Leading With a Different Tack

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While on co-op with a Fortune 500 company in his third year at Northeastern, Gary Dunton, DMSB’78, found himself watching a dispute unfold between two executives in a board meeting that rapidly escalated into an all-out, expletive-filled verbal sparring match.

Mouth agape, Dunton was embarrassed by their one-upmanship. He vowed to become a business leader who employed a different tack.

“Early on, I learned about the facets of leadership and how to leverage patience, persistence, and honesty,” he says. “That’s a tough package to beat.”

Those traits buoyed Dunton in the competitive finance and insurance industries, he says, and helped him rise to executive roles at Aetna, USF&G, and finally MBIA, Inc., where he served as president, CEO, and chairman.

Effective leaders inspire others and are passionate ambassadors for their organizations, Dunton says. That’s why he and his wife, Lea Anne, are recognizing the D’Amore-McKim School of Business’s foremost position with a historic gift, endowing the first-ever deanship at Northeastern. Through the Dunton Family Deanship, the couple will provide a permanent flow of resources that the dean can use to empower students, advance faculty, and support new and existing programs.

“The business school gave me the credentials and the skills to do well,” says Gary. “We like the direction it’s going in, and we want others to benefit from their experiences as students.”

“We’re proud to link our name to Northeastern,” adds Lea Anne. “The university is like family to us.”

The Duntons have forged many ties to the university besides the deanship. Gary mentors students and is a member of the DMSB Dean’s Executive Council and Northeastern’s corporation, while Lea Anne co-chairs the Parents of Alumni subcommittee and is an advisor to Mosaic, an alliance of student-led organizations that support emerging entrepreneurs. In 2015, daughter Julia graduated, like her father, with a bachelor’s degree in finance.

The Duntons have encouraging words for alumni and friends wanting to get more involved at Northeastern. Find what interests you outside your profession. You’ll make friends and relish the experience, they say. But most of all, “You’ll have fun.”





More Empower Stories

Flaman Fund a Milestone for Northeastern Athletics

Northeastern makes history with the creation of the Fernie Flaman Endowed Men’s Hockey Coach Fund. Jim Madigan, DMSB’86, the men’s ice hockey coach since 2011, was named the inaugural holder of the post.

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Northeastern has announced the creation of the Fernie Flaman Endowed Men’s Hockey Coach fund—the first of its kind in university history and a tribute to the late legendary coach. Jim Madigan, DMSB’86, the men’s ice hockey coach since 2011, has been named the inaugural holder of the post.

“An endowed head coaching position is something we’ve been working towards for quite some time, and I’m thrilled to see it become a reality,” said athletic director Peter Roby. “This would not be possible without the immense generosity of so many people.”

Fernie Flaman, who helmed the Huskies from 1970–1989, “was a tremendous ambassador for our university,” said Roby. “I can’t think of anyone better to hold this title than Jim Madigan.”

Flaman’s career produced a school record 255 victories, four Beanpot titles, an ECAC Championship, a Hockey East championship, and two NCAA Tournament appearances.

“Fernie Flaman was a man who I greatly admired, and to have my name associated with his is truly an honor,” said Madigan, who played under Flaman as an undergraduate. “I am grateful to everyone who has, through this fund, put our program in a position to succeed for years to come.”

Flaman’s 1981–1982 club, Madigan’s freshman season, set the program record for wins in a season (25), which has never been surpassed. In 1982, the American Hockey Coaches Association named Flaman national coach of the year after leading the Huskies to the Frozen Four.

“This is a great day for Northeastern University and the men’s ice hockey program,” said Bill Shea, LA’70, MA’72, a philanthropic supporter of the Flaman Fund. “This will positively impact the program far into the future, and to honor the legacy of Coach Flaman in the process makes this even more special.”

Madigan has led the Huskies to their first Hockey East Championship since 1988, their first NCAA appearance since 2009, and has seen 11 players drafted by NHL teams.

As a player, he was a four-year letterwinner, and was a key contributor to the Huskies’ 1982 Frozen Four run plus Beanpot championships in 1984 and 1985. In 1998, Madigan received the Friends of NU Hockey Fernie C. Flaman Award, presented annually to a supporter of Northeastern hockey who demonstrates the same unwavering commitment and dedication to the program as Coach Flaman.

Pictured is Coach Fernie Flaman, carried by the Northeastern hockey team after the 1980 Beanpot win.





‘Best Decision of my Life’

With a gift to fund N.U.in scholarships, Wyatt Lillie, DMSB’18, and his parents are giving other students the opportunity to participate in the program’s unique, immersive experience.

