Northeastern to build state-​​of-​​the-​​art science and engineering complex

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North­eastern Uni­ver­sity has announced plans to build a state-​​of-​​the-​​art inter­dis­ci­pli­nary sci­ence and engi­neering research facility in Rox­bury on Columbus Avenue. Sched­uled for com­ple­tion in fall 2016, the new com­plex will pro­vide 220,000 square feet of research and edu­ca­tional space and is part of the university’s ongoing effort to expand its capacity to engage in path-​​breaking research across disciplines.

“This new com­plex is the canvas upon which our fac­ulty col­leagues, stu­dents, and staff will pro­duce the next gen­er­a­tion of break­throughs,” said North­eastern Pres­i­dent Joseph E. Aoun. “It will be a hub of schol­ar­ship and teaching and will signif­i­cantly advance our mis­sion as a use-​​inspired research uni­ver­sity. We are also proud to create the first pri­vate research devel­op­ment in Roxbury.”

The inter­dis­ci­pli­nary sci­ence and engi­neering com­plex will be located next to the expanding Rug­gles MBTA sta­tion and house wet and dry lab facil­i­ties, edu­ca­tional lab­o­ra­to­ries, class­room space, and offices for fac­ulty and grad­uate stu­dents. It will fea­ture cutting-​​edge sci­en­tific equip­ment to be shared by researchers from Northeastern’s Col­lege of Sci­ence, Bouvé Col­lege of Health Sci­ences, Col­lege of Engi­neering, and Col­lege of Com­puter and Infor­ma­tion Sci­ence. The project will also include a 280-​​seat audi­to­rium and a large atrium with a spiral staircase.

The six-​​story facility will be designed with open shared lab­o­ra­tory space, and numerous areas that pro­mote informal serendip­i­tous dis­cus­sions will foster inter­dis­ci­pli­nary col­lab­o­ra­tion. Through the lib­eral use of glass walls, fac­ulty, stu­dents, and vis­i­tors will be able to view a broad range of research activ­i­ties that are underway.

“Solu­tions to many of the world’s most pressing chal­lenges are cre­ated at the inter­sec­tion of dis­ci­plines,” said Stephen W. Director, provost and senior vice pres­i­dent for aca­d­emic affairs. “Our inte­grated sci­ence and engi­neering com­plex will allow North­eastern researchers to address chal­lenges across many fields, with par­tic­ular emphasis on our sig­na­ture research themes of health, secu­rity, and sustainability.”

Con­struc­tion of the new facility will pro­vide much-​​needed space for Northeastern’s ongoing faculty-​​hiring ini­tia­tive. Over the past seven years, the uni­ver­sity has recruited 387 new tenured and tenure-​​track fac­ulty mem­bers, many of whom have joint appoint­ments across aca­d­emic dis­ci­plines. The uni­ver­sity is con­tin­uing to recruit tenured and tenure-​​track fac­ulty at a record pace.

North­eastern has increased its annual research funding by more than 100 per­cent since 2006, and in the 2011–2012 aca­d­emic year the uni­ver­sity received more than $100 mil­lion in external research funding. The uni­ver­sity is also diversifying its research funding by delib­er­ately increasing sup­port from phil­an­thropic and cor­po­rate sources, not just gov­ern­ment grants.

The new LEED-​​certified facility will be con­structed on a 3.5-acre parcel owned by North­eastern and cur­rently used as sur­face parking. The site’s devel­op­ment pro­vides an oppor­tu­nity to strengthen the Columbus Avenue cor­ridor, improve pedes­trian con­nec­tions, and create new open space and streetscape ameni­ties to be shared with the sur­rounding com­mu­nity. The project rep­re­sents an invest­ment by the uni­ver­sity of approx­i­mately $225 million.

Designed by the archi­tec­tural firm Payette, the project also includes plans to con­struct a unique pedes­trian bridge over the MBTA Orange Line, com­muter rail, and Amtrak tracks. The bridge—similar to New York City’s “Highline”—will con­nect two dis­tinct sec­tions of Northeastern’s campus and bol­ster the university’s strong ties to its sur­rounding communities.

The new sci­ence com­plex is a key part of Northeastern’s Insti­tu­tional Master Plan, which uni­ver­sity offi­cials devel­oped over the past two years in col­lab­o­ra­tion with fac­ulty, stu­dents, staff, city plan­ners, and campus neigh­bors. The plan was approved by the Boston Rede­vel­op­ment Authority on November 14.

“At the outset of this process we iden­ti­fied mutu­ality, respect, and trans­parency as our guiding prin­ci­ples,” said Ralph Martin II, senior vice pres­i­dent and gen­eral counsel, who spear­headed the Insti­tu­tional Master Plan Process. “After nearly two years of dis­cus­sion, debate, and nego­ti­a­tions with elected offi­cials and neigh­bors, and guided by the rede­vel­op­ment authority, we believe we have a plan that serves those prin­ci­ples and will have a trans­for­ma­tional effect on both North­eastern and our neighborhoods.”







More Empower Stories

A Pattern of Success

With a lead gift to Mosaic, Northeastern faculty member Dan Gregory is helping forge alliances between student-run services and startups needing skills in fields from accounting to graphic design.

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A host of student-run operations is springing up to sup­port Northeastern startups, offering skills and expertise in fields from accounting to graphic design to software coding. To help these groups forge an alliance, faculty member Dan Gregory made a lead gift last fall, inspiring parents, alumni, and faculty to join in. To date, support for the new initiative—which students named Mosaic—comes to $425,000.

The rise of student-led organizations helping students, faculty, and alumni realize their business dreams is a grass-roots phenomenon, Gregory says. It began six years ago with Northeastern’s student-run venture incubator, IDEA, for which he serves as faculty advisor. Inspired by IDEA’s success with peer-to-peer experiential learning, groups at diverse colleges started offering their know-how to IDEA’s ventures.

The trend picked up steam in 2013, when students at the College of Arts, Media, and Design formed a design studio, Scout, to create logos and packaging for fledgling ventures. At about the same time, law stu­dents at the IP Clinic—now called the IP CO-LAB—started teaching ventures about intellectual property law.

Today, Gregory says, student accountants, prototype manufactur­ers, social enterprise advocates, and other Mosaic members are help­ing ventures thrive. Instead of seeking specialized skills from outside vendors, entrepreneurs can often find them on campus.

A major goal of Mosaic is to break down silos across campus and give ventures access to the multiple disciplines that entrepreneurship requires. Besides providing admin­istrative support, Mosaic funds will cover expenses for which IDEA or one of Northeastern’s colleges might have picked up the tab—from member services to events, pizza-fueled work­shops, and meeting space. To obtain Mosaic funding, member organiza­tions must apply to the Mosaic Coun­cil, whose faculty and administrators set priorities.

To understand how Mosaic works, consider its impact on one venture: Wizio. This online platform, a match­making service for Boston realtors and renters, got its start at the Husky Startup Challenge, an Entrepreneurs Club contest that helps students turn ideas into companies. After taking first place and the Audience Choice award in April 2015, Wizio won fund­ing from IDEA to build a prototype.

From there, IDEA linked Wizio’s founders to more Mosaic service pro­viders. A Scout team came up with a logo and designed a website. At the School of Law, students with the IP CO-LAB assessed copyright issues, while others at the Community Law Clinic drew up an employee contract. Meanwhile, accounting students who founded D’Amore-McKim’s Account­ing Resource Center, known as ARC, outlined the tax advantages of incor­poration.

If Mosaic has a theme, Gregory says, it’s cross-college collaboration: “Students across disciplines are help­ing students, alumni, and faculty launch their ventures.”

As soon as Gregory kick-started Mosaic, others came forward. They include law and business professor Susan Montgomery, the IP CO-LAB’s faculty advisor; the Northeastern University Young Global Leaders, an alumni group convened by Presi­dent Joseph E. Aoun; Greg Skloot, DMSB’12, former Entrepreneurs Club president and now, vice president for Growth at Netpulse; and Lea Anne Dunton, PNT, and her husband, Gary, DMSB’78, a Northeastern corporator.

In addition to supporting mem­ber groups that are up and running, Mosaic helps new ones get started. Last fall, for example, at the College of Engineering, students formed a hardware-prototyping group they call Generate, housed within the Michael J. and Ann Sherman Center for Engineering Entrepreneurship Education.

Beyond his role at IDEA, Gregory co-directs the Northeastern Uni­versity Center for Entrepreneurship Education, Mosaic’s administrative home, helping every college foster entrepreneurship. From this vantage, he calls Mosaic’s peer-to-peer, experiential learning model the “se­cret sauce” behind Northeastern’s thriving entrepreneurial culture, one that “sets us apart from every other university.”





Mindich donates nearly 50 years of archives to Snell Library

Thanks to Stephen Mindich, Boston’s alternative newspaper of record will be preserved for posterity.

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For nearly 50 years, The Boston Phoenix was Boston’s alternative newspaper of record, the first word on social justice, politics, as well as the arts and music scene. Its intrepid journalists tackled issues from safe sex and AIDS awareness to gay rights, marriage equality, and the legalization of marijuana. Ads for roommates, romantic mates, and band mates—one could find all these and more in the newspaper’s probing, irreverent, entertaining pages.

It ceased publication in March 2013, but the Phoenix will be preserved for posterity—thanks to owner Stephen Mindich’s decision in September to donate the paper’s archives to Northeastern’s Snell Library.

Snell’s Archives and Special Collections already houses an impressive array of historical records of Boston’s social movements, including civil and political rights, immigrant rights, homelessness, and environmental justice.

“The Phoenix never shied away from covering topics of neighborhood interest, supporting the rights of individuals and groups,” says Will Wakeling, dean of University Libraries. “So it will form a perfect complement to this growing collection.”

Local History Writ Large

Mindich’s gift encompasses much more than The Boston Phoenix. The archives include sister publications in Worcester, Portland, and Providence; Boston After DarkThe Real Paper; the alternative programming of WFNX FM; and Stuff and Stuff at Night magazines. These sources, including a full Web archive of material not included in the print editions, provide a richly nuanced perspective on how people thought and put ideas into action when it came to social issues and social justice from the 1960s to the near-present day. They are documentation of the ways social change happens.

“Our vision for the archives is digitizing all the print and making it fully text-searchable, so all that history lives on,” says Dan Kennedy, associate professor at Northeastern’s School of Journalism and a former Phoenix media columnist and nationally known media commentator.

Adds Wakeling, “As the library works on the complex digitizing strategy, the archives will be made available to the public.”

The Boston Phoenix not only reported on the news, it made the news. In 1987, during the height of the AIDS crisis, it distributed 150,000 condoms to readers. In 2001, Phoenix reporter Kristen Lombardi described troubling patterns in how Catholic church leaders were transferring priests accused of sexually abusing children to new parishes. The alternative weekly also followed the evolving rights of the LGBTQ community.

“A great strength of the paper was also its arts coverage, which is also Stephen’s passion,” notes Kennedy. In 1994, writer Lloyd Schwartz won the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism for his coverage of classical music. Many former Phoenix writers—Susan Orlean, David Denby, Mark Leibovich, and Michael Rezendes among them—went on to illustrious careers at top U.S. newspapers and magazines.

Though Boston’s antiestablishment spirit has faded somewhat over the years, Mindich’s donation ensures that its history never will. “Scholars and researchers in this area will be licking their lips in anticipation,” says Wakeling.










Northeastern raises Empower campaign goal to $1.25 billion

Senior Vice President for University Advancement Diane MacGillivray announced that Northeastern is taking the historic Empower cam­paign to new heights, raising its fundraising goal by 25 per­cent, to $1.25 bil­lion.

