school class


A campus That's All In


students participated in more than 320 campus organizations


community service hours performed by students since 2006


number of Living Learning Communities—themed on-campus residences—offered to freshmen. Themes range from science and sustainability to globalization and creative expression.

World Class

Comparison of fall 2013 incoming class with fall 2006 incoming class

increase in students of color
increase in enrollment from outside New England and Mid-Atlantic states
increase in international students

Resource Full

increase in Northeastern financial aid since 2006
in university grant aid—not loans—awarded to undergraduates

Annual investment in undergraduate financial aid since 2006


Top of Our Game

In Competition

  • Men's basketball won its first CAA regular season championship and earned a berth in the NIT—its third postseason appearance in five years.
  • Men's soccer won the CAA title for the first time and earned its second-ever trip to the NCAA tournament.
  • Women's ice hockey won a record 16th Beanpot championship and advanced to the Hockey East title game for the second time in three seasons.
  • Men's rowing was ranked fourth nationally, and Northeastern was one of just four schools to place three crews in Grand Finals at the Intercollegiate Rowing Association National Championships.

In the Classroom


number of varsity athletes who made the Dean's List with a GPA of at least 3.5 in 2012–2013


student athletes were named "Top Dogs," with GPAs of 3.8 or higher


teams recognized by the NCAA for high academic achievement

Results Oriented

of our graduates from 2006 through 2012 were employed full time or enrolled in graduate school within nine months of graduation
of 2012 graduates who are employed full time are doing work related to their major
of 2012 graduates received a job offer from a previous co-op employer
“Northeastern gave me the tools to be able to graduate with my master's degree in structural engineering in just one year.”
—Jennifer Mitchell, '11, who went on from Northeastern to earn her graduate degree in engineering from UC-Berkeley, is now working for the global engineering firm CDM Smith.


Over the past seven years, the university has appointed 387 tenured and tenure-track faculty members from around the world. Their expertise in established and emerging fields strategically aligns with Northeastern's research enterprise.

core of discovery

Knowledge Explosion


new tenured/tenure-track faculty hires since 2006, including 55 for 2013–2014

“There are still quite a few really big questions out there that we're trying to address. Dark matter and dark energy make up 95 percent of the universe and we don't know what they are yet.”
—Assistant Professor of Physics Toyoko Orimoto, a member of the team at CERN that identified the Higgs boson, is now focused on possibilities beyond the Standard Model of physics.

Leadership Vision


new deans since 2010, bringing creative vision and innovative thinking to their schools and colleges

Uta Poiger, College of Social Sciences and Humanities (July 2013)

Nadine Aubry, College of Engineering (September 2012)

Jeremy Paul, School of Law (August 2012)

Hugh Courtney, D'Amore-McKim School of Business (July 2012)

Terry Fulmer, Bouvé College of Health Sciences (October 2011)

J. Murray Gibson, College of Science (October 2010)

Xavier Costa, College of Arts, Media and Design (June 2010)

John LaBrie, College of Professional Studies (May 2010)

Northeastern faculty members are advancing the frontiers of knowledge in emerging fields that include the following:

  • Affective Science
  • Digital Humanities
  • Nanomanufacturing
  • Network Science
  • Personal Health Informatics
  • Resilience
  • Security Informatics
  • Urban Coastal Sustainability
emerging field icons

Ideas at the Intersection

Many of the 387 faculty members who joined the university over the past seven years have joint appointments in fields that intersect across colleges and disciplines.


Measures of Distinction

  • Two faculty members were recognized with 2013 National Science Foundation CAREER awards (20 since 2006), the NSF's top award for junior faculty who exemplify the role of the teacher-scholar:

    Philip Larese-Casanova, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering

    Thomas Wahl, assistant professor of computer and information science

  • Lisa Feldman Barrett, Distinguished Professor of Psychology, was elected to the Royal Society of Canada, the highest honor bestowed upon Canadian scholars in the arts, sciences, and humanities.
  • Phil Brown, University Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Health Sciences, was honored with the 2012 Leo G. Reeder Award, presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association's Medical Sociology Section.
  • Alvero Cuervo-Cazurra, assistant professor of international business and strategy, was named to the executive committee of the International Management Division of the Academy of Management.
  • Toyoko Orimoto, an assistant professor of physics who was part of the team that identified the Higgs boson at CERN's Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland, received an Early Career Award from the Department of Energy.
  • Vladimir Torchilin, Distinguished Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences, received the Journal of Drug Targeting's 2012 lifetime achievement award.

