Tuesday is Founders Day at Northeastern. Here’s everything you need to know to celebrate the university’s 125th birthday

A hand picks up a 1898 red-and-black pennant for Northeastern’s 125th anniversary.
Northeastern celebrates its 125th birthday throughout its global system on Tuesday. Photo by Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University

Northeastern University will commemorate its 125th anniversary with a celebration of Founders Day on Tuesday, Oct. 3.

The yearlong birthday party kicks off with events across Northeastern’s 13 global campuses stretching from Boston to London and Oakland, California.

The scope of the festivities would have been beyond the imagination of the founders who in 1898 established Northeastern in the Back Bay area of Boston. It relocated in 1913 to Huntington Avenue and was incorporated as Northeastern College three years later.

The international party will ring in the university’s grand anniversary and herald its future, Northeastern President Joseph E. Aoun says.

The wide-ranging events include augmented reality activations, “happy birthday” singalongs, giveaways, historical presentations and get-togethers of all kinds. 

“Our community will celebrate this milestone with activities that will be as engaging, collaborative, diverse and innovative as our community itself,” Aoun wrote in an open letter. “I invite you to join your community in recognizing how we all have been shaped by the power of experience as we continue to shape it ourselves.”

Additional Founders Day events are planned throughout Northeastern’s global campus system throughout October.

Red paw prints across the map of Northeastern's Boston campus.
Locations of Founders Day activities at Northeastern’s Boston campus. Graphic by Michelle Musili/Northeastern University

Here’s what is planned for Tuesday:

Sing ‘happy birthday’ to Northeastern!

The celebration on the Boston campus will include the singing of “happy birthday” on the Krentzman Quad at 11:30 a.m.

Students, faculty, staff and friends will be joined by “surprise guests,” as well as student a cappella, choral, dance and cheerleading groups.

Following that, a lunchtime concert featuring student performances from Vi (noon to 12:30 p.m.), Madison Bequer (12:40–1:10 p.m.) and Hongjoin (1:20–1:50 p.m.).will be held on Centennial Common.

History, Paws, T-shirts and a photo booth

Several activities will take place on the Boston campus throughout the day from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. They include:

-An interactive “history of Northeastern” mural connecting EXP and ISEC, where visitors can write a note to their future self or wish the university well in its next 125 years.

-An appearance by Paws on the Snell Quad, an area that will also feature Husky-themed games and history of Northeastern’s mascot.

-Live screen printing of T-shirts on Robinson Quad that will feature four commemorative 125th anniversary designs.

-A Founders Day photo booth outside the Egan Research Center and the ISEC patio.

-A digital mosaic by the ISEC pedestrian bridge where personal photos can be uploaded to appear on a large video screen.

Augmented reality historic activations

Founders Day on the Boston campus will also include three augmented reality historic activations that will allow students, faculty and staff to experience Northeastern’s past, present and future.

-“The Automotive School: Then and Now” on Krentzman Quad will highlight Northeastern’s origins as an automotive school. This activation will include photos from the university’s early days, a vintage camera, an antique car and one of the school’s original advertising jingles.

-The first World Series game was played in 1903 on what is now Churchill Quad. On Tuesday, a “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” exhibit near the iconic Cy Young statue will provide a history lesson. There will also be giveaways, games and a chance for guests to test their pitching skills.

-“Opening Doors: 125 Years of Campus Life at Northeastern,” a series of interactive doors will relive the university history on Centennial Pathway and West Village’s “Punter’s Pub” Quad.

London and Oakland celebrations

In addition to Boston, Founders Day will also be celebrated on the university’s other global campuses, including London and Oakland, California.

In Oakland, a variety of birthday party events — music, photo stations, card-making stations and other activities under a 30-foot-tall tent — will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Holmgren Meadow near the Rothwell Center.

In London, a daylong series of events will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with its own “happy birthday” singalong set for 12:30 p.m.

At 6:30 p.m., a “Living and Learning in London” panel of graduates with a networking reception will be held.