Northeastern to launch $1 billion comprehensive campaign

Northeastern is undertaking a historic, $1 billion campaign that will shape the future of teaching, learning, and discovery at the university by supporting students, faculty, and innovation in education and research. The campaign will also strengthen Northeastern’s partnerships with government and industry.

Empower: The Campaign for Northeastern University aims to raise $500 million in philanthropic support and $500 million through industry and government partnerships by 2017. The campaign will capitalize on Northeastern’s surging momentum in areas ranging from research to global leadership in experiential education. The number of global co-ops has increased 235 percent since 2006-07, the university’s annual research funding has increased 115 percent since 2006, and 90 percent of graduates from 2006 to 2011 were employed full time or enrolled in graduate school within nine months after graduation. These are among the many factors contributing to the increase in quantity and quality of students the university attracts, as applications for the fall 2013 freshman class exceeded prior benchmarks in terms of total applicants, geographic diversity, and quality.

“This historic campaign is about people empowering people,” President Joseph E. Aoun said. “Since 1898, we have championed innovation, entrepreneurship, service, and the integration of study and real-world experience—a tradition rooted in our co-op program. Today these values are reflected in our global experiential-education opportunities and use-inspired research. Northeastern’s momentum has been extraordinary, and the best is yet to come.”

The Empower campaign will support programs and initiatives university-wide. These include new co-op and research opportunities for students, who will be prepared to lead emerging, interdisciplinary fields and industries—from nanomedicine, personal health informatics, and network science to green architecture and the digital arts. Investments will also equip faculty with the tools and guidance to collaborate across disciplines and forge partnerships worldwide, while also confronting societal imperatives—among these, health, security, and sustainability—to develop fresh solutions to global challenges.

The campaign focuses on three strategic goals:

•             Student support and financial aid, which includes experiential learning, international education, scholarships and fellowships, athletics and club sports, community engagement, student research, and opportunities for students to pursue their entrepreneurial ambitions.
•             Faculty advancement and expansion, which includes endowing new deanships, faculty chairs, and professorships in order to attract and retain world-class researchers and teachers; and building teams of faculty members that work across disciplines to deliver leading-edge scholarship.
•             Innovation in education and research, which will build on Northeastern’s strengths in co-op, launch new degree programs, and modernize education-delivery systems, in part by adopting new digital communication technologies; and which will advance use-inspired research—particularly in health, security, and sustainability—and create new research centers that will keep the university on the leading edge of invention and exploration.

The campaign will engage the entire Northeastern community, including alumni, parents, corporate partners, faculty, staff, and students.

A series of major gifts have already set the stage for success. Alumni Richard D’Amore and Alan McKim made a joint $60-million gift to the business school, now known as the D’Amore-McKim School of Business. And alumnus George J. Kostas invested $12 million in his alma mater to establish the George J. Kostas Research Institute for Homeland Security.

Empower campaign supporters are exerting tremendous impact across the university. Supporters have created a new center for engineering entrepreneurship education; a co-op scholarship that funds laboratory research on campus by students who aspire to medical school and careers as physician-scientists; a fund to support senior engineering capstone projects; a fund that supports the School of Law’s Initiative on Experiential Education in Law; the Nasella Family Endowment Fund in support of financial aid; and an endowment to fund a professional coaching position for the Sailing Club.