Productivity Rise


increase since 2006 in number of patent applications filed by faculty and students

patent applications filed in 2012–2013 by faculty and students
invention disclosures formally identifying a new approach to a problem, 2012–2013, including 87 filed by faculty
“As many as half of children on the autism spectrum are too severely impacted to comply with current research protocols, so we're taking the lab to them. By bringing wearable and environmental technologies together, we get powerful information.”
—Matthew Goodwin, an assistant professor of health sciences and computer and information science, seeks to improve society's understanding of minimally verbal children with autism spectrum disorder.

Research and Innovation

In a 2013 national survey commissioned by Northeastern, 87 percent of Americans said higher education must innovate for the United States to maintain its global leadership. Northeastern is an innovation leader—in the forefront of expanding global, entrepreneurial, and interdisciplinary programs and creating new models for online graduate studies and use-inspired research.

higher ed reimagined

Nine out of 10 participants in our innovation survey said experiential learning better prepares students for careers. Nearly six out of 10 said universities should teach entrepreneurship and expand programs that give students a global perspective.

Learning Enrichment

online and hybrid degree programs that will include co-ops and other experiential learning opportunities
hybrid and online advanced degree programs offered at new graduate campuses in Charlotte, N.C., and Seattle
“Developing the learning models that meet the needs of tomorrow's students requires a certain institutional character—nimble and adaptive, focused on problem solving, a refusal to stand on the status quo. That describes Northeastern.”
—Susan Ambrose, senior vice provost for undergraduate education and experiential learning, oversees Northeastern's distinctive model of integrative education

Degrees of Success


new undergraduate interdisciplinary majors added since 2006


new graduate degree programs established since 2006

Global Growth

Seeds of Creativity

university scholarships for global professional experiences awarded since 2010
the amount of gap funding student-run IDEA provided to Northeastern entrepreneurs in 2012–2013—a growth rate of 1,840 percent since its first year, 2009–2010.
“There are 884 million people around the world without access to clean drinking water. We wanted to tackle a social problem, and we figured why not the biggest one.”
—Scott Goldberg, '14, a member of a team of students who developed FilterLight, billed as a low-cost, human-powered, UV water-filtration system for use in developing countries. Along with Goldberg, the team members are: Matthew Mahagan, 14; Donald Gothing, '13; and Antonio Rufo, '14.
“Advancing good health can be a form of community activism that promotes wellness through collective action. But to be effective, the technology we use has to feel authentic to the community.”
—Andrea Parker, assistant professor of computer and information science and health sciences, is shaping the field of personal health informatics—the use of technology to influence and inform the choices people make about their health.

solution points


external research awards of $1 million or more since 2006


increase in annual external research funding since 2006; a total of $98.1 million in 2013

Knack for the Ask

Number of research proposals submitted for external grant funding, each year since 2006


Growth Investing

Research expenditures in millions of dollars, each year since 2006


“We are in the position to develop large-scale models that—combining theory, data, and computational thinking—can deliver forecasting power to anticipate trends, evaluate risks, and manage future epidemics.”
—Alessandro Vespignani, Sternberg Family Distinguished University Professor of Physics, Computer Science, and Health Sciences, is a pioneer in the emerging field of digital epidemiology. He and his team created a model that accurately predicted the peak of the 2009 H1N1 outbreak in 42 countries.

Impact Zone

  • Northeastern and Rogers Corporation announced plans to establish the Rogers Innovation Center at the university's George J. Kostas Research Institute for Homeland Security—an innovative university-corporate collaboration aimed at accelerating the commercialization of use-inspired research.
  • The federal Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation awarded Northeastern an $8 million grant to launch a three-year demonstration project, led by Professor of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Jim Benneyan, to integrate industrial and systems-engineering methods into healthcare delivery.
  • Northeastern's Elementary Particle Physics group, led by physics professors George Alverson, Emanuela Barberis, and Darien Wood, collaborated on the development of the Compact Muon Solenoid. The device enabled scientists at CERN's Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland to detect the Higgs boson, considered the ultimate building block for all matter.
  • The university hosted the inaugural Sustaining Coastal Cities international conference, a daylong event that drew nearly 200 scientists from leading national and international marine institutes around the globe.
  • Mel Bernstein, Northeastern's senior vice provost for research and graduate education, was elected president of the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center, a state-of-the-art computational infrastructure and collaborative research center in Holyoke, Mass.

Alumni and Support

The enthusiasm generated by the launch of Empower: The Campaign for Northeastern University shows that support for the university has never been stronger, as alumni, parents, and friends deepen their connection to the university and invest in its future.


empower surge

With a goal of raising $1 billion in support by 2017, Empower: The Campaign for Northeastern University, will engage generous individuals, as well as industry and government partners, to increase our resources to fuel three strategic areas.