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This week, North­eastern announced it is taking the Empower campaign to new heights, raising its fundraising goal by 25 per­cent, to $1.25 bil­lion. The university’s his­toric cam­paign seeks $625 mil­lion in phil­an­thropy and $625 mil­lion in gov­ern­ment and industry part­ner­ships. We sat down with Uni­ver­sity Advancement’s Senior Vice Pres­i­dent Diane MacGillivray to dis­cuss Empower.

Why are we raising our goal?

Even as we have been carving out Northeastern’s next strategic plan, we have known that our needs exceed what we intended to raise through Empower. Raising the cam­paign goal now will enable us to fund more of the ini­tia­tives we deem vital to this university’s future. Increased resources will help faculty, who need to be able to master and teach sub­jects that are con­stantly emerging. They will buoy students, allowing them to add great value to their fields, and to blaze trails in professions that don’t now exist. More resources will also sup­port researchers, who will need to find solu­tions to chal­lenges that society hasn’t even real­ized yet.

These aspi­ra­tions are going to require immense resources. Thanks to the tremen­dous sup­port we’ve seen so far—from alumni to par­ents, from fac­ulty, staff, and stu­dents to friends both old and new—we have expe­ri­enced huge momentum. Raising the cam­paign goal will enable us to take fuller advan­tage of this momentum, so that even if we can’t fully fund every last one of our goals, we can stretch them that much further.

You said at the State of the Uni­ver­sity that every gift includes at least two sto­ries: that of the donor, and that of the ben­e­fi­ciary. Is there a spe­cific story that you’ve found par­tic­u­larly inspiring?

That’s like asking me to choose a favorite child! There are so many inspiring sto­ries. A recent one that comes to mind is about Olga Vitek, a math­e­mati­cian and sci­en­tist who was awarded the Sy and Laurie Stern­berg Inter­dis­ci­pli­nary Chair. It was an incred­ible moment when Sy met Olga. His pride was palpable. He truly under­stands the power of endowed chairs to attract and retain the best fac­ulty at Northeastern.

And there are count­less won­derful schol­ar­ship sto­ries. Recently, I had the plea­sure of meeting Toju Ome­toruwa, a recip­ient of the Amin and Julie Khoury Schol­ar­ship in Entre­pre­neur­ship. Toju’s pas­sion for music led him to launch Pick­a­sound, an online forum that allows people from around the globe to collab­o­rate and pro­duce songs together. His work has drawn the interest of local stu­dent ven­ture firms as well as our entre­pre­neurial groups on campus, making him part of the next gen­er­a­tion of Northeastern’s entrepreneurs.

The Empower cam­paign has cov­ered 10 cities. How would you char­ac­terize our global community’s response to the cam­paign, and its impact so far?

From San Fran­cisco to Fort Myers, from Hong Kong to Dubai, we have cov­ered the globe. To date, more than 86,000 indi­vid­uals have con­tributed to this cam­paign from 88 coun­tries. In short, the response has been astounding.

And the sto­ries that come out of these events are ter­rific. I’ve seen alumni who haven’t been to campus since grad­u­a­tion just daz­zled by our stu­dents and fac­ulty. I’ve seen grad­u­ates from the 1950s having heartwarming—and some­times surprise—reunions with old friends. I’ve seen prospec­tive stu­dents making the deci­sion to attend North­eastern on the spot. I’d say that’s real impact.

In your State of the Uni­ver­sity address, you also men­tioned that more than half of fac­ulty and staff have donated to Empower, while about 1,800 stu­dents made con­tri­bu­tions to last year’s senior class gift. What does this mean to you, and what does it say about our com­mu­nity, to see this level of investment?

I have been deeply, deeply impressed by the strength of com­mit­ment from our fac­ulty, staff, and students. You have all answered the call. The level of fac­ulty and staff giving to Empower puts us in the top quar­tile of uni­ver­si­ties nation­wide. And the senior class gift par­tic­i­pa­tion has been out­standing. In addition to their phil­an­thropic giving, more than 100 stu­dents and 100 fac­ulty have taken the opportunity to show­case the exciting research and inno­va­tion taking place at North­eastern during Empower events all over the map.

What this says to me is that our North­eastern com­mu­nity gets it: This cam­paign is about all of us and for all of us. It will deter­mine the path of our future.

What have you learned about North­eastern from your involve­ment in the Empower campaign?

I’ve seen that the North­eastern com­mu­nity has a remark­able ability to always think about what’s next. That’s our tow­ering strength. And that’s what we will need to suc­ceed in the future as a nimble, global, dynamic insti­tu­tion of higher education, grounded in our sig­na­ture expe­ri­en­tial edu­ca­tion programs.




Parents Give a Boost to Family Business Education

Pierre Choueiri and his wife, Maya, are supporting family business education and research with an endowment advancing programs in leadership, entrepreneurship, and innovation.

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Although family-owned businesses account for 90 percent of the global economy, they are given little attention at most business schools. Northeastern parent Pierre Choueiri wants to change that.

He is chairman and CEO of Choueiri Group, the leading media representation house in the Middle East and North Africa. Choueiri has adapted the vision of his late father, Antoine—who founded the company in 1970—to the current realities of an ever-shifting marketplace.

“When my father passed the company to me, it was the proudest day of my life,” he says. “But in today’s business climate, education is essential to understanding complex issues faced by family-owned businesses—management succession, ownership control, shareholder relationships—so that the family is running the company, not just owning it.”

Recognizing the D’Amore-McKim School of Business as a leader in family business education and research, Choueiri and his wife, Maya, established the Pierre Choueiri Family Fund for Global Family Enterprise in May. The endowment supports programs in leadership, entrepreneurship, and innovation.

“Students from family businesses come to D’Amore-McKim from all over the world,” Choueiri says, “and it’s gratifying to help them develop specialized skills.” Among those students is his son, Antoine, a third-year business administration major. Choueiri’s other son, Alex, plans to major in music industry when he arrives this fall.

“The Choueiri gift will enable our faculty and students to deepen their understanding of the crucial role of family businesses in the global economy,” says D’Amore-McKim’s dean, Hugh Courtney. “It will generate research that provides the insights necessary to shape successful family enterprises for generations.”





Northeastern breaks fundraising record

North­eastern secured $81.79 mil­lion in fundraising during the 2014–15 aca­d­emic year, far exceeding its goal and marking the highest single-​​year giving total in its history.

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North­eastern Uni­ver­sity secured $81.79 mil­lion in fundraising during the 2014–15 aca­d­emic year, far exceeding its goal and marking the highest single-​​year giving total in its history.

The entire North­eastern com­mu­nity worldwide—from stu­dents, fac­ulty, and staff to alumni, friends, and uni­ver­sity partners—contributed to the remark­able overall giving. Fur­ther pro­pelling this momentum in recent years has been the strong sup­port of North­eastern par­ents and the university’s global part­ners, from whom com­mit­ments have grown rapidly since 2008.

“The unprece­dented suc­cess at North­eastern today belongs to everyone—our alumni, stu­dents, fac­ulty, par­ents, staff, gov­erning boards, and friends around the world,” said Pres­i­dent Joseph E. Aoun. “This record-​​breaking year shows how a strategic vision is empow­ered by a global community.”

The record-​​breaking fundraising year—which topped the pre­vious record of $81.55 mil­lion set during the 2012–13 aca­d­emic year—is pow­ered by the suc­cess of Empower: The Cam­paign for North­eastern Uni­ver­sity.

The university’s Empower cam­paign, which pub­licly launched in May 2013, is a com­pre­hen­sive fundraising drive to secure $1 bil­lion in sup­port of stu­dents, fac­ulty, and research inno­va­tion. The cam­paign will shape the future of teaching, learning, and dis­covery at North­eastern; amplify the university’s strengths in cre­ativity and entre­pre­neur­ship; and rede­fine its lead­er­ship on a global scale.

The unprece­dented cam­paign aims to raise $500 mil­lion in phil­an­thropic sup­port and $500 mil­lion through industry and gov­ern­ment part­ner­ships by 2017, sup­porting pro­grams that will advance the university’s edu­ca­tional and research enter­prise for generations.

More than 86,000 indi­vidual donors and 3,200 orga­ni­za­tions have sup­ported the Empower cam­paign. Gifts have tar­geted an array of uni­ver­sity pro­grams and pri­or­i­ties, including finan­cial aid, research, inno­va­tion, and global expe­ri­en­tial learning.

What’s more, nation­ally renowned foun­da­tions are also increasing their sup­port for aca­d­emic endeavors at North­eastern. These include a $1.5 mil­lion award from the Henry L. and Grace Doherty Foun­da­tion to estab­lish the Doherty Chair in Marine and Envi­ron­mental Sci­ences in the Col­lege of Sci­ence; a $1 mil­lion award from the W.M. Keck Foun­da­tion for research by pro­fessor Nian Sun and assis­tant pro­fessor Matteo Rinaldi in the Col­lege of Engi­neering; and a $500,000 award from the Andrew W. Mellon Foun­da­tion to sup­port research led by pro­fessor David Smith in the Col­lege of Com­puter and Infor­ma­tion Science.

“Northeastern’s record year will serve as a cat­a­lyst for more exciting oppor­tu­ni­ties and chal­lenges to come,” said Diane MacGillivray, senior vice pres­i­dent for Uni­ver­sity Advance­ment. “With the backing of our amazing donors and part­ners, the uni­ver­sity is more than up for the task.”

North­eastern has con­nected with thou­sands of mem­bers of the uni­ver­sity com­mu­nity through the Empower cam­paign, including at events last year in Dubai, United Arab Emi­rates, Wash­ington, D.C., and Fort Myers, Florida. In November, North­eastern will host an Empower event in Philadel­phia. Guests at these events expe­ri­ence the future of North­eastern through inter­ac­tive exhibits show­casing the inno­va­tion, entre­pre­neur­ship, and research of the university’s out­standing stu­dents, fac­ulty, and alumni.



The Seeds of Social Change

The Juffali family’s transformative gift to Northeastern’s Social Impact Lab is helping lift philanthropy education to the global stage–and empowering students to give strategically.

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As the owners of one of Saudi Arabia’s largest global conglomerates, the Juffali family knows the power wealth has to transform society. Since 1946, when the late Ahmed Juffali built the country’s first electrical plant, E.A. Juffali & Brothers has brought industry and prosperity to millions of people.

Like his father, Khaled Juffali is as strategic a philanthropist as he is a business leader. For 30 years, the family’s foundation—which he now leads—has championed education, aided the impoverished, and revolutionized education for intellectually disabled children. And through the Shefa Fund (in Arabic, shefa means “well-being”), which he founded with his wife, Olfat, Saudi Arabia’s elite pool their resources to fight poverty and infectious diseases in partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

And yet, Khaled says, the work can be frustrating.

“There is a saying in Islam: ‘Give with the right, but don’t let the left hand know,’ meaning that in your giving, a practice known as Zakat, you must be discreet, to shield the receiver from stigma and avoid self-promotion,” he explains. “The trouble is that there is no way to know where your money is going, or if your goals are being met.”


Last spring, the Juffalis struck a new philanthropic alliance—this time, with Northeastern—to teach a new generation to give strategically. In March, the couple made a transformative gift to Northeastern’s Social Impact Lab, which helps students turn their idealism into action.

While visiting their daughter, Haya, an undergraduate at Northeastern, the Juffalis heard about the lab’s director, Rebecca Riccio, and her pioneering, uniquely experiential brand of philanthropy education, in which students make real-dollar grants to local nonprofits, drawing from a pool of donated funds. Since the launch in 2009 of the lab’s flagship initiative, Northeastern Students4Giving, students have awarded more than $100,000.

Captivated by Riccio’s conviction, the Juffalis endowed the Khaled and Olfat Juffali Directorship of the Social Impact Lab and Global Philanthropy Initiative. They also provided funds to launch partnerships with institutions worldwide to teach others, especially young people, about how strategic giving can maximize philanthropy’s impact.

