Why We Keep Calling



If you’re a Northeastern alum, you’ve probably been getting a lot of phone calls, emails, and letters from us lately. Let me take this opportunity to explain why.

Northeastern University needs you to boost our alumni giving rate before our fiscal year end.

We’re striving to reach 12 percent participation in philanthropic giving by our alumni base by Monday, June 30. Why? Well, 12 percent shows the world that a growing percentage of former undergrads at Northeastern still care deeply about their school.

That’s why it’s critical for you to make that donation today—no matter the amount. So please make your gift now.

Alumni donations demonstrate that we have the support to sustain this marvelous momentum that has fueled our drive to the top 50 universities as ranked by U.S. News & World Report. To remain the world leader in experiential learning. To continue our role in pathbreaking entrepreneurship and innovation. To give our students the exceptional experiences that will shape tomorrow’s leaders.

That makes giving back one of the most important things you can do.

Our students thank you. Our faculty thanks you. And everyone who earns a degree from Northeastern, a degree that only becomes more valuable over the years, thanks you.

As for me, my gratitude knows no bounds.

Diane First Name Signature.jpg

Diane MacGillivray
Senior Vice President for University Advancement
Northeastern University

Connect with me on Twitter and LinkedIn!


From Huntington Ave to Hong Kong

AndrewHK_ChuNortheastern prides itself on being a global, experiential research university, but it wasn’t until I arrived at Empower Hong Kong that the first part—the global element—really struck a chord with me.

In his welcoming remarks, David Chu, E’66, MBA’68, H’01, said, “What I received from Northeastern was not simply an education—it was an empowering experience.”

AndrewHK_Haley02I wasn’t the only person impressed by how many international Huskies poured through the venue doors at Empower: Hong Kong on May 27. Haley Meng, SSH’11, noted, “I had no idea that Northeastern has such a strong alumni base halfway around the world!”

I connected with Jimmy Weng, DMSB’07, who created the first international co-op at Morgan Stanley in Hong Kong, who said, “Without Northeastern and co-op, I wouldn’t be where I am today.” He’s a portfolio manager at Genesis Capital Investment Ltd. in Hong Kong—a hedge fund that he co-founded—which aims to raise $100 million by the end of 2015.

Before Empower wrapped up for the night, I met parents of current students who sang the university’s praises; a potential future Husky who hopes to attend Northeastern next fall; and a Hong Kong high school guidance counselor eager to hear my perspectives as a student. All in all, the evening reminded me of what makes the Northeastern experience distinct and rewarding.


The next morning began bright and early with the second Annual Young Global Leaders (YGL) Conference. This group of energetic alumni hails from around the world, and is working to build Northeastern’s international network and presence.

Conference panelist Anita Nassar, PNT’17, managing director and partner of Citadel Asset Management in London, talked about the connection between education and business. “Education attracts and strengthens human capital, which is an important part of any economy,” she said. “A country with no educational system has no long term growth.”

AndrewHK_RichUniversity trustees Rich D’Amore, DMSB’76, partner of North Bridge, and Spencer Fung, PA’96, Group COO & Executive Director of Li & Fung, Ltd., shared career insights. “Failing and learning from it fast is the key to success,” Rich said. Spencer expressed how language differences affect the ways various cultures may view certain situations. “For example, in Chinese the word for ‘crisis’ has two parts to it,” he said. “The first means danger, the second means opportunity.” In the future, I plan to use this idea when faced with a challenge.

The CEO International Forum was next, with Spencer Fung demonstrating just how much strategic planning it takes for a pair of pants to go from a manufacturer to my closet! Stay tuned for the link to Spencer’s amazing presentation.

AndrewHK_SpencerDuring my two days with Empower: Hong Kong, I was excited to see the Northeastern spirit out in full force—despite being 8,000 miles away from Huntington Avenue. Regardless of where we find ourselves in the world, there’s likely another Husky nearby. Be sure to make those connections because you never know where they may take you!


EmpowerSurge Contest


Give a Northeastern student a boost!