  • Student support and financial aid
  • Faculty advancement and expansion
  • Innovation in education and research

The Empower Campaign is an investment in people—in our students, in our faculty, and, ultimately, in our country and the world. Backed by "the power of we"—alumni, friends, faculty, staff, students, foundations, corporations, and government—the campaign will take Northeastern to new heights.


total gifts in 2012–2013, surpassing the goal by more than $8 million.

“The time is right to give back to this institution. We have a great value proposition, and we want to continue it for the next 100 years.”
—Henry Nasella, UC'77, H'08, chair of the Board of Trustees, speaking last May to nearly 400 members of the university community gathered in the Marino Center for the launch of the Empower Campaign.

Leaders of the Pack

Selected recent gifts supporting university priorities

Student support

Pieter and Yvette Eenkema van Dijk
Pieter and Yvette Eenkema van Dijk Sailing Fund

Venetia Kontogouris and Zoran Djokic
Kontogouris–Djokic Scholarship Fund

Daniel J. McCarthy
Daniel J. and Margaret T. McCarthy Entrepreneurial Education Fund

Jack Meyer
Henri Termeer
Boston Ballet Education Program

Michael J. Sherman
Michael J. and Ann Sherman Center for Engineering Entrepreneurship Education

Faculty advancement

Barbara Alleyne
Barbara Alleyne Associate Professorship in African American Studies

Donald Kramer
Kramer Trustee Professorship

Innovation and research

William DiPietro
DiPietro Chemical Engineering Lab Fund

Ocean Genome Legacy Inc.
Ocean Genome Legacy Center of New England Biolabs

Simons Foundation
Simons Foundation Fund for Communication Systems

Community Effort


the number of people giving to Northeastern is up by more than 30 percent in every donor group, including undergraduate alumni and parents


the average annual fundraising total over the last six years is up 109% from the prior six-year period—$53.5 million per year compared to 25.6 million per year


gifts of $1 million or more received in 2012–2013, an all-time high

“I've learned that the greatest success stories are built by teams. Now is Northeastern's time to strengthen its team—and tap into the 'power of we.'”
—Alan McKim, DMSB'88 Empower Campaign Co-Chair
“Great ideas are a dime a dozen. What matters most is having the guts and drive to make your dream real. And that's what Northeastern does best.”
—Rich D'Amore, DMSB'76 Empower Campaign Co-Chair

networked for life

Alumni chapters around the world








increase in alumni chapters since 2006 (14 to 34)

Engagement Calendar

alumni events in 2012–2013, compared to
150 in 2006
alumni attended at least one event in 2012–2013

Select alumni events in 2012–2013

  • Northeastern POPS
  • Big Dog 5K
  • ArtsAlive!
  • Entrepreneurs Night in New York City
  • Regional Co-op Welcome Receptions
  • Chapter launches in Denver; Portland, Maine; and Austin, Texas
  • DC alumni reception on Capitol Hill
  • Huskies vs. Red Sox in Florida
  • NU Family Day at Fenway
  • Presidential events in London, Dublin, and Saudi Arabia
  • Beyond Borders luncheons
  • NU@Noon


Northeastern's unprecedented momentum garnered recognition from numerous external organizations, while the university advanced its leadership in educational policy and innovation.

career lift


The Princeton Review ranked Northeastern's career services No. 2 in the nation. That makes six consecutive years that our career services have ranked in the top four in the U.S., including three years at No. 1.

Beyond borders


Northeastern's world ranking for number of international students on campus

creative pipeline


Our national ranking in undergraduate entrepreneurship education, by The Princeton Review and Entrepreneur Magazine

The Path to the Top 50

Over the past seven years, Northeastern has made the greatest leap in the U.S. News & World Report ranking of any university.


Promoting Diversity

The nonprofit Education Trust reported that Northeastern increased its graduation rate for African American students from 42.1 percent in 2002 to 69.1 percent in 2011. Northeastern was one of three schools cited in the report for significantly increasing either African American or Hispanic graduation rates over that decade.

Shaping Public Policy

Led by President Aoun, Northeastern is helping to shape the national conversation across a range of policy issues. In public speeches to broad-based audiences and in private meetings with federal officials, the president has strongly advocated for American higher education to be more responsive to the changing needs of students and employers—a viewpoint supported by national opinion surveys that the university co-sponsored in 2012 and 2013.

“Higher education is in a great situation. There is an enormous demand worldwide. New innovations have two features in common: they are student-centric and they are employer-centric. Colleges and universities must provide a strong value proposition that focuses on strong outcomes, affordability, flexibility, and adaptability.”
—President Joseph E. Aoun
Joseph E. Aoun