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Following the launch of its ‘Empower’ campaign, Northeastern surges past annual fundraising goal

Despite difficult economic times, Northeastern University has continued to surpass its fundraising goals, securing $63.3 million in new gifts and pledges.

Since 2005, Northeastern’s annual fundraising average has tripled. Support from all members of the community—alumni, students, parents, friends, and university partners—has been integral to this momentum. And undergraduate alumni played a key role during the last fiscal year, with an impressive 13,103 donors making gifts—a record for Northeastern.

These gifts are fueling the launch of Empower: The Campaign for Northeastern University, a comprehensive fundraising drive to secure $1 billion in support of students, faculty, and research innovation. The campaign, announced in May, will amplify Northeastern’s strengths in creativity and entrepreneurship, and redefine the university’s leadership on a global scale.

“Northeastern has a bold vision for the future and the philanthropic support of our community and friends give life to this vision,” said Joseph E. Aoun, president of Northeastern University. “Our momentum is unprecedented. It is our goal to strengthen it for generations to come by remaining at the leading edge of research and continuing to attract world-class students and faculty.”

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Consistent with its global outlook, Northeastern followed the Empower campaign’s official kick-off in Boston with celebrations in London and Paris in July. 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, and $500 million from corporations, university alliances, and government.

“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 national and global Empower events. On Nov. 15–16, the greater university community will convene family-friendly campaign celebrations during Homecoming Weekend. Guests will have the opportunity to experience the future of Northeastern through interactive exhibits showcasing the innovation, entrepreneurship, and research of the university’s 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 to prepare them for careers after dancing.