In February, the family invited Riccio to their home city, Jeddah, to speak at Dar Al-Hekma University, a university for women, where Olfat is a trustee. To a packed auditorium, Riccio described how her students are addressing youth violence, mental health issues, and other challenges.

“Impact and sustainability are important to them,” Riccio says. “But values also matter.”

Young people “with hearts on fire” must also have “humility, respect, and empathy for the communities they hope to benefit,” she says. “Otherwise, their grant making can quickly become an exercise of power and privilege.”


The love of humankind runs in the blood of the Juffali clan. Even before Khaled’s father helped found King Abdulaziz University in the 1960s and laid the cornerstone for the Help Center, a school he built for intellectually disabled children in the early 1990s, this family lived the values that Northeastern teaches.

In 2012, Khaled and Olfat launched the Shefa Fund to draw on their country’s untapped philanthropic potential. However, Khaled says, while philanthropy is intrinsic to Islamic culture, it is not always as effective as it could be. Because giving is a private matter, “we lack the power of collective action.”

One solution, he says, is to pool resources for targeted, measurable goals. “When we are delivering vaccines in Yemen and Egypt, we bring donors and friends to show what the money is doing,” Khaled says. “To see results is motivating. Our work is gathering momentum.”

Discerning supporters hold nonprofits accountable, Riccio agrees. “Donors want to know their giving is having an impact.”

But like the Juffalis, Riccio counsels patience, because change can take time. A complex web of actors may aid or impede progress.

“If your mission is to end hunger,” she says, “you must recognize that the problem is not that the world produces too little food. Poverty, war, weak infrastructure, and climate change conspire to leave communities vulnerable.

“Tomorrow’s agents of social change must navigate these realities,” says Riccio.


Word of Northeastern’s initiatives has spread, thanks to Riccio’s visibility as the creator of the world’s first massive open online course, or MOOC, on philanthropy. The MOOC was created in partnership with the Learning by Giving Foundation, established by Doris Buffett, sister of billionaire investor-philanthropist Warren Buffett. Riccio is now the foundation’s academic adviser.

With the Juffalis’ support, Riccio will join forces with educators internationally. At Swinburne University, in Australia, she is already helping educators create their own experiential philanthropy course, and inquiries are coming in from Great Britain, Sweden, Saudi Arabia, and other countries. In June, as the emcee of the Stockholm Philanthropy Symposium, Riccio galvanized attendees with a talk about Northeastern’s work before introducing keynoter Melinda Gates. Riccio closed the symposium by interviewing renowned primatologist Jane Goodall about philanthropy’s role in sustaining her research.

“As Goodall observed, every one of us gets to choose what difference we make,’” Riccio says. “The Juffalis’ gift empowers students to choose wisely.”

The Juffali family met with President Joseph E. Aoun in March for a signing ceremony in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Left to right: son Ahmed, Khaled, President Aoun, Olfat, and daughter Haya, a third-year international affairs major at Northeastern (not pictured are daughters Lulwa and Dana).







A Savvy Investor Puts Stock in Northeastern

From the age of three, Janet Bullard, MBA’78, wanted to be a businesswoman. Years later, she balanced evening MBA studies at Northeastern with a full-time secretarial job—a job where she was told by her boss, “We would never have a woman managing money.”

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Janet Bullard, MBA’78, knows from experience that investments in knowledge pay the best interest.

“I’ve been very fortunate,” she says, “and my education was the foundation of my life.”

Bullard remembers the instant her career took flight. Working full time as a secretary in an investment firm to finance her evening undergraduate studies, she became transfixed by asset management.

“I told my boss, ‘I’d really like to do what you do,’” Bullard says.

His reply: The company would never hire a woman to manage money. “It was a fabulous motivator,” she says, “and the year I graduated from college, I had his job.”

And she didn’t stop there.

As the lone woman among her corporate peers, Bullard knew that a top-performing portfolio and a graduate degree would be key to her success. So after 31 years working for others and earning her MBA at Northeastern, she struck out on her own and today manages assets for 100 clients as founder and president of the one-woman investment advisory firm A.T. Whitehead, Inc., which she named in honor of family members.

At Northeastern’s D’Amore-McKim School of Business, Bullard seeks to help others’ careers soar. With a generous provision in her will, she intends to fund a distinguished professorship, an endowed scholarship, and an international co-op stipend—all in her name.

“I want each student to be the best person they can be,” Bullard says. “Not only academically, but as a balanced individual who relishes life because they’re prepared and well-equipped for it.”




Ready All, Row!

2015 marks the 50th anniversary of the men’s rowing program at Northeastern—and pacesetting philanthropic gifts are helping today’s oarsmen pull past the competition.

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In rowing, the oarsman in the seat closest to the stern is known as the stroke. More than a top-notch athlete, the stroke is a human metronome, the one who sets the team’s cadence both in and out of the water.

“It’s a key leadership role, and a tactical one as well,” explains former Northeastern rower Christopher Meehan, DMSB’75. The stroke sets the pace and calls the rowers’ moves, deciding when to flutter, when to power 10, and when to sprint.

As a former stroke on the university’s storied squads of the early 1970s, Meehan describes rowing as “a total team effort, one that builds a shared sense of responsibility and discipline.” Some of his fondest memories hinge on races won and lost, he says, “and hundreds of other Northeastern rowers feel the same nostalgia and pride.”

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of men’s rowing, Meehan and fellow rowers past and present plan an April reunion regatta on the Charles River in Boston. Their goal: to raise $1 million for new rowing shells, training equipment, and technology.

Since Meehan and his wife, Cynthia, DMSB’86, pledged a $100,000 gift in 2014, others have followed their lead. The funds, and the university’s $5 million renovation of the Henderson Boathouse, could help the current rowing team repeat its 2014 and 2013 top-five national championship finishes.

“We all had a hand in making Northeastern rowing what it is today,” Meehan says. “Let’s get excited about the next 50 years.”

The 2015 milestone commemorates an unexpected Cinderella story. In 1965, a fledgling team, with coach G. Ernest Arlett at the helm, defeated 33 of 34 competitors and earned a berth at England’s prestigious Henley Royal Regatta. Husky crews began turning heads. In 1988, coach Walter S. “Buzz” Congram’s varsity shell posted a first-place finish at the Intercollegiate Rowing Association’s Championship Regatta.

Today’s squad, coached by John Pojednic, aspires to become the number-one force in Division I. With honors that include a gold medal for the second varsity eight boat at the 2014 Eastern Sprints—the team’s first gold in 36 years—this crew is prepared to pull past the competition.

Pictured are Northeastern corporator Chuck Hewitt (left), Larry O’Toole, E’76 (center), and Guy Pronesti, DMSB’00, whose combined philanthropy has helped secure nearly $500,000 toward a $1 million fundraising goal for men’s rowing. To learn more, go to


An Alumna Helps Foster Cultural Exchange

With a gift to the Asian Studies program, Hong Liu will support international research, a new lecture series, innovative course development, and co-ops in Asia.

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It was the handshake that shook the world. In 1972, U.S. President Richard Nixon and China’s Chairman Mao Zedong, the leaders of a democratic superpower and a Communist giant, respectively, ended 25 years of animosity with a historic meeting in Beijing and a gesture of friendship. For Hong Liu, MA’87, MA’89—then a 13-year-old in the metropolis of Tianjin—a mental snapshot of the moment has inspired her own efforts to bridge the two cultures.

Last summer, Liu’s dream of peace and understanding between her native China and America, where she has lived since 1985, moved her to make a $100,000 gift to Northeastern’s Asian Studies program. Liu, who worked in international relations in China before coming to Northeastern for graduate studies in sociology and economics, sees strength in both countries’ ideologies and institutions. “American culture stresses individual rights and freedoms,” says this business owner and public school teacher. “The Chinese emphasize mobilizing people to achieve a common good.”

To foster cultural exchange, the Hong Liu Asian Studies Fund will support international research, a new lecture series, innovative course development, and travel for co-ops and study in Asia. Liu says the fund will enable more faculty and students to “engage in dialogues that remind us how complementary our strengths and challenges really are.”

With an award funded by Hong Liu (left), Patricia Gavelek, a first-year undeclared major at the College of Social Sciences and Humanities, will explore the language and culture of China on a Dialogue of Civilizations course in May 2015.





Family Ties

“Northeastern is like family,” says Larry O’Rourke, whose enthusiasm at athletic events, volunteer leadership on the governing board, and generous philanthropic gifts mirror that sentiment.

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Like many of his classmates, Larry O’Rourke, DMSB’65, was drawn to Northeastern’s signature co-op program as a means of affording college—and he credits a co-op at United Art Company with launching his career in business merchandising. In a series of roles that capitalized on his outsized people skills, O’Rourke built a wide network of Husky relationships.

“Northeastern is like family,” says O’Rourke, whose enthusiasm for athletic events, volunteer leadership on the governing board, and generous philanthropic gifts to the university mirror that sentiment. In 1989, he established the Sean P. O’Rourke Memorial Scholarship for political science majors in memory of his late son, who like his dad was a Northeastern student. Motivated by a desire to help hardworking undergraduates, O’Rourke set up a charitable remainder trust in 2000 and recently decided to include the university in his will. Both gifts will benefit the scholarship in Sean’s name.

“I really want to contribute to the future of Northeastern and invest in the generations to come,” he says. “Many people think they have to be wealthy to leave a future gift to the university, but that’s not true. Once I took care of my family, I knew I would provide for Northeastern and other charitable interests.”

“We all have to give back in life.”






Healy supports aspiring engineers with $5 million gift to endow new scholarship

James Healy, E’54, is rewarding a spirit of inventiveness in Northeastern students by endowing a new scholarship fund for standout undergraduates with a gift of $5 million.

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A childhood fan of airplane models and Erector Sets, James W. Healy, E’54, earned his first patent shortly after graduating from Northeastern’s College of Engineering. He got his idea—a new take on the ubiquitous adjustable Crescent wrench, with a plier’s tight grip—after skinning his knuckles while rebuilding a 1939 Ford convertible.

Today, Healy rewards a spirit of inventiveness in Northeastern students. Recently he endowed a new scholarship fund for standout undergraduates with a gift of $5 million, bringing his total gifts and pledges to the college to more than $9 million.

The James W. Healy Scholars Fund will provide one or more aspiring engineers with full tuition, room, and board, and support exceptional individuals aiming to stay for a graduate degree. In 2006, Healy established a charitable remainder trust for the College of Engineering that he says will ultimately augment this new fund. And in 1999, he funded a Legacy Scholarship to recruit and retain exceptional undergraduates.

Healy is the founder and former president of Healy Systems, Inc., which he started in 1965 as Cambridge Engineering, Inc., and sold in 2006. During a prolific career, he designed and patented several vapor recovery systems to reduce gasoline vapor emissions during vehicle refueling. These systems, which significantly reduce hydrocarbon production, are used by more than 100,000 gas service stations worldwide.

Healy has amassed more than 90 patents so far. Never idle, he’s now focused on wave energy air turbine generator system technology, which has applications in the renewable clean-energy sector. “I view this work as contributing to a better life for people on our planet,” he says.

Healy credits co-op for sparking his interest in mechanical engineering, and for enabling him to earn a salary while he learned on the job. “Co-op made my education possible,” says the inventor, who now makes a Northeastern education possible for other curious, gifted minds.






Co-Op Under the Microscope

By investing in research co-ops, Northeastern trustee Carole Shapazian, LA’66, MS’72, is helping students get ahead.

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For budding scientists, research co-ops are the hot new thing at Northeastern. Thanks to trustee Carole Shapazian, LA’66, MS’72, seven Shapazian Scholars have completed co-ops at leading research laboratories, hospitals, and non-profits.