Empower: The Campaign for Northeastern is experiencing a power surge—and we want to extend the energy! One of our generous donors is giving any current Northeastern student the opportunity to win $500 by having the most donors who make gifts in his or her name.

Donors can nominate one student by making a gift in his or her name by Monday, June 30, 2014. Gifts of any amount count toward the charge. Ready, set, EmpowerSurge!

Help a current Northeastern University student earn $500 by June 30, 2014. Here’s how.

  1. Follow the link to our online giving form
  2. At the bottom of the form, click on the arrow for “In Honor or In Memory”
  3. Select “In Honor of” and enter the name of your student
  4. Complete the form and submit your gift

The winning student will be notified on Monday, July 7, 2014.

EmpowerTripper: Andrew Horowitz (aka The Super Fan)

Andrew HorowitzHi there, Northeastern! My name is Andrew Horowitz. I’m a third year student majoring in Chemical Engineering with a minor in Global Social Entrepreneurship. In my free time, you’ll find me planning and organizing events with my fraternity Sigma Phi Epsilon, watching or playing hockey (go Huskies and Bruins!), giving campus tours as a Husky Ambassador, or hanging out with my DREAM Program mentee. Furthermore, I am a huge music fan who loves traveling and experiencing live music as often as possible.

Northeastern has empowered me to connect with people around the globe, and to think critically about the world in ways that I never could’ve imagined. Beginning on May 25, I’ll have the extraordinary opportunity to travel with the university’s Empower campaign to Hong Kong. Follow my adventures on Twitter and Instagram—you won’t regret it!

Tatum’s Take on Empower NYC

“Hello, President Aoun! So nice to meet you, I’m Tatum Hartwig,” I said as I extended my hand for a greeting.

“I know who you are,” he replied. “I read your tweets.”

Well, that was an unexpected (and flattering) way to begin the Empower campaign event in New York City!

Hundreds of people soon filled Three Sixty Degrees in the heart of Manhattan’s TriBeCa neighborhood. Alumni mingled throughout the venue, taking in expansive views of the city’s neighborhoods and architecture.

Distilled Harmony, one of Northeastern’s premiere a capella groups, kicked off the program. The performance gave me time to nervously rehearse my opening remarks. Never before had I imagined addressing such a large audience of alumni, faculty, and fellow students, but I jumped right in despite my nerves. Watch my minute of fame on the Empower stage!

I was followed by Diane MacGillivray, senior vice president of university advancement, campaign co-chairs Alan McKim, DMSB’88, and Rich D’Amore, DMSB’76, and President Aoun—quite the lineup (watch a recap). They spoke about Northeastern’s success and its plans to grow and strengthen our academics, community, and co-op program. During their remarks, I noted the nodding heads, smiles, and obvious expressions of Husky pride among the crowd.

Guests set off to explore the exhibits: Snell Library’s team showed off their new 3D printer that’s housed in the Digital Media Commons; Joe Ayers, Marine Science Center professor and neurophysiologist, introduced me to his famous RoboLobster (pictured right); and Anthony Gentiles, AMD’14, screened a student animation reel from the College of Art, Media and Design. I couldn’t help but marvel, “This is all happening at Northeastern?!”

The evening’s highlight was speaking with alumni. Jim, E’88, and Amie Smith, AS’87, met as Northeastern students and are giving back to their alma mater. When I asked what drives them to support the university, Amie responded, “It’s important to help other people have the experiences that we still treasure.”

Avril Okeke, BS’95, told me about her respect and advocacy for co-op. “Every student who went through Northeastern’s co-op program is set.” I’m about to start my second co-op and couldn’t agree more.

I spoke with Venetia Kontogouris, LA’74 (pictured right), who embodies Northeastern’s entrepreneurial spirit and drive. She shared the challenges she faces as a woman in the business world and her dedication to overcoming those obstacles. I left our conversation feeling empowered to transcend any hurdles that come my way.

I ended the evening by chatting with Rich D’Amore (pictured left) who reinforced my belief that Northeastern alumni stand behind us as we journey forward in our professional and personal lives.

