Donors Rally For Northeastern’s 2023 Giving Day to Set New Records

Northeastern’s annual Giving Day has become a global participation event, raising $3.2 million from more than 10,000 donors from 35 countries in 2023.

Northeastern Giving Day generated more gifts from more donors—and more nations—than ever before as the university’s global community supported and celebrated a variety of student causes.

A total exceeding $3.2 million was contributed by more than 10,000 donors from 35 countries—all record highs for the one-day program that galvanizes support for student groups and organizations.

One hundred percent of donations go to the faculty, teams, student organizations and academic programs associated with Giving Day—directly helping students and faculty pursue their ambitions. Donations were made to specific entities or to a general fund for widespread disbursement.

For the first time, Giving Day was celebrated at Northeastern events in Chicago, Miami, New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.

“It says a lot about the Northeastern community that so many people rally around this day,” said Lori Jacques, Northeastern’s associate vice president for alumni relations and annual giving. “It’s a sense of camaraderie from a global network of people saying that we are here to support each other.”

A breakthrough day of sunny warmth contributed to the festive atmosphere on the Boston campus, which showcased a wide variety of student organizations, athletic teams and university institutions.

“It’s a sense of camaraderie from a global network of people saying that we are here to support each other.”

—Lori Jacques, Northeastern Associate Vice President for Alumni Relations and Annual Giving

Scores of challenges benefited groups of all kinds. The College of Arts, Media and Design had 305 donors, which represented a 229% increase over last year. The D’Amore-McKim School of Business (with more than $435,000) raised the most among the schools and colleges, followed by the School of Law (in excess of $186,000) and the College of Engineering (almost $185,000).

No group was more effective than varsity athletics, whose highly competitive array of student-athletes and coaches drew in more than $526,000 in gifts.

At Snell Library Quad, eight Northeastern athletic programs took turns making themselves available to be struck with color bombs. First up was the men’s soccer team. In little time coach Rich Weinrebe was marked with remnants of direct hits—yellow and pink powder covered the right side of his face from the temple to the ear. His right forearm was blue and there was a hint of purple on his black sneaker.

“I like watching the guys being involved, interacting with people,” said Weinrebe, nodding toward his players as they met with passersby at the center of the quad. “We don’t always get a chance to get our faces out on campus, so the more of this, the better. The energy is really fun.”

In the dramatic final hour of Giving Day, his team met Weinrebe’s goal of netting $30,000 in donations—including $15,000 in a generous matching gift—that will go toward the team’s preseason trip as well as sophisticated GPS and heart-rate monitors for each player.

“You can see guys are about to be in the red and we can pull them out of training and protect them so they’re not as susceptible to injury,” Weinrebe said. “Something like that really helps.”

Ambassadors made their debuts at Giving Day, sharing content to inspire support from students, parents and others. Especially creative efforts were made by Snell Library, which posted photos of its mascot, Ruggles, exploring the library’s various centers, and the School of Law, which created video parodies of “The Office,” with Dean James Hackney in the role of Michael Scott.

Krentzman quad featured a variety of live acts, including performances by student musical groups Aaroh and Sanskriti as well as a demonstration by the club fencing team. Two dozen tables were set up around the quad to provide information and earn donations.

Maha Sidi, a second-year computer science and design student, was representing the Black Islamic Association, a new club at Northeastern. It has joined a collection of more than 50 student groups affiliated with Northeastern’s Center for Spirituality, Dialogue and Service (CSDS), which has helped fund iftar (the end-of-day meals during Ramadan) while connecting students of different faiths.

“We’ve been able to spread the message, bring people in and have a loving community,” said Sidi, who serves as treasurer of the Black Islamic Association. “Without the help of CSDS and the funding that comes through Giving Day, I don’t know if we’d be able to make these sorts of things happen.”

The Ukrainian Cultural Club offered information on the tragedy of Russia’s war on Ukraine, now in its 14th month.

“We’ve been fundraising for a humanitarian aid charity in Ukraine and last year we raised over $30,000 for them,” said Zachar Hankewycz, a fourth-year computer science student. “We’re here to remind people that there’s still more going on and trying to do what we can to help out.”

Awareness of the ongoing Russian war in Ukraine has diminished, Hankewycz said.

“We saw a really strong downtick this entire year compared to the year before,” Hankewycz said. “Generally, people lose interest and lose awareness. So the people who stop and talk are receptive, but that’s a self-selected sample—everybody that stops is already going to be interested.

“But this is another chance to remind people about what’s going on and the human cost of it.”

At Centennial Common, the sound of music—and the sight of a high arch of red, white and black balloons that seemed to be swaying to the rhythms—preceded the aroma of freshly-popped popcorn, which drew a line of students.

Other students could be seen eating cotton candy or lining up to play a variety of outdoor arcade games, including two claw machines that, as always, looked easier than they turned out to be. Most of the little stuffed animals waiting in the well were safe from the clutches of the descending metal fingers.

There were games of cornhole and Skee-Ball and “Super Trivia.” Frisbees hovered like drones and hammocks were occupied as dozens of prospective students and their families walked through as part of their tours of the campus. 


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