According to Northeastern chemistry professor and department chair Graham Jones, these undergrads showed their mettle by doing PhD-level work. “They dive in for six months, contributing from day one because they’re highly skilled and well-funded.”

Shapazian was so impressed she recently endowed her namesake co-op fund. “I’ve been an advocate for chemistry majors who see research and grad school in their future,” she says, “and Graham ensures a high return on my investment.”

A retired Polaroid Corporation executive, Shapazian attributes much of her success to her three research co-ops. Within a few years of joining the photography giant, she published a paper and was awarded two patents.

“The impact of Carole’s support on our students and on our department’s reputation is impossible to quantify,” Jones says. “When prospective students hear from our graduates, their reaction is, ‘Wow—count me in.’ ”









Razon investment opens doors for international students

Northeastern parent Enrique Razon is helping to bring talented international scholars to campus.

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Enrique Razon is a results-oriented man who brings the same focus to his company’s charitable giving as he does to its business plan.

As chair and president of Manila-based International Container Terminal Systems Inc., which operates 27 ports in 19 countries, Razon is optimistic that economic growth in the Philippines will continue, and feels an urgent need to help build his country’s workforce.

That’s why, at his behest, the ICTSI Foundation recently funded two full Northeastern scholarships for Filipino public school graduates.

“It’s easy for successful companies to just give to the poor,” he observes, “but in the long term, education is the better way.”

For many international students, an American education is beyond reach because most scholarships target U.S. citizens. But through Northeastern, Razon is opening doors.

“This is not a gift; it’s an investment,” says Razon, whose daughter Katrina, AMD’14, graduated in May. Higher education shouldn’t be reserved for the wealthy, he says. Students who can’t afford a leading U.S. university “are as smart and capable as anyone. Once empowered, they will be able to build a better country.”

“The ICTSI Foundation supports young talent, which is the engine of prosperity. That’s the strategy here. We need more highly educated people to keep the momentum going.”




An Investor Ignites Discovery

Visionaries like George Kostas, E’43, H’07, are not hemmed in by the seemingly impossible. They surmount obstacles, dive into challenges headlong, and empower others to take action.

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Visionaries like George Kostas, E’43, H’07, are not hemmed in by the seemingly impossible. They surmount obstacles, dive into challenges headlong, and empower others to take action. Since 2003, when Kostas began investing in nanotechnology and security research at Northeastern—his three gifts total $16 million—faculty have made rapid gains in biopharmaceuticals, communications, energy, medicine, and defense.

Numbers merely hint at the compounding power of Kostas’ support. In nanotech alone, 36 researchers have joined Northeastern’s faculty. Their work has led to $80 million in new federal and private grants, 200 patents, and more than 1,000 scien­tific papers.

The key to such yields, Kostas asserts, is putting “as many brains as possible to work on a problem.” To thrust progress into high gear, he says, universities must reimagine their relationship to industry and government. Instead of working in isolation to build technologies on the na­noscale or combat global terrorism, faculty-researchers must link their intellectual creativity to industry’s profit-driven pragma­tism and the government’s deep resources.

When Northeastern needed innovation incubators, Kostas provided equipment and facilities, including the 70,000-square-foot George J. Kostas Research Institute for Homeland Security, for which he pledged $12 million. To this alumnus, the university is a model for doing things differently.

Kostas looks back with pride on so much ingenuity, knowing that society, and the country, will be the better for it. The man whom President Joseph E. Aoun has called a “patriot and a hero” deflects praise, deferring instead to Northeastern’s take-the-lead, mission-driven culture.

“Partnerships that accelerate tech­nologies are the best way to make a positive impact on the world,” Kostas told a gathering of researchers at Northeastern last spring. “Through your creativity, you will not only drive the world’s economy, you will keep your country safe.”




Wenzinger gift fuels academic and research partnerships

When an ambitious student with a great idea hits a stumbling block, the worst outcome is for the idea to be abandoned. Brian Wenzinger, CS’89, is making sure that doesn’t happen here.

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When an ambitious student with a great idea hits a stumbling block, what’s the worst that could happen? If guidance and resources are scarce, that student might miss a life-changing opportunity. Investment portfolio manager Brian Wenzinger, CS’89, is ensuring that scenario doesn’t happen at Northeastern.

Mindful that mentorship and funding are frequently lynchpins to success, this pragmatic philanthropist has invested $1 million to establish the Larry Finkelstein Innovative Computing Education Endowment (ICEE) at the College of Computer and Information Science (CCIS). Named for Wenzinger’s collaborator on the project—who is his one-time professor and the college’s former dean—the fund advances academic and research partnerships between students and faculty.

“Computer science is a vast and continually changing field,” Wenzinger observes. “I want to support students who have that creative spark, and push them to experiment and challenge themselves.”

Spurred by his generosity, CCIS faculty and students teamed up to develop and publish Realm of Racket, a computer programming guidebook by freshmen for freshmen. The group wrote and illustrated the manual in graphic novel format, united by a knack for data analysis and problem solving—talents Wenzinger himself uses each day as a principal at AJO, a Philadelphia-based investment adviser firm.

At Northeastern, Wenzinger was a Carl S. Ell Presidential Scholar. “The university gave me the basis for learning and work, and enabled to me to go somewhere in life with the skills that I had.” His gift to launch ICEE is the largest ever made to the college and marks his most recent investment in a long history of giving back to students.

“At the end of the day, my goal is to enhance the educational experience,” he says. “Hopefully other alumni will be inspired to take what I’ve started and build upon it.”







CEO International Forum with Spencer Fung

Businesses must be nimble and flexible to adapt to an evolving global supply chain, Spencer Fung, PA’96, group chief operating officer and executive director of Li & Fung, said Wednesday at Northeastern’s CEO Forum in Hong Kong.

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Think about how you got the jeans you’re wearing. As the con­sumer, your role was pretty simple: You went to the store, tried them on, flashed the plastic, and left with your pur­chase. But that’s merely the tail end of a mas­sive, com­plex global process that brought those jeans from ini­tial design to man­u­fac­turing to the store where you found them.

Spencer Fung, PA’96, group chief oper­ating officer and exec­u­tive director of Li & Fung, is immersed in this intri­cate process. He heads up global infra­struc­ture for Li & Fung, a multi­na­tional group head­quar­tered in Hong Kong that engages in the design, devel­op­ment, sourcing, and dis­tri­b­u­tion of con­sumer goods world­wide. The com­pany man­ages end-​​to-​​end supply chains to con­nect more than 7,000 retailers and 15,000 sup­pliers glob­ally through three busi­ness net­works com­prising trading, logis­tics, and distribution.

Fung, who is also a member of Northeastern’s Board of Trustees, spoke at the university’s CEO International Forum in Hong Kong on May 28.

In his talk titled “New par­a­digms in global sourcing,” Fung described how the family busi­ness was founded in 1906, its global expan­sion over gen­er­a­tions, China’s labor force, and the chal­lenges and oppor­tu­ni­ties facing the com­pany today.

He said numerous fac­tors shape the global sourcing arena, including the price of raw mate­rials, wages, demo­graphics, trade rela­tions, and polit­ical and eco­nomic sta­bility. This all makes for a mul­ti­fac­eted global supply chain that’s evolving daily and facing new chal­lenges and opportunities—whether it be con­sumer trends or needs, regional trade agree­ments, pro­to­cols due to wage infla­tion, or safety mea­sures fol­lowing last year’s deadly col­lapse of a Bangladesh clothing factory.

“If you look at the global sourcing land­scape, there is no con­stant. Almost every week you’re reacting to some­thing,” Fung said. “You have to be nimble, fast, and flex­ible to be able to change almost on the fly. Oth­er­wise you’ll have no goods to sell, and you’ll have no jeans to wear.”

In wel­come remarks, North­eastern Pres­i­dent Joseph E. Aoun ref­er­enced the impact Fung said his own inter­na­tional co-​​op expe­ri­ence had on his career. Aoun also lauded the oppor­tu­ni­ties Li & Fung has been pro­viding North­eastern stu­dents with in Hong Kong. North­eastern is a global leader in expe­ri­en­tial edu­ca­tion anchored in its sig­na­ture co-​​op pro­gram. Since 2006, stu­dents have com­pleted expe­ri­en­tial learning oppor­tu­ni­ties in 114 countries.

“We need to increase the oppor­tu­ni­ties for stu­dents to go over­seas because we want them to be exploring the world and becoming global cit­i­zens,” Aoun said.

For his part, Fung’s job requires him to be closely in tune with the global busi­ness world, or risk Li & Fung falling behind its com­peti­tors. Along with keeping up with tra­di­tional fac­tors that affect the global supply chain, Fung pointed to new forces coming into the fold. Social media has driven com­pa­nies to be more trans­parent. The “fast fashion” trend has trans­formed the industry by dra­mat­i­cally shrinking the pro­duc­tion cycle and forcing industry to churn out new clothing options much more quickly than ever before. And omni-​​channel retailing pro­vides a seam­less, inte­grated cus­tomer expe­ri­ence that today’s con­sumers expect.

Fung said pre­dicting the impact of emerging fac­tors isn’t easy; rather, the key is set­ting up an infra­struc­ture that can react swiftly to them. To that end, he called 3-​​D printing “the biggest unknown.”

“Right now, it’s a hobby for enthu­si­asts or pro­to­typing, but who knows about tomorrow?” he said. “I can imagine a day when there are fac­to­ries in Mexico or North Car­olina with thou­sands of 3-​​D printers mass pro­ducing prod­ucts for the con­sumer and cus­tomizing every­thing. You can even do it at home. What will that do to global supply chains? There are huge social implications.”

In a Q-​​and-​​A fol­lowing his talk, Fung fielded inquires on topics ranging from the work-​​life bal­ance to family busi­nesses. One attendee asked him to name the biggest com­pet­i­tive pres­sure facing his busi­ness. In response, Fung said, “Our industry is highly frag­mented around the world. … As large as we are as a com­pany, we have a small share of global sourcing. Com­pe­ti­tion is every­where.” He added: “Being able to com­pete with these small– and medium-​​sized entre­pre­neurial quick-​​moving units is what we’re going against.”

Wednesday’s event coin­cided with the launch of Northeastern’s his­toric Empower cam­paign in Hong Kong. Launched one year ago, Empower: The Cam­paign for North­eastern Uni­ver­sity, is a com­pre­hen­sive fundraising drive to secure $1 bil­lion in sup­port of pro­grams and ini­tia­tives, with a par­tic­ular focus on three strategic goals: stu­dent finan­cial sup­port and finan­cial aid, fac­ulty advance­ment and expan­sion, and inno­va­tion in edu­ca­tion and research.





CEO Breakfast with Karen Kaplan

Hill Holliday Chairman and CEO Karen Kaplan shares her brand storytelling expertise with an audience of CEOs, executives, and business leaders. Her remarks are entitled “Welcome to the Human Era: The New Model for Building Trusted Connections, and What Brands Need to Do About It.”

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As chief executive officer of the fourteenth-largest advertising agency in the United States, Karen Kaplan has been a driving force in helping grow Hill Holliday to over $1 billion in annual billings since being hired as a receptionist in 1982. Business Insider and Advertising Age have recognized her as one of the most influential women in advertising today.

Karen shares her brand storytelling expertise with an audience of CEOs, executives, and business leaders. Her remarks are entitled “Welcome to the Human Era: The New Model for Building Trusted Connections, and What Brands Need to Do About It.”

Northeastern opens Rogers Corporation Innovation Center

The opening of the Rogers Corporation Innovation Center at Northeastern’s Kostas Research Institute for Homeland Security marks a unique industry-academic partnership that will enhance basic research and develop com­mer­cially viable innovations in advanced mate­rials to address global chal­lenges.

