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For Hutchinson family, Northeastern is home

Dec. 12, 2016 - BOSTON, MA. - Rich Hutchinson, associate director of corporate partnerships for NU athletics, chats with his daughter, Emily, AMD'20, before work in the Curry Student Center at Northeastern University on Dec. 12, 2016. Hutchinson's wife, Ellen, graduated from NU in 1983. Photo by Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University

“It’s so funny how it all worked out,” Emily Hutchinson recalls. “I definitely could not have predicted this.”

It was early December, and she was reflecting on the unique set of circumstances that led to her family’s newfound prominence on Northeastern’s campus.

Hutchinson, AMD’20, transferred from Loyola University to Northeastern this fall, matriculating into the communication studies program.

After she was accepted by Northeastern, her father, Rich, was hired as associate director of corporate partnerships for the university’s athletics department.

As it turned out, Emily’s first day of classes coincided with Rich’s first day of work. Like they do today, the Milton, Massachusetts, residents took the T from the North Quincy Red Line Station to Northeastern, chatting about what the future held in store for the Hutchinsons on Huntington Avenue.

On a campus of more than 20,000 students, faculty, and staff, Emily and Rich somehow manage to run into each other on a regular basis. They see each other in the Curry Student Center, on the Snell Library Quad. From time to time, Emily will take a study break in Rich’s Cabot Center office. On other occasions, they will eat lunch together at Rebecca’s Café in Churchill Hall.

“When I’m walking around campus, I’m always able to pick his face out of the crowd,” Emily says.

Notes Rich: “I want Emily’s experience at Northeastern to be like that of any other college kid. I’m doing my thing here, she is a student, and I don’t want to interfere with that.”

 

“It’s so funny how it all worked out. I definitely could not have predicted this.”
— Emily Hutchinson, AMD’20

Ellen Hutchinson, the family matriarch, was particularly overjoyed when it became clear that her husband and her youngest of two daughters would be returning to her old stomping grounds. She graduated from the Bouvé College of Health Sciences’ School of Nursing in 1983 and went on to work as a nurse at Massachusetts General Hospital, where she did her first co-op more than 35 years ago.

“I think it’s wonderful,” she says of her family’s Northeastern connection. “We couldn’t have planned it any better.”

When Emily was applying to Northeastern, Ellen extolled the virtues of the university’s signature co-op program. And when Rich, a longtime executive in the print communications industry, was mulling over a career change, she touted the university’s growing momentum.

“I told Emily that Northeastern is well respected in the working world,” she recalls, “and I told Rich that the campus’ atmosphere was always so positive and energetic.”

Emily agreed with her mom’s assessment of the university. “Northeastern is a great place for me to explore my interests,” she says, noting her desire to work on co-op for the home remodeling TV show “Fixer Upper.” “It offers so many different opportunities.”

Rich, for his part, is a big college sports fan, and simply could not turn down an opportunity to work for a university with a Division I athletics program. He frequently takes Emily to Northeastern men’s hockey and basketball games, where she often gets a behind-the-scenes look at the ins and outs of collegiate sports.

“There are so many smart and talented people here with a range of world experiences,” Rich says. “What I love about Northeastern is that the university is preparing its student-athletes for the global marketplace.”

He would not be surprised if his eldest daughter, Kate, a 2016 graduate of the University of Maryland, applied to a master’s degree program at Northeastern within the next few years. Soon, the entire Hutchinson clan—Rich, Ellen, Emily, and Kate—could all be cheering on the Huskies at Matthews Arena as proud members of the university community.

“I think that would be great,” says Emily, who, like her big sister, is a member of her university’s chapter of the Kappa Delta sorority. “It would be cool to have another thing in common with her.”