And as President Aoun said in his opening remarks, “We have something unique, let’s keep investing in it.”

I know I will. Will you?

Student Spotlight: Lukas Schulte

lukas schulte

Since my trip with the Empower team to San Francisco at the beginning of the month, I have heard so many incredible stories of accomplishments and experiences from students around campus. After hearing about computer engineering student Lukas Schulte, I felt compelled to share his story. If you or someone you know has a great story, let us know!

In May, Lukas Schulte is taking the trip of a lifetime. Lukas was recently accepted to ICSE, a prestigious computer science conference in Hyderabad, India. He will be presenting his paper, “Active Files as a Measure of Software Maintainability,” which was chosen as one of 25 out of 120 papers submitted to the conference.

Lukas has always possessed an entrepreneurial, ambitious spirit. In high school, he built carbon fiber shin guards out of his garage with a friend. With very little knowledge of carbon fiber technology, the two drove to plastic supply and boat repair stores to learn about the process and, by the end of the summer, they had shin guards in several local stores.

After completing his first co-op at A123, a developer of lithium-ion batteries, Lukas realized that his interests lay in algorithms and drawing conclusions from data. From there, he changed his course of study to computer engineering and snagged his second co-op as a Software Development Intern at Microsoft. During his time at Microsoft, he met Hitesh Sajnani and Jacek Czerwonka, who would later become the two other authors of the paper.

Lukas’ research was based on creating an algorithm to allow for more efficient software maintenance. The algorithm finds problem areas and determines where developers should focus their efforts. “Think of software as a skyscraper,” he said, “The algorithm shows you the problems. Is the problem in a pillar, or are you spending all of your time fixing a window over and over?”

After graduation in May, Lukas is headed back to Microsoft, where he was offered a full-time position. Reflecting on his years at Northeastern, he referenced the co-op program as a turning point for his own career. “It’s not just co-op,” he said. “It’s what co-op brings out of you. People start doing interesting things way earlier.”

Before his departure date in May, Lukas is raising funds to defray some of the costs associated with this incredible opportunity. To support this ambitious Northeastern student, check out Lukas’ GoFundMe page.

Who Empowers Tatum?

1-HuskyAmbassadorBlogPicIf you haven’t heard of Husky Ambassadors, you’ve definitely seen us—the tour guides who strut through campus with prospective students, parents shuffling behind. As a freshman, I landed a work-study job with Undergraduate Admissions and the Visitor Center. I began memorizing Northeastern facts and figures, and by spring I was trained to give tours. This was two parts terrifying, one part exhilarating—but I was hooked immediately. Three years later, I remain a proud Husky Ambassador.

But how did this experience empower me? By teaching me admissions statistics and Northeastern history? (Ask me anything.) Well, no. It was the people.

Let’s start with Andrew Cameron. A boisterous business major who always had a joke or a sassy remark, he offered tips for giving better tours plus advice on classes and co-op. Andrew is the comedian and helping hand at the Visitor Center who’s taught me to invest my whole self and heart into the Husky Ambassador’s role.

Then there are Jennifer Cordero, Michelle McDermott, and Leigh McNamara. These women worked with me that first year and showed me how sisterhood could be a positive force in my life. Charismatic and, like Andrew, helpful, their stories empowered me to go through sorority recruitment, where I found myself yet another Northeastern family.

There are others, too—Nyera Yousef, Rachel Weiss, John Leo, Ryan Gordon, Victoria Hanau, Hannah Becker—and so many more who’ve shared their stories with me. Husky Ambassadors have a mantra: “We all have stories to tell. What will yours be?” These people, all 300 and more, have shared their passions, background, and experiences with me, as well as with visitors on our campus tours.

It’s hard not to be empowered by Northeastern students. Like me, they have lived amazing lives so far. And, like me, they believe in the power of sharing.

As I get ready to head to New York City, I’ll be collecting more stories like my own to share. Use the #WhoEmpoweredYou hashtag on Twitter and Instagram, or share your story on Facebook or the Who Empowered You gallery.