Rogers Corp-Kostas Institute
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When George J. Kostas, E’43, first began con­ver­sa­tions with North­eastern Pres­i­dent Joseph E. Aoun six years ago about estab­lishing a state-​​of-​​the-​​art secu­rity research facility, he had a unique vision. The facility—which ulti­mately opened in 2011 as the George J. Kostas Research Insti­tute for Home­land Secu­rity—would go beyond advancing sci­ence and research in one of the nation’s most pressing fields. It would also enable unlikely industry-​​academic partnerships.

“Today, your vision is becoming a reality,” Aoun said on Tuesday, March 25 at a ribbon-​​cutting cer­e­mony cel­e­brating the opening of the Rogers Cor­po­ra­tion Inno­va­tion Center at the 70,000 square foot Kostas Research Insti­tute in Burlington, Mass. The goal of the unique part­ner­ship—announced in June 2013—is to advance basic research and develop com­mer­cially viable break­through inno­va­tions in advanced mate­rials to address global chal­lenges for clean energy, Internet con­nec­tivity, safety, and security.

“Inno­va­tion and cre­ativity are the basis for the future of this country,” Kostas said. “You have estab­lished a rep­u­ta­tion of being great inno­va­tors.” The dis­tinc­tive col­lab­o­ra­tion, he said, will improve secu­rity for the nation.

The 4,000-square-foot Rogers Cor­po­ra­tion Inno­va­tion Center was built out over the last year. It is housed within a 9,000-square-foot space at the Kostas Research Insti­tute that includes lab­o­ra­to­ries, con­fer­ence rooms, and office space designed to facil­i­tate com­mu­ni­ca­tion and col­lab­o­ra­tion between the on-​​site Rogers staff mem­bers and the North­eastern fac­ulty and stu­dents working along­side them. It includes space for North­eastern pro­fessor Vin­cent Harris’ spinout company.

With sup­port from Kostas’ endow­ment, the partnership—which is expected to be the first of many at the institute—will also enable expe­ri­en­tial learning oppor­tu­ni­ties through stu­dent research co-​​ops, spon­sored research and devel­op­ment pro­grams, and other industry-​​classroom interactions.

Since its incep­tion more than 180 years ago as a paper com­pany, Rogers Cor­po­ra­tion has had to evolve to accom­mo­date the shifting needs of the Amer­ican people. Today, the com­pany is a global tech­nology leader in advanced mate­rials and com­po­nents for con­sumer and power elec­tronics, trans­porta­tion, telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions, and defense systems.

Rogers CEO Bruce Hoechner noted that per­haps the biggest evolution—and revolution—facing society today is tech­nology. In an effort to match the pace of tech­no­log­ical change, the com­pany sought an aca­d­emic partner to help it inno­vate more rapidly. Hoechner said Rogers was drawn to North­eastern because of its com­mit­ment to use-​​inspired research that addresses global challenges—particularly in health, secu­rity, and sustainability.

“We felt very much at home here,” Hoechner said. “We knew that we could find an aca­d­emic orga­ni­za­tion here that was not only focused on devel­oping new and great tech­nology but also tech­nology that has great appli­ca­tion for the world.”

Aoun, for his part, noted that uni­ver­si­ties have tra­di­tion­ally shied away from industry part­ner­ships. As a result, “they have restricted their impact on society,” he said. “This is why I’m very excited about this partnership—yes it’s unique, but it’s going to bring us together along dif­ferent dimensions.”

First, Aoun said, the dis­cov­eries and tech­nolo­gies devel­oped in uni­ver­si­ties only have impact when they meet the con­sumer. Second, lifting finan­cial burden off of researchers enables a reverse inno­va­tion that allows prod­ucts to enter the market more rapidly.

“We have to have a mindset that will bring together tech­nology, con­sumers, cost, and—more importantly—the safety of the nation,” he said.






Largest marine biorepository finds home in Nahant

Thanks to the generosity of New England Biolabs and other private donors, Ocean Genome Legacy will continue and likely expand at its new location at Northeastern. Watch this video to see how OGL is saving the DNA of many marine species every day.

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Preserving our oceans is one of the greatest challenges facing humankind today. Fortunately, Ocean Genome Legacy (OGL) has come to Northeastern’s Marine Science Center to advance its mission of sustaining the biological diversity of the sea. Founded in 2001 by Dr. Donald Comb, who is also founder and former CEO of New England Biolabs, OGL is a one-of-a-kind genomic collection that includes some of the ocean’s rarest, strangest, and most remarkable creatures.

Thanks to the generosity of New England Biolabs and other private donors, OGL will continue and likely expand at its new location at Northeastern. Watch this video to see how OGL is saving the DNA of many marine species every day.

Women Who Inspire: Sustainability

This Women Who Inspire speaker series event honors women in renewable energy, climate change, and sustainability. Practically Green founder and CEO Susan Hunt Stevens moderates a panel of global business leaders.

Women Who Inspire: Energy, Climate and Sustainability Play
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Mindy Lubber is the pres­i­dent of Ceres, a non­profit orga­ni­za­tion that’s mobi­lizing busi­nesses to inte­grate sus­tain­ability into their bottom lines. She man­ages a $10 tril­lion invest­ment fund focused on eval­u­ating the busi­ness risks and oppor­tu­ni­ties of cli­mate change. Her journey to suc­cess began as an eager under­grad­uate student—just like many of those in the audi­ence she addressed Tuesday night in the fifth event in North­eastern University’s Women Who Inspire series.

While fighting for con­sumer rights with Ralph Nader in New York, Lubber recalled, she was chal­lenged by the former leader of the green party and envi­ron­mental icon to take the issue to the state capitol and try to change the law. At first, she won­dered how much an under­grad­uate could really change. But “lo and behold, we passed the law.”

“The way that empow­ered me and the way I want the stu­dents in this room to walk out and under­stand  is that we each can change the world,” Lubber said. “It was an extra­or­di­nary feeling.”

The Women Who Inspire series is designed to pro­mote the advance­ment of women and inspire the next gen­er­a­tion of female leaders in tech­nology, engi­neering, sci­ence and sus­tain­ability. Tuesday night’s event fea­tured a panel of inno­v­a­tive women leaders in renew­able energy, cli­mate change, and sus­tain­ability who dis­cussed their own careers and global growth of green industries.

“Sus­tain­ability is one of the most com­pelling and urgent issues that we have facing us today,” Diane MacGillivray, senior vice pres­i­dent for uni­ver­sity advance­ment, said in wel­come remarks.

Joining Lubber on the esteemed panel were Marcy Reed, AP’86, pres­i­dent of National Grid in Mass­a­chu­setts, and Wendi Gold­smith, CEO of Bio­engi­neering Group. Susan Hunt Stevens, founder and CEO of Prac­ti­cally Green, a leading tech­nology provider of sus­tain­ability engage­ment pro­grams for global com­pa­nies, mod­er­ated the event.

Years ago, envi­ron­men­talism was con­sid­ered a four-​​letter-​​word for com­pa­nies, the purview of dreadlock-​​donning hip­pies and “tree hug­gers.” But Reed said in the last 10 years, “the space has under­gone a 180 transformation.”

“It’s become a busi­ness imper­a­tive,” said Reed, whose com­pany stands with hun­dreds of com­pa­nies world­wide that are incor­po­rating sus­tain­ability prac­tices and poli­cies into the very fabric of their orga­ni­za­tions. “The world is changing. We need to be part of it, we need to help shape it.”

Reed said that for National Grid, which now relies on a solar energy to pro­duce 400 megawatts of power each year (that’s about the size of a small power plant), sus­tain­ability also presents a social imper­a­tive that affects jobs, cus­tomers, and moving society forward.

Gold­smith, for her part, noted that when Hur­ri­cane Kat­rina dev­as­tated New Orleans in 2005, her com­pany helped the city rebuild—while simul­ta­ne­ously building its own rep­u­ta­tion as a leader in sustainability.

She said com­pa­nies today have to play an increas­ingly active role in iden­ti­fying and embracing the next gen­er­a­tion of solu­tions. “So many people don’t know that we now have the world’s most advanced [sus­tain­able] infra­struc­ture,” said Gold­smith, who noted that such sus­tain­ability efforts helped save Louisiana from more than $30 mil­lion in damage when Hur­ri­cane Isaac struck in 2012.

Lubber explained how sim­ilar invest­ments would con­tinue to strengthen the U.S. economy, noting that the clean tech­nology industry is expected to be valued at $36 tril­lion by 2050. “Energy effi­ciency is a mas­sive oppor­tu­nity,” she said. The pan­elists noted that this oppor­tu­nity would take shape as com­pa­nies invest in clean energy tech­nolo­gies that already exist—such as solar panels, wind­mills, and biofuel—and the inno­v­a­tive green tech­nolo­gies of tomorrow.

“What’s really exciting is all the stuff we haven’t even thought of yet,” Gold­smith said.

Bringing the con­ver­sa­tion back to the stu­dents in the audi­ence, Hunt Stevens urged them to con­sider oppor­tu­ni­ties in the green industries.

“This industry needs you,” she said. “It needs the world’s best mar­keters; it needs the world’s best accoun­tants; it needs the world’s best engi­neers and soft­ware devel­opers, and cus­tomer ser­vice people. There is a huge oppor­tu­nity in this space for you to do well and to do good.”

Written by Angela Herring. Photo by Brooks Canaday.

Northeastern hosts Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian

Alexis Ohanian, open internet activist and co-founder of Reddit, came to Northeastern’s campus to speak to an audience of nearly 500 students, faculty, and alumni as part of his Without Their Permission book tour.

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Alexis Ohanian, open internet activist and co-founder of Reddit, came to Northeastern’s campus to speak to an audience of nearly 500 students, faculty, and alumni as part of his Without Their Permission book tour. During his hour on stage, Alexis shared his story and gave advice to budding entrepreneurs. He also interviewed Northeastern alumnus Michael Norman, CSSH’05 about his crowdfunding investment platform, Wefunder.

Alexis encouraged Huskies to “get in the habit of taking ideas and executing them.” Mike’s advice – “Be diverse with co-op and learn about how the world works.”

Northeastern’s Entrepreneurship Club hosted the event in Blackman Auditorium as part of their weekly speaker series. The Empower Campaign provided video coverage.

IDEA, School of Law team up to support local startups

Through a new part­ner­ship between IDEA and the School of Law’s Com­mu­nity Busi­ness Clinic, the Boston-​​based entre­pre­neurs unaf­fil­i­ated with North­eastern have been accepted to the university’s student-​​run ven­ture accel­er­ator for the first time ever.

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Through a new part­ner­ship between IDEA and the School of Law’s Com­mu­nity Busi­ness Clinic, the Boston-​​based entre­pre­neurs unaf­fil­i­ated with North­eastern have been accepted to the university’s student-​​run ven­ture accel­er­ator for the first time ever.

The clinic, directed by law pro­fessor Peter Sessa, offers law stu­dents real-​​world expe­ri­ence in pro­viding free, business-​​related legal ser­vices to star­tups, entre­pre­neurs, and small busi­nesses in the Boston area.

“This is the real prac­tice of law,” Sessa explained. “It’s not a sim­u­la­tion course. We expect the unexpected.”

Sessa’s clinic teamed up with IDEA to pro­vide three of its clients with busi­ness sup­port from IDEA that is typ­i­cally reserved for star­tups with a North­eastern affil­i­a­tion. Pre­vi­ously, unaf­fil­i­ated clients could attend work­shops and receive coaching from the IDEA staff but could not get funding—until now. IDEA’s $1,000 Pro­to­type Fund Grants will be avail­able to these ventures.