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In 2013, Wyatt Lillie was touring colleges in Denver, Miami, and Boston. Then he was accepted to Northeastern’s N.U.in program, which sends students abroad for their first fall semester.

Did he want to study in Greece? Costa Rica? Australia? England? He chose England.

“I’d traveled around the world with my fam­ily,” Lillie says, “but N.U.in was an immersive, exhilarating experience. The world is your classroom.” In classes at London’s Foundation for International Education, he discovered the city’s mosaic of ethnic and cultural enclaves and then explored them, visiting markets, religious centers, and businesses.

Arriving at Northeastern for the spring semester, Lillie, DMSB’18, dove into business, global eco­nomics, and political science. He also joined the Kappa Sigma fra­ternity, winning election as presi­dent for the 2016–2017 academic year. He’s worked co-ops at Trans­america and The Boston Consult­ing Group. And in July, he flew back across the pond for classes at the London School of Economics.

“Best decision of my life,” Lillie says of N.U.in and Northeastern. “Unfortunately, I’ve met kids who couldn’t afford either and missed out on an amazing opportunity.” Inspired by his concern, his par­ents, Jim and Lisa, will fund the first N.U.in scholarships for sev­eral years.

“Northeastern is a place where Wyatt can be a leader,” Lisa says. “This gift enables students to take advantage of N.U.in who would otherwise miss a life-shaping ex­perience due to a lack of financial aid for the program.”

By defraying travel and other costs, Wyatt adds, “these schol­arships will open more students’ eyes to the world.”

Wyatt Lillie, DMSB’18, and his mother, Lisa.




Co-op’s Indelible Mark

Paul Gavin, Ed’72, is honoring his family and Northeastern’s co-op program with a pledge to support undergraduates who pursue underfunded co-ops.

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Paul Gavin, Ed’72, has never stopped telling stories about his three co-ops as a science educator at Boston’s Museum of Science. Take the one about the seven-legged frog.

The mutant amphibian came to Gavin in a shoebox, a gift to the museum’s Live Animal Care Center from a woman and her young son. No sooner had Gavin cracked open the box than the creature leaped out—only to be snared in midair by a resident alligator.

When his laughter subsides, Gavin, who majored in secondary education, turns serious.

“Co-op taught me to speak before hundreds of people, put complex ideas in simple terms, and solve problems,” he says. One such problem involved coaxing an anaconda down from the rafters while calming an audience.

Co-op earned Gavin the School of Education’s “Co-op Student of the Year” award and a con­tract to teach math and science in Australia. It also inspired him to take risks. After earning a law degree, he founded a firm specializing in divorce litigation and mediation, and became one of the top 1 percent of trial lawyers in the country.

Last fall, Gavin pledged $300,000 to co-op through his estate plan. His gift will launch the Gavin Fam­ily Endowed Co-op Fund to support undergraduates in co-ops that are underpaying yet empowering. The fund will come as a surprise to his brothers, all Northeastern alumni. John, E’70, William, E’76, and Philip, LA’82, enjoy successful careers in telecommunications, precision manufacturing, and publishing, respectively—thanks, of course, to co-op.

While on co-op as a science educator at Boston’s Museum of Science, Paul Gavin (near right) explains the mysteries of electricity to a visiting class of schoolchildren. 




The Question Man

Michael Gries, DMSB’77, PNT’16, leaves a rich legacy at Northeastern, with an approach to philanthropy that he described as “finding the road less traveled.”

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Northeastern alumnus Michael Gries, DMSB’77, PNT’16, was never content with surface explanations. He wanted to understand a situation down to its roots, those who knew him say. So he asked questions, accenting the “how,” “why,” “what if,” and “what then?”

He employed the same tactic as a university corporator and supporter. “Mike was not just trying to understand the consequences of gifts he could make,” says Athletics Director Peter Roby. “He was trying to help us shape our ideas so that his gifts would have greater impact.”

So when Gries passed away suddenly in September, this Northeastern governing board member left a sizable hole—and a legacy just as large.

Gries loved his alma mater, where he was the kicker on the varsity football team and met his future wife, Deborah PAH’77. He credited his co-ops with setting him up for success in finance and investing as the eventual co-founder of the CDG Group.

In 2013, the couple launched a new concept at Northeastern: the Gries Center for Sports Medicine and Performance. The center takes a holistic and data-driven approach to preventing injuries, not just rehabilitation. It also focuses on enhancing student-athletes’ performance through nutrition, training, and competitive psychology.

“Not a day goes by without a student-athlete being positively affected by this facility and the Grieses’ gift,” Roby says.

Gries was clear about his intentions: He wanted to be defined by more than sports. Last spring, he described his approach to philanthropy as “finding the road less traveled,” meaning “the less obvious areas, where you can make the biggest impact.”

