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Honoring true grit and graduation

The inaugural class of Torch Scholars were honored at a luncheon yesterday where family, friends, and Northeastern staff affiliated with the Torch Scholars Program celebrated the students’ impressive accomplishments including giving back over 5,000 hours of service each year, starting businesses, and traveling around the world through co-op and study abroad opportunities.

The program works to identify highly motivated first-generation students who have overcome significant obstacles and gives them a chance. It eliminates barriers to admission created by difficult life circumstances, and offers unprecedented educational opportunities, particularly in experiential learning and faculty and staff mentoring.

Actor, musician and philanthropist Todd Smith, aka LL Cool J, was the keynote speaker at the luncheon where he imparted words of inspiration and personal experience to guide the students as they set off into the real world.

Smith’s speech followed remarks from Northeastern President Joseph Aoun, who expressed his pride in the succcess had by Torch’s first graduating class. Anthony Manganaro, E’67, whose family has been generous supporters of the program from its inception five years ago, also spoke to the soon-to-be-graduates, and announced his committment to continue to support the successful program and foster its growth.

Click here to read the full story and watch a video about the Torch Scholars Program.