“The value added is the coaching, men­toring, and busi­ness plan­ning sup­port we can pro­vide them,” said Max Kaye, CEO of IDEA. “This was a com­mu­nity out­reach oppor­tu­nity for us.”

Stu­dents in the clinic selected three of their clients to join IDEA: Pixel Life, an under­ground and hip-​​hop clothing brand founded by North­eastern psy­chology major Vlad Dim­itrov, S’15; Envite Design, a design and pro­duc­tion com­pany; and Prac­tice Gigs, a social net­working plat­form that helps ath­letes find prac­tice partners.

Toni Oloko, the 17-​​year-​​old Boston Trinity Academy stu­dent who started Prac­tice Gigs, spoke highly of working with North­eastern. “My expe­ri­ence with IDEA and the Com­mu­nity Busi­ness Clinic has been great,” Oloko said, noting that a mentor at the Small Busi­nesses Asso­ci­a­tion referred him to the law school clinic. “With their help, Prac­tice Gigs Inc. attended NEXPO in November, but more impor­tantly we have received advice on our busi­ness model and busi­ness plan.”

Kaye has received pos­i­tive feed­back from all three ven­tures, which have already attended work­shops on busi­ness mod­eling, pitching, and financing. Last month, Envite Design joined Prac­tice Gigs in par­tic­i­pating in NEXPO, a bian­nual entre­pre­neur­ship expo­si­tion hosted by IDEA.

The law stu­dents, for their part, are also ben­e­fiting from this new part­ner­ship. According to Sessa, their ser­vice has taught them the impor­tance of col­lab­o­ra­tion and delegation.

“All new lawyers expe­ri­ence some stress because they think they need the answers to all their clients’ ques­tions,” Sessa explained. “My stu­dents learn the value of col­lab­o­ra­tion and being able to send their clients to another resource for cer­tain questions.”

Jan­uary marked the begin­ning of the law school’s second quarter of the year, which means new clients and new stu­dents for Sessa’s clinic. Both he and Kaye said they hope to add three new ven­tures to the IDEA family in addi­tion to the orig­inal three, which are expected to con­tinue working with IDEA.

“The sky is the limit as far as I’m con­cerned,” Sessa said.





Empowerfest celebrates Northeastern’s past, present, and future

The North­eastern com­mu­nity cel­e­brated the university-​​wide launch of its $1 bil­lion Empower cam­paign with Empowerfest on November 15-16.

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On November 15-16, the North­eastern com­mu­nity cel­e­brated the university-​​wide launch of its $1 bil­lion Empower cam­paign with Empowerfest, an exciting show­case fea­turing dozens of inter­ac­tive exhibits that high­lighted inno­v­a­tive stu­dent and fac­ulty research projects, as well as musical per­for­mances, food and many fun activ­i­ties for all ages.

Empowerfest served as the cen­ter­piece of Home­coming Weekend, which brought together gen­er­a­tions of alumni and stu­dents, fac­ulty, staff, and friends to cel­e­brate the university’s momentum and show their North­eastern pride.

Empowerfest took over the Cabot Field House with global expe­ri­en­tial learning, use-​​inspired research, entre­pre­neur­ship and inno­va­tion, and ath­letics woven through the myriad hands-​​on activ­i­ties. These exhibits included star­tups sup­ported by IDEA, Northeastern’s student-​​run ven­ture accel­er­ator; a closer look at the university’s new 3-​​D Printing Studio; live touch tanks fea­turing species at the center of some of Northeastern’s marine sci­ence research; inter­ac­tive cyber­se­cu­rity, and game design demos; and global endeavors from Northeastern’s Social Entre­pre­neur­ship Insti­tute.

“Many of you have told me that you love what you are seeing here today,” Pres­i­dent Joseph E. Aoun said during his wel­coming remarks. “But this didn’t happen by itself. The stu­dents, staff, and fac­ulty have been working hard. But more impor­tantly, you empow­ered them. You made it happen because many of you have invested in them.”

Fac­ulty and staff received a spe­cial pre­view of Empowerfest on November 15. About 2,000 people attended Empowerfest over the two days.

Diane MacGillivray, senior vice pres­i­dent of uni­ver­sity advance­ment, said cel­e­brating Empowerfest during Home­coming Weekend allowed for the oppor­tu­nity for North­eastern to honor its past while also look toward its bright future.

“This is bringing together a wider audi­ence to show­case what is hap­pening on this campus,” MacGillivray said. “We wanted people to come and redis­cover the pride of not just what has hap­pened, but what is hap­pening. A lot of people have expressed amaze­ment this is hap­pening at Northeastern.”

In May, North­eastern announced the launch of Empower: The Cam­paign for North­eastern Uni­ver­sity, a com­pre­hen­sive fundraising drive to secure $1 bil­lion in sup­port of pro­grams and ini­tia­tives, with a par­tic­ular focus on three strategic goals: stu­dent finan­cial sup­port and finan­cial aid, fac­ulty advance­ment and expan­sion, and inno­va­tion in edu­ca­tion and research.

The unprece­dented cam­paign aims to raise $500 mil­lion in phil­an­thropic sup­port and $500 mil­lion through industry and gov­ern­ment part­ner­ships by 2017, which together will shape the future of teaching, learning, and inno­va­tion in edu­ca­tion and research.

Richard A. D’Amore, DMSB’76, co-​​chair of the Empower cam­paign, wel­comed guests on November 16 and said it was great to see all of Northeastern’s hard work in action. Last year, D’Amore teamed up with fellow campaign co-chair Alan McKim, DMSB’88, to make a com­bined $60 mil­lion gift—the largest phil­an­thropic invest­ment in Northeastern’s his­tory and which renamed the busi­ness school the D’Amore-McKim School of Busi­ness.

“It is fab­u­lous to see the energy,” D’Amore exclaimed. “We know all the met­rics that are hap­pening around here, the appli­ca­tions, the quality of the stu­dents, the great fac­ulty hiring, but to see it all in action is just great for us. We are all lucky to be part of this fab­u­lous insti­tu­tion. We all have to sup­port it to the extent we can. ”

Home­coming Weekend also allowed stu­dents, fac­ulty, staff, and alumni to see many of Northeastern’s ath­letics teams in action. Women’s vol­ley­ball held two games on campus, fans cel­e­brated their Husky spirit at Fan­Fest prior to the men’s hockey game against New Hamp­shire, and men’s bas­ket­ball earned its first vic­tory of the year by win­ning its home opener against Cen­tral Con­necticut State, 83–69.

The Var­sity Club Hall of Fame, which rec­og­nizes the accom­plish­ments of North­eastern student-​​athletes, coaches, and bene­fac­tors, held an induc­tion cer­e­mony and dinner on November 16 to wel­come six new inductees.

The North­eastern Choral Society hosted an alumni recep­tion as a lead up to its November 17 con­cert at Jordan Hall, which marked pro­fessor Joshua Jacobson’s 40 years as its con­ductor. And the sixth annual Big Dog 5k road race and walk was held in Dedham, with par­tic­i­pants fin­ishing the new course on the revamped ath­letic track at North­eastern’s Dedham campus.

At Empowerfest, every aspect of Northeastern’s momentum was on dis­play. Vis­i­tors got an up-​​close look at the real and robotic crea­tures from the Marine Sci­ence Center and ven­tured over to the Game Design Dome to play a variety of video games designed in campus facilities.

Atten­dees used the iCRAFT, an eye-​​controlled robotic feeding arm devel­oped by North­eastern stu­dents, to pick up candy, and enjoyed per­for­mances by musical groups on campus. As an added bonus, vis­i­tors also had the oppor­tu­nity to get their photo taken with the Boston Red Sox 2013 World Series trophy.

“It’s inter­esting to see the huge expan­sion taking place since I walked these hal­lowed halls,” said Phillip Mecajni, a double Husky who earned his under­grad­uate degree in engi­neer tech­nology in 1976 and his MBA in 1978.

Ali Fraenkel, class of 2016, was one of sev­eral stu­dents man­ning the booth for North­eastern Students4Giving booth, an expe­ri­en­tial phil­an­thropy edu­ca­tion pro­gram that com­bines rig­orous aca­d­emic con­tent with real-​​dollar grant making.  She said the two-​​day event was a great suc­cess. “It’s great to touch upon what we do,” Fraenkel said. “I think it has been very suc­cessful. It was cool to have a wide range of con­ver­sa­tions and gauge people’s interest based on those conversations.”

“What­ever your pas­sion is, choose a piece of this uni­ver­sity and make it happen,” Aoun told the crowd.








Empower campaign surpasses fiscal year 2013 goal, raising $63.3 million

On the heels of the official announcement in May of the Empower campaign, Northeastern announced that the university has secured $63.3 million in new gifts and pledges in fiscal year 2013, handily surpassing the year’s goal by $8.3 million.

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Despite challenging economic times, Northeastern secured $63.3 million in new gifts and pledges in fiscal year 2013, handily surpassing the year’s goal by $8.3 million. That announcement comes on the heels of the official launch in May of Empower: The Campaign for Northeastern University, the most ambitious fundraising effort in the university’s history.

The kickoff of Empower was punctuated this week by the release of the campaign’s official website. Mirroring Northeastern’s innovation-driven ethos, the site not only announces gifts of all sizes, but also invites alumni and other supporters to explore inspiring stories of student and faculty empowerment—and to share their own memories and anecdotes about formative Northeastern experiences and relationships.

Support from all members of the community—alumni, students, parents, friends, and university partners—has been integral to Northeastern’s rise as a global, experiential research university. Since 2006, Northeastern’s annual fundraising has more than doubled. Undergraduate alumni set a record for giving in fiscal year 2013, with an impressive 13,103 individuals making gifts.

“Northeastern has a bold vision for the future, and the philanthropic support of our community and friends is giving life to that vision,” said Northeastern President Joseph E. Aoun. “Our momentum is unprecedented. Our goal is to sustain it for generations to come by remaining at the leading edge of research, and by continuing to attract world-class students and faculty.”

True to its global character, Northeastern followed the Empower campaign’s official launch in Boston with celebrations in July in London and Paris. Nearly 150 members of the university’s international community gathered to celebrate the campaign’s public phase—the point at which, with significant funding in hand, an institution calls upon every constituent for support. Northeastern seeks to raise $500 million from generous donors on one hand, and $500 million from corporations, university alliances, and government on the other.

“At Northeastern, these funds are highly interdependent and synergistic,” said Diane N. MacGillivray, senior vice president for university advancement. “A donor’s gift may support a faculty member, who brings in grants—which ignite discoveries, inspiring additional gifts. Philanthropy has the power to change lives—both of those who give and those who benefit.”

During the coming months, Northeastern will continue hosting Empower events across the country and around the world. And on November 15–16, Homecoming Weekend, the greater university community will convene for exciting, family-friendly campaign celebrations. Visitors will have the opportunity to experience the future of Northeastern through interactive exhibits showcasing the innovation, entrepreneurship, and research of exceptional students, faculty, and alumni. 

Empower campaign supporters are already making a remarkable impact across disciplines at Northeastern. They have established a pioneering partnership with the Ocean Genome Legacy Center of New England Biolabs to house a renowned collection of marine genome samples; the innovative Michael J. and Ann Sherman Center for Engineering Entrepreneurship Education; and the Northeastern University-​​Boston Ballet Edu­ca­tion Program, a groundbreaking educational program to help pro­fes­sional ballet dancers earn undergraduate and graduate degrees and to pre­pare them for careers after dancing.

For details and updates on the Empower campaign—and to share the story of how Northeastern has empowered you—visit










College education ahead of a dancer’s final curtain call

North­eastern Uni­ver­sity and the Boston Ballet have cre­ated a com­pre­hen­sive edu­ca­tional pro­gram to help pro­fes­sional ballet dancers earn col­lege degrees and to pre­pare them for careers after dancing.

