Bold. Distinctive. Experiential. Entrepreneurial. Global. Innovative. Empowering. These defining traits lie at the heart of Empower: The Campaign for Northeastern, a comprehensive fundraising drive to secure $1 billion in support of students, faculty, and innovation. The campaign, announced in May, will reshape education and discovery for generations to come in ways that are unique to the world’s leader in global experiential learning.
Why “Empower”? It’s a theme fitting to a university grounded in co-op and founded on giving students tools essential for real-world success. Backed by “the power of we”—alumni, parents, friends, faculty, staff, students, foundations, corporations, and government—this campaign will take Northeastern to “amazing heights,” declared President Joseph E. Aoun at a launch event in Boston on May 23.
That evening, and at events in London and Paris in July, lead donors and friends celebrated the campaign’s public phase—the point at which, with significant funding in hand, an institution calls upon every constituent for support.
“I am asking you to empower our community and give life to a bold new vision of what Northeastern can be,” said Aoun, welcoming 400 guests to the university’s Marino Center. “I am asking you to strengthen your university—and your Northeastern community—for decades to come.”
By any measure, Northeastern has rocketed to new levels of excellence and impact. In 2011–2012, the faculty garnered $104.8 million in federal research funds. Students were the most diverse, deserving, and talented ever to arrive on campus. More than 2,100 traveled to 92 countries to work and study.
Building on these impressive gains, the campaign will ensure long-term prosperity for this global research university. Funds raised will empower faculty and students to improve lives and meet challenges in health, security, and sustainability head-on.
Donors will advance emerging frontiers, from drug discovery, urban coastal marine science, and infrastructure resilience to the digital humanities, data visualization, and game design.
The Empower campaign has three strategic priorities:
Student support and financial aid. The Empower campaign will help put a Northeastern education within reach of an exceptional student body, while funds for scholarships, research co-ops, and travel for work and study abroad will prepare students for leadership and global citizenship.
Faculty advancement and expansion. Endowment funds for professorships, chairs, and fellowships will enable Northeastern to attract and retain the very best scholars. Building the endowment will generate a reliable income stream for the university through economic times good and bad.
Innovation in education and research. Gifts to the campaign will keep Northeastern at the forefront of change in higher education, preparing students for the careers of tomorrow. Gifts will also fuel high-impact, use-inspired research, addressing climate change, for example, identifying renewable energy sources, combating diseases, and enhancing cybersecurity.
Gifts large and small are already transforming Northeastern. A record $60 million from alumni Richard D’Amore and Alan McKim named the D’Amore-McKim School of Business, while $12 million from George Kostas, E’43, H’07, created the George J. Kostas Research Institute for Homeland Security. Last year, more than 27,000 people supported The Northeastern Fund and dozens of vital academic, research, athletic, and cultural programs.
A campaign like no other
Continuing a tradition of breaking with convention, Northeastern’s campaign will raise $1 billion through philanthropy on one hand, and industry and government on the other. At least $500 million will come from generous donors, while an equal sum will derive from partnerships with corporations, university alliances, and government.
“At Northeastern, these funds are highly interdependent and synergistic,” explains Diane MacGillivray, senior vice president for university advancement. “A donor’s gift may support a faculty member, who brings in grants that ignite discoveries, inspiring additional gifts.
“Philanthropy has the power to change lives—both of those who give and of those who benefit.”
The Empower campaign seeks support from every member of the university community. Success will take a global village.
“The time is right to give back to this institution,” said Board Chair Henry Nasella, UC’77, H’08. “We have a great value proposition, and we want to continue it for the next 100 years.”
True to its global character, Northeastern kicked off its most ambitious campaign ever with celebrations that began in Boston, then spread to London and Paris. At these gatherings, the first of many, President Joseph E. Aoun and other university leaders issued inspiring calls for support and engagement—and the community turned out in force.
More than 400 lead supporters and friends convened on campus on May 23, some from as far away as Singapore. They enjoyed exciting, hands-on activities that spoke to Northeastern’s problem-solving, action-driven ethos.
That night, the Empower campaign’s alumni co-chairs explained the motivations behind their record-breaking $60 million gift in 2012 to the business school. Richard D’Amore, a 1976 graduate, and Alan McKim, who earned an MBA in 1988, lent their names to what is now the D’Amore-McKim School of Business.
“We recognize Northeastern’s potential, just as Northeastern recognized our potential as students,” said McKim, a university trustee.
“We’re tremendously proud of our university,” added D’Amore, vice chair of the board, who calls all gifts to Northeastern “a bold investment in the future.”
The campaign’s energy reverberated across the Atlantic. In London on July 2, 140 alumni, parents, students, and friends convened at the Four Seasons at Park Lane, joined by men’s rowing team members past and present, who were competing that week in the Henley Royal Regatta. On July 8, a smaller group shared their Northeastern stories over dinner in Paris at the Hôtel Plaza Athénée.
In the years ahead, the Empower campaign will have a global reach, relying for success on every member of the Northeastern family.
The Experience of “Experiential”
Reflecting Northeastern’s distinctive mix of classroom and real-world learning, the Empower campaign’s Boston launch was a dynamic, interactive, hands-on experience. Thirty faculty members and 100 students guided guests through a room packed with exhibits.
//EVENING IN PARIS