So as their daughter, Sarah, prepared to graduate last May, Gries and his wife sought a fitting way to honor her achievement. They endowed the Sarah M. Gries Faculty Excellence Award to recognize exemplary teaching and scholarship within her college, the College of Social Sciences and Humanities. “I think it’s important to leave a philanthropic legacy not just to the university but to my family and to my daughter,” Gries explained. “This fund is now part of Sarah’s legacy.”

Gries had explored the idea with Dean Uta Poiger, whom he called “a forward thinker who is student-focused and determined to empower the faculty.” The admiration was mutual. According to Poiger, “Michael was a true visionary and pioneer. Together with Deborah and Sarah, he developed a legacy that supports an outstanding faculty member, and by extension student work, in the Experiential Liberal Arts.”

A member of Northeastern’s Trustee Development Committee, Gries played a key role in planning the Empower Campaign, and served on the Athletic Fundraising Committee. He also frequently came to campus, sharing his professional expertise with students at the D’Amore-McKim School of Business.

“There is simply too much to be said of a man of his caliber,” wrote one who knew and loved him best: his daughter, Sarah. Says his wife, Deborah, “Mike was the most generous person I ever met. His legacy at Northeastern is something I will remain proud of as it continues to help the lives of past, current, and future students.”

At commencement in May 2016, President Joseph E. Aoun joined Deborah Shomberg Gries, PAH’77, and the late Michael Gries, DMSB’77, as they celebrated with daughter, Sarah, SSH’16.




Autism Research Steps Out of the Lab

With support from Ken, PAH’78, and Patty Dandurand, PT’80, Professor Matthew Goodwin is developing new biosensors to help those with autism spectrum disorder navigate their world.

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Matthew Dandurand loved the Red Sox. He was a talented online gamer, and gave his family much joy during his brief 16 years of life. But Asperger’s Syndrome made communication dif­ficult for Matthew, known affectionately as “Matty-O,” and he struggled to navigate the complex interactions required by human relationships.

His father, Ken Dandurand, PAH’78, and mother, Patty, PT’80, saw how hard socialization was for their son. Fortunately, the Dandurands found potential solutions for others like him in the research of Northeastern professor Matthew Goodwin (pictured at right).

Goodwin, an experimental psychologist on the faculties of the Bouvé College of Health Sciences and the College of Computer and Information Science, got involved in autism spectrum dis­order (ASD) research in children in the mid-1990s, when public awareness of the condition was rising. At the time, the research literature did not reflect his own clinical observations.

“Most of the science was either phenomenological armchair conjecture or purely lab experimentation—nothing in between,” Goodwin says.

One reason the science didn’t match up, he hypothesized, is that more severely affected people with ASD don’t react well to the laboratory environment. “This got me thinking about using wearable biosensors to study kids outside the lab,” Goodwin says.

These sensor technologies can dis­creetly measure physical activity, heart rate, and sweating, potentially helping caregivers determine which situations cause negative behavior and sending alerts for support before a tantrum or meltdown.

Goodwin’s focus made sense to the Dandurands, who created the Matthew Dandurand Autism Research Fund—aka the Matty-O Fund—to support Goodwin’s work and honor their son, who died of un­related causes.

“It’s important to us to help people who, like our son, face challenges com­municating with the world,” says Ken. The Dandurands intend to raise money for the fund in an ongoing manner.

Goodwin wants to use data he is gath­ering with sensor technology to learn which kinds of autism are suitable for which interventions, to fill a big void in the ASD field. “We’re building data-collection systems in kids’ homes and turning them and their parents into citizen-scientists,” he says.

To add to his investigations, Goodwin introduced some design thinking to the Dandurands, piquing their interest with what the three now call an “Un-hack­athon.” Their idea: Bring the ASD com­munity together in teams of clinicians, researchers, parents, and even kids with ASD for a brainstorming session at Northeastern.

During a two-day span, groups will explore social and emotional challenges, try out technologies, and conduct thought experiments that may benefit those with ASD. Before the first event, scheduled for 2017, Goodwin will initially hold training sessions to identify kids who embrace the process.

Says Goodwin, “Why not go straight to the people most affected by ASD for fresh insights and ideas? We hope to come up with new strategies my lab and others can explore.”







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 northeastern.edu/empower/mens-rowing-50th.


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.

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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.

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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.

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

North­eastern Uni­ver­sity has announced plans to build a state-​​of-​​the-​​art inter­dis­ci­pli­nary sci­ence and engi­neering research facility, sched­uled for com­ple­tion in fall 2016.

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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.”






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 northeastern.edu/empower.