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North­eastern Uni­ver­sity and the Boston Ballet have cre­ated a com­pre­hen­sive edu­ca­tional pro­gram to help pro­fes­sional ballet dancers earn col­lege degrees and to pre­pare them for careers after dancing.

The inno­v­a­tive part­ner­ship, which was pro­filed by The Boston Globe, pro­vides flex­ible and cus­tomized oppor­tu­ni­ties for Boston Ballet dancers to earn under­grad­uate and grad­uate degrees and to take advan­tage of expe­ri­en­tial learning pro­grams, including Northeastern’s renowned co-​​op model. The uni­ver­sity will pro­vide access to its robust infra­struc­ture of aca­d­emic courses and career coaching resources and work with qual­i­fied can­di­dates to stream­line the admis­sions and enroll­ment processes.

The first-​​in-​​the-​​nation initiative—called the North­eastern University-​​Boston Ballet Edu­ca­tion Program—is backed by a com­bined gift from two Boston Ballet board mem­bers: chairman Jack R. Meyer and Henri Ter­meer. Meyer is the CEO Con­vexity Cap­ital Man­age­ment. Ter­meer is the former CEO and chairman of Gen­zyme Cor­po­ra­tion and a pio­neer in devel­oping and deliv­ering treat­ments for rare genetic diseases.

“Henri, Jack, and our insti­tu­tions share a ded­i­ca­tion to excel­lence, cul­ture, edu­ca­tion, and the growth of the human spirit,” said Joseph E. Aoun, pres­i­dent of North­eastern Uni­ver­sity. “This part­ner­ship is exem­plary of acad­emia and the arts advancing the future of human talent.”

Through the North­eastern University-​​Boston Ballet Edu­ca­tion Pro­gram pro­fes­sional dancers will earn under­grad­uate or grad­uate degrees through the Col­lege of Pro­fes­sional Studies in dis­ci­plines of their choosing. A schol­ar­ship fund has been estab­lished to cover 80 per­cent of the tuition and costs for each of 16 com­pany dancers starting this month. Dancers will be able to com­plete their under­grad­uate degrees in roughly six years.

The pro­gram also cap­i­tal­izes on Northeastern’s lead­er­ship in devel­oping hybrid, flex­ible degree pro­grams designed to meet the indi­vidual needs and inter­ests of tal­ented pro­fes­sionals. Com­pany dancers will take courses on campus, at the Boston Ballet, and online. They will also receive a range of experiential-​​learning opportunities—including co-​​op and internships—that align with their career goals.

Since its founding in 1963, Boston Ballet has evolved into one of the world’s leading ballet com­pa­nies. It attracts dancers from around the globe–17 coun­tries are cur­rently represented.

While the dancers are at the very top of their pro­fes­sion, very few have col­lege degrees. Northeastern’s com­mit­ment to global edu­ca­tion, research, and expe­ri­ences dove­tails with the Ballet’s mis­sion so the part­ner­ship between the two insti­tu­tions com­ple­ment each other well.

“The intense rehearsal and per­for­mance sched­ules of the dancers make it nearly impos­sible to earn a col­lege degree,” said Meyer. “The North­eastern pro­gram pro­vides the flex­i­bility and coaching that will allow them to earn a degree while still dancing.”

“North­eastern is the per­fect match for Boston’s Ballet,” said Ter­meer. “They are at the leading edge of flex­ible edu­ca­tion and have gone all out to make this pro­gram a suc­cess. We are opti­mistic that our part­ner­ship will expand as we get to know one another.”

Mikko Nissinen, artistic director of Boston Ballet, is equally excited about the part­ner­ship. “We are all thrilled about this new col­lab­o­ra­tion with North­eastern. The oppor­tu­nity is truly a dream come true for today’s pro­fes­sional dancer,” he said.

Boston Ballet exec­u­tive director, Barry Hughson, also sees the part­ner­ship as cru­cial to the evo­lu­tion of the dance busi­ness model, adding, “The future of our industry depends on the talent of our dancers. Our ability to attract, retain, and edu­cate a world-​​class dance force will ensure the sus­tain­ability of not only Boston Ballet—but the arts industry as a whole.”










Rare biorepository finds new home at Marine Science Center

Northeastern has partnered with the Ocean Genome Legacy and New England biolabs to bring a pub­licly acces­sible biorepos­i­tory of DNA sam­ples from ocean species to the university’s Marine Sci­ence Center.

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Northeastern’s University’s Marine Sci­ence Center will soon house a tissue col­lec­tion from the world’s most rare, strange, and remark­able ocean crea­tures. Based on the part­ner­ship between North­eastern, Ocean Genome Legacy and New Eng­land Bio­labs, the uni­ver­sity will be home to the Ocean Genome Legacy Center of New Eng­land Bio­labs—a pub­licly acces­sible biorepos­i­tory of DNA sam­ples from ocean species.

Founded in 2001 by Dr. Donald Comb, OGL is a non­profit envi­ron­mental research orga­ni­za­tion and DNA bank ded­i­cated to pro­moting new methods for the study and con­ser­va­tion of marine species through preser­va­tion and analysis of their DNA.

The price­less col­lec­tion will move to the Marine Sci­ence Center, located in Nahant, Mass., later this year. It will con­tinue to be used to uncover some of our ocean’s deepest mys­teries and reveal genomic infor­ma­tion that can help cure dis­eases, pro­tect the envi­ron­ment, and improve the sus­tain­ability of global food and energy supplies.

A gen­erous multi-​​million dollar gift from New Eng­land Bio­labs and other pri­vate donors, as well as a com­mit­ment toward cre­ating a matching endow­ment, will enable oper­a­tions of OGL at the Marine Sci­ence Center to con­tinue and likely expand. A new lab to house the growing col­lec­tion will be built in the coming years.

“Global change is causing mas­sive bio­di­ver­sity loss in the oceans and we are thrilled to take respon­si­bility for this unique and impor­tant col­lec­tion,” said J. Murray Gibson, dean of North­eastern University’s Col­lege of Sci­ence. “The col­lec­tion becomes a focus for our research, edu­ca­tion, and out­reach, and through this part­ner­ship we aim to accel­erate the ful­fill­ment of the goal of OGL—to pre­serve DNA sam­ples from all the ocean’s species.”

Located 25 min­utes out­side of Boston, Northeastern’s Marine Sci­ence center offers fac­ulty and stu­dents a unique oppor­tu­nity to study the human impact on the urban coastal system. Marine sci­ence researchers are building global col­lab­o­ra­tions and con­ducting ground­breaking research in areas ranging from under­water robotics to the effects of cli­mate change on the globe’s coastlines.

North­eastern fac­ulty will uti­lize the Ocean Genome Resource Col­lec­tion to aid their genomic research. Stu­dents will con­tribute to the biorepos­i­tory through field col­lec­tion and expe­ri­en­tial learning oppor­tu­ni­ties at the marine lab.

“This is a great oppor­tu­nity for OGL to join forces with North­eastern, a major research uni­ver­sity with a huge com­mit­ment to envi­ron­mental sus­tain­ability and edu­ca­tion,” Dan Distel, exec­u­tive director of OGL, said in a statement.

“The out­standing fac­ulty, stu­dents, and infra­struc­ture and the forward-​​looking phi­los­ophy of North­eastern Uni­ver­sity and the Marine Sci­ence Center pro­vide a growth oppor­tu­nity for OGL that would be hard to match any­where else.”











Business pioneer invests in Northeastern’s future

Busi­ness pio­neer and North­eastern alumnus Roger Marino, E’61, H’96, has once again stepped for­ward to invest in his beloved alma mater by making a mul­ti­mil­lion dollar gift to sup­port the ambi­tious goals of the university’s his­toric Empower cam­paign.

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Busi­ness pio­neer and North­eastern alumnus Roger Marino has once again stepped for­ward to invest in his beloved alma mater by making a mul­ti­mil­lion dollar gift to sup­port the ambi­tious goals of the university’s his­toric Empower cam­paign. His pas­sion for Northeastern’s experiential-​​learning model and for its unprece­dented momentum under the lead­er­ship of Pres­i­dent Joseph E. Aoun is the driver behind Marino’s latest gift.

“Pres­i­dent Aoun has taken North­eastern to new heights,” Marino said. “The university’s future looks bright.”

He cred­ited Northeastern’s co-​​op pro­gram with giving him the con­fi­dence to suc­ceed in the fast-​​paced busi­ness world. “I became very com­fort­able inter­acting with my col­leagues because I was knowl­edge­able about how I should act in a pro­fes­sional set­ting,” he said, noting his experiential-​​learning oppor­tu­ni­ties with Raytheon and Syl­vania Lighting. “Co-​​op helped me under­stand the inner-​​working of dif­ferent types of cor­po­ra­tions so that they weren’t alien to me when I grad­u­ated from North­eastern.” Marino’s invest­ment will help future gen­er­a­tions of stu­dents expe­ri­ence sim­i­larly rewarding pro­fes­sional expe­ri­ences through co-​​op.

Marino grad­u­ated with a bach­elor of sci­ence in elec­trical engi­neering in 1961; received an hon­orary doc­torate in humane let­ters in 1996; and was named a life­time trustee emer­itus in 2009. His $2 mil­lion invest­ment is the latest from Marino who has been a loyal sup­porter of North­eastern for the last 20 years, giving back to the uni­ver­sity for ini­tia­tives focused on health and education.

“Roger epit­o­mizes the impact North­eastern has had on many of our grad­u­ates,” said Pres­i­dent Aoun. “Just as his edu­ca­tion was trans­for­ma­tive for him, Roger’s enduring com­mit­ment to North­eastern has impacted count­less mem­bers of our community.”

His gift in the early 1990s funded the Marino Recre­ation Center, which opened in 1996 on Hunt­ington Avenue. “I was really bowled over when I saw it at night, all lit up against the Boston back­ground,” he once said of his first visit to the Marino Center. “That was just amazing.”

Marino is also a bene­factor of the Torch Scholars Pro­gram, a seven-​​year-​​old ini­tia­tive that sup­ports first-​​generation, low-​​income stu­dents who exhibit poten­tial in non­tra­di­tional ways. Based on data from the first two grad­u­ating classes, 100 per­cent of scholars are either in grad­uate school or employed in their fields.

“I can’t believe how smart these kids are,” Marino said. “They’re extraordinary.”

Marino grew up in Revere, Mass., and arrived at North­eastern in the fall of 1956. His father immi­grated to America from Italy in the early 20th cen­tury and worked as a tailor at a fac­tory not far from campus.

Marino and fellow Col­lege of Engi­neering alumnus Richard Egan cofounded EMC in 1979, trans­forming the Hop­kinton, Mass.-based global data storage com­pany from a startup into a multi­na­tional cor­po­ra­tion with 40,000 employees.

He retired from EMC in 1992 to pursue busi­ness ven­tures related to his life­long interest in sports and enter­tain­ment. He is the exec­u­tive pro­ducer of five fea­ture films and the former prin­cipal owner of the Pitts­burgh Pen­guins of the National Hockey League.











Empower to take Northeastern to ‘amazing heights’

President Joseph E. Aoun, presided over Northeastern launching its $1 billion comprehensive campaign on Thursday night at a kickoff event that featured interactive research exhibits and inspiring calls to support the university’s momentum.

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North­eastern launched its $1 bil­lion com­pre­hen­sive cam­paign on Thursday night at a kickoff event that fea­tured inspiring calls to sup­port the university’s surging momentum and inter­ac­tive exhibits through which fac­ulty and stu­dents show­cased Northeastern’s ground­breaking research, rising global pro­file, and lead­er­ship in expe­ri­en­tial education.

