Nuboku Cleary, James Turner, Patricia Hannah and Milton Greenfield - The Voices of Northeastern

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1930s | 1940s | 1950s | 1960s | 1970s | 1990s | 2000s


Robert Smith

Robert W. Smith, E'37, LI'47
On what the University was like in the 1930s:
“It was a lot different than today, I’ll say that. We had one building that we called the lab building. That’s where we did all of our mechanical and electrical and chemical studies, plus some classrooms. It was three stories I think. That was behind the YMCA building.” » Hear his voice



Louis H. Barnett, B’44, H’77
On the classroom atmosphere in the 1940s:
“We took our English classes across the street, where there were two ballrooms on Huntington Avenue. All the big-name orchestras used to be heard, so we would take our English classes with our feet bouncing. It was the old Benny Goodman…” » Hear his voice

George Kariotis

George S. Kariotis, E'44, H'88
On his views of the progress and advancement of Northeastern under the leadership of President Aoun:
“Well, the future’s looking bright. This fellow Aoun is obviously one that looks way down the road as to what we want to be, and his sights are up there. So I think that’s a positive sign.” » Hear his voice

Vivian Friedman

Vivian (Fain) Friedman, LA'46
On being a member of Northeastern's first coed class:
“We [the female students] came in three shifts pretty much. There was a group that came in in May. A very small group ... When I came in, there were about 17 of us, and then in September about 30 people came in.” » Hear her voice

Carl Hurtig

Carl R. Hurtig, E’48, H’74
On his work after college graduation:
“So there I was at graduation and I said, ‘Well what can I do now?’ They had started a new laboratory at Northeastern—I don’t know what the proper name is, probably the products research laboratory. So I said, ‘Fine, I’ll stay here. I’ll work and I’ll see what I can find out.’” » Hear his voice

George P. Makris

George P. Makris , BA’48
On being the first athletic director of development for Northeastern:
“One day I got a call from Northeastern asking me to come in for a telethon. So I came in. And I was having so much fun on the phone that they were interested in hiring me.” » Hear his voice


Alan Tobin

Alan D. Tobin, BA'52, H'94
On CBA Dean Roger Hamilton being a good professor but strict disciplinarian of tardy students:
“We had to go by streetcar [from Mattapan] ... and mostly it took about a half hour, but sometimes it took longer … I ran from the streetcar at Mass. Ave., all the way to get [to class]. If I came two minutes late, I had to recite for 15 minutes. So, any day that I had economics, I made sure I got there very early!” » Hear his voice

Dick Ollen

Richard "Dick" Ollen, BA'55
On Coach Joseph Zabilski and the many hats he wore in the athletics department:
“The football coach was Joe Zabilski. Joe was also the track/field event coach. Joe was Joe. He went out the way to say ‘hi’ to everybody.” » Hear his voice

Milton Greenfield, BA'55

Milton Greenfield, BA'55
On how the co-op program made attending college possible:
“My mom really emphasized education … my dream was to go to a day school and the co-op method really made it possible.” » Hear his voice

Mel Aronson

Mel Aronson, P'56
On his friendships from co-op:
“I have a close friend that was at Northeastern, he was one of my co-op students. We were close for a lot of years. A lot of stuff I did for him, he passed on to his kids and passed on to some of the people that worked for him…He became part of the family.” » Hear his voice

Robert Smith

Richard "Dick" Lesser, BA'57
On his time on the Board of Trustees:
“I did enjoy the board. There were nice people, and it was a good working board. You didn’t just come because it was an honor to be on the board—you were there to do something.” » Hear his voice

Steve Sweeney

Stephen J. Sweeney, LC'57, H'94
On what the University was like in the 1930s:
“It was a lot different than today, I’ll say that. We had one building that we called the lab building. That’s where we did all of our mechanical and electrical and chemical studies, plus some classrooms. It was three stories I think. That was behind the YMCA building.” » Hear his voice

Dennis J. Picard

Dennis J. Picard, LI’59, UC’62, H’89
On the engineering classroom in the 1950s:
"I was actually amazed at the quality of the instructors. Most of them came from industry, they were part-time instructors. I was a part-time student. They were very pragmatic in general." » Hear his voice

Dennis J. Picard

Donald J. Kramer BA'59, H'01
On what has inspired his philanthropy: “I attribute all my success to the education I got at Northeastern. When i went out in the workforce, I used to feel sorry for the people i was competing agaist, honestly. So, I credit Northeastern with either instilling in me the work ethic, or the knowledge, or both, that I was able to apply. I just wanted to give something back.” » Hear his voice

Richard Ockerbloom

Richard Ockerbloom, DMSB'52
On his co-ops at the Boston Globe"The Globe was selected by my co-op administrator at that time, and I kind of liked the idea because I had been involved with the local paper, so I started at the globe and that was Septemner of 1948. I've been told here at Northeastern that I probably had the longest co-op job in the history of the university becasue I retired from the Globe 45 years later." » Hear his voice



Arthur Pappas, E'60
On the importance of the education he received from Northeastern and on keeping in touch: “Somehow, you need to be in touch with your school; you need to continuously educate yourself in some respect. Not necessarily go to Northeastern, but keep in touch, know what’s going on and so on…” » Hear his voice


Neal F. Finnegan, BA’61, H’98
On the Northeastern experience in the 1950s when it was primarily engineering and business students:
“My favorite starting point in terms of understanding Northeastern is that it’s been what its students, what its constituents, needed it to be at the time.” » Hear his voice

Roger Marino

Roger M. Marino, BA’61, H’95
On how co-op made his Northeastern education possible: “Co-op is key. My father paid for my first two tuition bills which were $300 each per term. And I paid from there on in. They did supply me with room-and-board, because I commuted in a Volkswagen every day to school.”» Hear his voice


General Richard Neal, Ed’65, H’91
On how his Northeastern education prepared him to teach cadets:
“I had some great instructors…they lit the fire of intellectual curiosity on my part, and as a result I’ve become a student of history and I’m an avid reader. That intellectual curiosity was born at Northeastern.”
» Hear his voice

Frederick Brodsky

Frederick Brodsky, BA'66
On why he and his wife have supported Northeastern for decades:
“I think the thing that allows me to support Northeastern is having been to college once and failed. And coming back, Northeastern gave me an opportunity for a quality education that allowed me to be successful in my life. In order for others to have the same opportunity, you have to give some of that back.” » Hear his voice

William M. Fowler, Jr.

