Experience Powered by Northeastern Launches Around the World

From Boston to Bangkok, Northeastern alumni, faculty, students, and friends celebrated the launch of Experience Powered by Northeastern, the university’s historic $1.3 billion fundraising campaign. Over the next five years, the campaign aims to boost support for student opportunities, faculty excellence, research, global exploration, entrepreneurship, and building diverse and inclusive communities.

The Experience Powered by Northeastern campaign was launched in London, Boston, Bangkok and Oakland last week. Over the next five years, the campaign aims to raise $1.3 billion in philanthropic support. It is also embracing the communities across its 13-campus global university system, and aims to reach every student, faculty member, parent and graduate, no matter where they are.

“We are building something unique, we are building something special. We are building something great, but we are doing it in order to serve our students, our communities and the world,” said President Joseph E. Aoun at the Boston event on Oct. 21.

Northeastern is already the only U.S. university with two comprehensive campuses on the East and the West coasts, he said, the only U.S. university in Canada, and the only U.S. university that can provide dual degrees in the U.K. and in the U.S. And it will be the first global experiential university in the world, Aoun said.

The university has been committed to this path because experience allows the faculty to solve problems and impact society, Aoun said, while students learn to understand the world, be engaged with the world and change the world through diverse and inclusive experiences.

“We believe that everything we do has to be experiential and experience cannot be restricted to a city, to a state, a nation. Experience has to be global,” Aoun said.

The Experience Powered by Northeastern campaign will support the vision set out in Northeastern’s academic plan, Experience Unleashed.

“Northeastern University is an ambitious university. It’s an ambitious university filled with ambitious people with ambitious dreams. And our campaign is going to provide the support and the encouragement, and the resources to make those big, ambitious, audacious dreams a reality,” said Diane MacGillivray, senior vice president for university advancement.

The highlight of the evening was a significant donation of $25 million that Alan McKim announced he was making to recognize and honor the leadership of President Aoun.

“I believe wholeheartedly in the power of Northeastern education, and how it transforms students’ lives. It certainly did that for me,” said McKim, who is a 1988 graduate of D’Amore-McKim School of Business, vice chair of Northeastern’s board of trustees and founder and CEO of Clean Harbors. 

Supporting the faculty is a way of touching all areas of the university in driving it forward, McKim said, therefore, his donation will create eight endowed chairs across the university in the name of President Aoun.

“I really wanted to do something for Northeastern to recognize Joseph for his leadership and for his passion for faculty excellence,” he said.

To demonstrate to its supporters the university’s six priorities of future development—student experience; faculty excellence; diverse and inclusive communities; economies, fueled by entrepreneurship; and innovation—Northeastern transformed the Cabot Physical Education Center in Boston into a dramatic, high-tech, interactive and immersive environment with four distinct zones and a round stage in the middle.

In each zone equipped with monitors and surface tools, guests were able to talk to the faculty members and alumni about their crucial, cutting-edge research, initiatives and businesses that were powering a better future.

Zone One was dedicated to a healthy future with equitable health care and new technologies to improve human health. In this zone, guests learned about Northeastern’s cognitive and brain health research; met a Japanese human support robot that the Robotics and Intelligent Vehicles Research Laboratory is working with to advance its capabilities; and observed the only transcranial magnetic stimulation machine in the Northeast and the seventh in the world. The machine gives access to the human nervous system and various connections between the brain and muscles.

In Zone Two, guests saw work that is being done for a sustainable and resilient world, including infrastructure resilience, climate adaptation, and cleaner, safer and smarter coastal communities.  

Zone Three focused on entrepreneurship as the driver for global economies and showcased businesses started by Northeastern alumni in various fields, from health care to nutrition to robotics to wireless charging.

The Northeastern experience culminated in Zone Four, the social change and social impact area, dedicated to empowering real-world projects that improve people’s lives while keeping technological innovation in check in terms of privacy, trust, fairness and responsible development of artificial intelligence and big data systems.

Northeastern University is an ambitious university. It’s an ambitious university filled with ambitious people with ambitious dreams. And our campaign is going to provide the support and the encouragement, and the resources to make those big, ambitious, audacious dreams a reality.” 

Diane MacGillivray, Senior Vice President for University Advancement

This article was originally written by Alena Kuzub
and published by Northeastern Global News.