Empower: The Cam­paign for North­eastern Uni­ver­sity aims to raise $500 mil­lion in phil­an­thropic sup­port and $500 mil­lion through industry and gov­ern­ment part­ner­ships by 2017, which together will shape the future of teaching, learning, and dis­covery at the uni­ver­sity by sup­porting stu­dents, fac­ulty, and inno­va­tion in edu­ca­tion and research. The cam­paign will sup­port pro­grams and ini­tia­tives university-​​wide, focusing on three strategic goals: stu­dent sup­port and finan­cial aid, fac­ulty advance­ment and expan­sion, and inno­va­tion in edu­ca­tion and research.

Speaking to nearly 400 people gath­ered in the Marino Center, Pres­i­dent Joseph E. Aoun said the Empower cam­paign is about “excel­lence, quality, and impact.” Phil­an­thropic sup­port, he said, will increase schol­ar­ships for stu­dents to pursue inno­va­tion, entre­pre­neur­ship, and pro­fes­sional lead­er­ship; pro­vide resources for fac­ulty to hurdle bar­riers and solve global chal­lenges through use-​​inspired, inter­dis­ci­pli­nary research; and deepen alumni con­nec­tions with the university.

“I am asking you to empower our com­mu­nity and give life to a bold new vision of what North­eastern can be,” he said. “I am asking you to strengthen your university—and your North­eastern community—for decades to come.” By doing so, Aoun said North­eastern will con­tinue attracting dis­tin­guished stu­dents and fac­ulty and remain on the leading edge of research, par­tic­u­larly in areas of health, secu­rity, and sustainability.

A series of major gifts have already set the stage for the Empower campaign’s suc­cess, including a $60 mil­lion gift from alumni Richard D’Amore and Alan McKim to the busi­ness school, now known as the D’Amore-McKim School of Busi­ness. D’Amore and McKim will serve as the Empower cam­paign co-​​chairs.

On Thursday night, the pair cited both the enor­mous pro­fes­sional and per­sonal impact North­eastern has made in their lives and the university’s incred­ible momentum as fac­tors to remain actively engaged on campus and ulti­mately make their com­bined gift last fall. D’Amore, who earned his bachelor’s degree in 1976, said he and other alumni have been con­sis­tently impressed by how much Northeastern’s world-​​class rep­u­ta­tion, quality of stu­dents, global pro­file, and depth of research have soared since he was a student.

“We’re tremen­dously proud of our uni­ver­sity,” D’Amore said.

“We rec­og­nize Northeastern’s poten­tial, just as North­eastern rec­og­nized our poten­tial as stu­dents,” added McKim. “This is a mon­u­mental day for the university.”

Henry J. Nasella, chairman of the North­eastern Board of Trustees and a 1977 grad­uate, also addressed atten­dees. He touted Northeastern’s sig­na­ture co-​​op pro­gram, which he said gave him the real-​​world expe­ri­ence to under­stand how busi­ness worked, “from the shop floor up.”

“There hasn’t ever been a job that I didn’t feel con­fi­dent that I could do or learn to do in my career,” he said.

“We’re here to secure North­eastern for the future,” he added.

Later in the evening, a series of inter­ac­tive exhibits allowed vis­i­tors to immerse them­selves in the scope of Northeastern’s inter­dis­ci­pli­nary research, global reach, inno­v­a­tive mindset, and entre­pre­neurial spirit. In var­ious exhibits, stu­dents and fac­ulty show­cased cutting-​​edge projects in game design, cyber­se­cu­rity, and explo­sives detec­tion. Another sta­tion show­cased Northeastern’s Marine Sci­ence Center in Nahant, Mass, where stu­dents and fac­ulty are col­lab­o­rating on research ranging from under­water robotics to cli­mate change studies.

There were also two alumni ven­tures on dis­play: One was Njabini Inc., which helps poor fam­i­lies in rural Kenya grow income-​​generating projects that sup­port their fam­i­lies and com­mu­ni­ties, including a new project that uses a coop­er­a­tive model to bring potato pro­ducers together to col­lec­tively increase their pro­duc­tion and profits. The other was Fresh Truck, a social ven­ture aimed at trans­porting healthy food into urban areas without wide access to gro­cery stores.











Northeastern to launch $1 billion comprehensive campaign

Northeastern is undertaking a historic, $1 billion campaign that will shape the future of teaching, learning, and discovery at the university by supporting students, faculty, and innovation in education and research. The campaign will also strengthen Northeastern’s partnerships with government and industry.

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North­eastern is under­taking a his­toric, $1 bil­lion cam­paign that will shape the future of teaching, learning, and dis­covery at the uni­ver­sity by sup­porting stu­dents, fac­ulty, and inno­va­tion in edu­ca­tion and research. The cam­paign will also strengthen Northeastern’s part­ner­ships with gov­ern­ment and industry.

Empower: The Cam­paign for North­eastern Uni­ver­sity aims to raise $500 mil­lion in phil­an­thropic sup­port and $500 mil­lion through industry and gov­ern­ment part­ner­ships by 2017. The cam­paign will cap­i­talize on Northeastern’s surging momentum in areas ranging from research to global lead­er­ship in expe­ri­en­tial edu­ca­tion. The number of global co-​​ops has increased 235 per­cent since 2006-​​07, the university’s annual research funding has increased 115 per­cent since 2006, and 90 per­cent of grad­u­ates from 2006 to 2011 were employed full time or enrolled in grad­uate school within nine months after grad­u­a­tion. These are among the many fac­tors con­tributing to the increase in quan­tity and quality of stu­dents the uni­ver­sity attracts, as appli­ca­tions for the fall 2013 freshman class exceeded prior bench­marks in terms of total appli­cants, geo­graphic diver­sity, and quality.

“This his­toric cam­paign is about people empow­ering people,” Pres­i­dent Joseph E. Aoun said. “Since 1898, we have cham­pi­oned inno­va­tion, entre­pre­neur­ship, ser­vice, and the inte­gra­tion of study and real-​​world experience—a tra­di­tion rooted in our co-​​op pro­gram. Today these values are reflected in our global experiential-​​education oppor­tu­ni­ties and use-​​inspired research. Northeastern’s momentum has been extra­or­di­nary, and the best is yet to come.”

The Empower cam­paign will sup­port pro­grams and ini­tia­tives university-​​wide. These include new co-​​op and research oppor­tu­ni­ties for stu­dents, who will be pre­pared to lead emerging, inter­dis­ci­pli­nary fields and industries—from nanomed­i­cine, per­sonal health infor­matics, and net­work sci­ence to green archi­tec­ture and the dig­ital arts. Invest­ments will also equip fac­ulty with the tools and guid­ance to col­lab­o­rate across dis­ci­plines and forge part­ner­ships world­wide, while also con­fronting soci­etal imperatives—among these, health, secu­rity, and sustainability—to develop fresh solu­tions to global challenges.

The cam­paign focuses on three strategic goals:

Stu­dent sup­port and finan­cial aid, which includes expe­ri­en­tial learning, inter­na­tional edu­ca­tion, schol­ar­ships and fel­low­ships, ath­letics and club sports, com­mu­nity engage­ment, stu­dent research, and oppor­tu­ni­ties for stu­dents to pursue their entre­pre­neurial ambi­tions.

Fac­ulty advance­ment and expan­sion, which includes endowing new dean­ships, fac­ulty chairs, and pro­fes­sor­ships in order to attract and retain world-​​class researchers and teachers; and building teams of fac­ulty mem­bers that work across dis­ci­plines to deliver leading-​​edge schol­ar­ship.

Inno­va­tion in edu­ca­tion and research, which will build on Northeastern’s strengths in co-​​op, launch new degree pro­grams, and mod­ernize education-​​delivery sys­tems, in part by adopting new dig­ital com­mu­ni­ca­tion tech­nolo­gies; and which will advance use-​​inspired research—particularly in health, secu­rity, and sustainability—and create new research cen­ters that will keep the uni­ver­sity on the leading edge of inven­tion and exploration.

The cam­paign will engage the entire North­eastern com­mu­nity, including alumni, par­ents, cor­po­rate part­ners, fac­ulty, staff, and students.

A series of major gifts have already set the stage for suc­cess. Alumni Richard D’Amore and Alan McKim made a joint $60-​​million gift to the busi­ness school, now known as the D’Amore-McKim School of Busi­ness. And alumnus George J. Kostas invested $12 mil­lion in his alma mater to estab­lish the George J. Kostas Research Insti­tute for Home­land Secu­rity.

Empower cam­paign sup­porters are exerting tremen­dous impact across the uni­ver­sity. Sup­porters have cre­ated a new center for engi­neering entre­pre­neur­ship edu­ca­tion; a co-​​op schol­ar­ship that funds lab­o­ra­tory research on campus by stu­dents who aspire to med­ical school and careers as physician-​​scientists; a fund to sup­port senior engi­neering cap­stone projects; a fund that sup­ports the School of Law’s Ini­tia­tive on Expe­ri­en­tial Edu­ca­tion in Law; the Nasella Family Endow­ment Fund in sup­port of finan­cial aid; and an endow­ment to fund a pro­fes­sional coaching posi­tion for the Sailing Club.











Tech innovator supports program for engineers to become entrepreneurs

College of Engineering alumnus and tech innovator Michael Sherman is the man behind Northeastern University’s Michael J. and Ann Sherman Center for Engineering Entrepreneurship Education.

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College of Engineering alumnus and tech innovator Michael Sherman is the man behind Northeastern University’s Michael J. and Ann Sherman Center for Engineering Entrepreneurship Education.

Scheduled to launch this fall, the new program’s curriculum is designed to arm engineering undergraduates with the appropriate entrepreneurial skills to successfully pitch and commercialize their innovations. Workshops and courses will be led by Northeastern faculty and innovators from industry.

“We need to ensure that engineering students are able to communicate in the commercial world,” said Sherman, who graduated with a bachelor of science from the College of Engineering in 1968. In some ways, he said, the “commerciality of innovation is more important than the innovation itself.

“It doesn’t matter how good your product is,” he explained. “If you can’t make a business case for its viability then you won’t be able to bring it to market.”

The center complements Northeastern’s commitment to fostering entrepreneurship on campus and will work closely with faculty in the D’Amore-McKim School of Business and IDEA, Northeastern’s student-run venture accelerator.

“Michael’s passion for turning innovative engineers into savvy entrepreneurs resonates deeply with our mission at Northeastern,” said Joseph E. Aoun, president of Northeastern University. “Our students thrive on infusing their knowledge with real-world experiences. Michael’s support will be instrumental for our engineering students and the sustainability of their inventions.”

Nadine Aubry, dean of the College of Engineering, shares Sherman’s passion. “Engineers create products but without taking those to market, what’s the point? Business considerations need to be an integral part of the engineering design process; otherwise engineers waste time designing products that will never be used,” said Aubry, who met Sherman shortly after she had expressed her vision to introduce entrepreneurship in engineering education as new dean last fall. “Michael and Ann’s investment will allow the College to introduce entrepreneurship in our engineering curriculum at a much larger scale.”

Sherman has 40 years of experience in communications hardware and software development, including wireless applications for military, government, and commercial use. His business, AES Corp., of Peabody, Mass., produces and installs leading-edge security products for organizations and households in more than 130 countries around the world.

Sherman grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y., and moved to Boston in 1963 to attend Northeastern. He credited co-op with giving him the confidence to excel in the business world. “Gaining experience in the work environment made me realize that I could accomplish the business objectives I desired,” he said. “I have always considered Northeastern integral to my career success.”

This multi-million dollar seed investment is a testament to Sherman’s loyal and ongoing support of his alma mater during the last 25 years. He is grateful to be in a position to give back to Northeastern’s crop of burgeoning engineers. “Engineers and the engineering profession will exist long into the future if they are able to become the commercial engines of innovation,” he said.