William M. Fowler, Jr., LA'67, H'00
On the evolution of Northeastern since his student years:
“We all commuted. The activities here more or less ended at about five o’clock. It was a nine to five kind of place. At least for me it was and for most of my friends.” » Hear his voice

Jack Hurley

John "Jack" Hurley, Jr., PA'68
On why he set up a scholarship for Northeastern business students:
“My dad always told us that, whatever education we wanted, he would pay for it and that was going to be our legacy. Education was very important to both my parents. So, in honor of them, I just thought it was the right thing to do.” » Hear his voice

Jack Grinold

John "Jack" P. Grinold
On the annual Beanpot ice hockey tournament:
“It naturally grew from humble, humble origins right here at the arena. The house has been packed since the early Sixties. Automatically sells out. It’s part of our lore in the city …” » Hear his voice



Nobuko Saito Cleary, LA'70

Nobuko Saito Cleary, LA'70
On adapting to student life:
“Most of the students that I saw at Northeastern University were very independent and self-supporting…Very basic things that everyone else seemed to be doing so easily were complex for me. I had to struggle.” » Hear her voice

Robert Smith

Ruth S. Felton, MEd'71
On getting an interview because of her Northeastern degree:
“She [a potential employer] said, ‘I want to see your resume.’ … Then she called me up all excited, and she said, ‘I hear you’ve done something at Northeastern!’ And I said, ‘Well, yes, they were very good to me,’ and she said, ‘Well, I’m very high on them. Let’s talk.’” » Hear her voice


James R. Turner, Jr., LA’71
On the university environment during his student years and the evolution of the physical campus:
“Because it was a commuter school, Northeastern appeared, at the time I arrived, to not have as much activity as I would’ve expected on a college campus… ” » Hear his voice

Joseph D. Feaster

Joseph D. Feaster, LA’72, L’75
On becoming a member of the Frank Palmer Speare Society:
“I would say it’s not the amount that you give, it’s the consistent giving and if we can expand the number of persons who give, that helps the base entirely.” » Hear his voice


Lucille R. Zanghi, LA’72
On why she chose to attend Northeastern:
“It’s one of those crazy stories. I was studying history in high school. I was really in love with history and had done advanced placement and knew that’s what I wanted to study.” » Hear her voice

Edward G. Galante, E'73

Edward G. Galante, E'73
On his co-op experience at Exxon-Mobil:
“When I went to Exxon as a co-op, they didn’t give you a diversity of experience as much as they gave you a lot of responsibility, just as if I was a new engineer hired. As I learned more, they gave me more and more responsibility. My last co-op term, I was running projects for them.” » Hear his voice

Patricia Hanna

Patricia (Taylor) Hanna, UC’74, H’98
On working and attending college in a male-dominated environment:
“I think it was the background of the family I grew up in, where women had a place and a voice. I came from a family of all daughters and by that circumstance we were really my father’s sons.” » Hear her voice


W. Kevin Fitzgerald, JD'77
On his father's philosophy and how it relates to the education Fitzgerald received at Northeastern:
 “Well, diligence you find within yourself, and skills are learned and acquired from others. And that, to me, is why places like Northeastern are critical, because you’re not just obtaining your skills from the classroom; you’re getting them from the practical resources of the co-op program." » Hear his voice

Janet Smith

Janet Smith, L’79
On her late decision to study law and her reasons for doing so at Northeastern:
“The law school was extremely attractive ... the law school had recently restarted, and it was just a very different atmosphere from what I understood other law schools to be. I thought that that would be a way that I could feel comfortable in this new career choice, and I was absolutely right. It was the most magnificent atmosphere to learn the law: supportive students, supportive faculty, just engaging ... it was marvelous.” » Hear her voice


Garrett J. Lee

Garrett J. Lee, AS’93, L’97
On his undergraduate experience and being a “Double Husky”:
“I had some really great professors who challenged me. The University also provided some great opportunities for undergraduate students. Overall, I think I was pretty happy with the way academic life worked at Northeastern at the time.” » Hear his voice

Jim Waters

James L. Waters, H'93
On what makes Northeastern University an important part of his life:
“I never attended Northeastern, but I hired a lot of Northeastern engineers. And they were very good, in the sense that I think the most important thing about an employee is his attitude. If they have a good attitude, you can always find a place for them.” » Hear his voice


President Aoun

President Joseph E. Aoun
On Northeastern as a leader in experiential education:
“Co-op is a statement about how people learn. We are saying in order to learn, you need to integrate study and practice. That’s a very different approach from the approaches you see in many other universities, or most universities. And that’s our signature…" » Hear his voice

Suze Deitch

Susan "Suze" Deitch
On what inspires her to continue supporting Northeastern, the law school, and its students:
“Every year, I get the stack of copied letters that the students send. I don’t just toss it away; I flip through it. I look through who’s clerked where and done what. I think it’s very interesting. I’m very glad that we can help." » Hear her voice