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Northwestern Alumni Association

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The Northwestern Men's Basketball team is headed to the Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.! Registration is now open for the N Zone Tip-Off Event on March 9 sponsored by the Northwestern Alumni Association. The event will feature food and beverages plus special guests starting 2 ½ hours prior to the Wildcats' first round of play in the tournament at the Loft at 600 F.


Register Today

Christine-Imarenezor-Photo (1).jpg

Christine Imarenezor ’09

This week, more than a hundred Northwestern alumni will travel to Lake Tahoe for the annual Young Alumni Ski Trip (February 7-12). One attendee, Christine Imarenezor ’09, will take over the Northwestern Alumni Association’s Instagram account with pictures from the event. Before she hits the slopes, she shared her favorite Northwestern memories and why she loves going on the trip.

What have you been up to since you graduated Northwestern?

Since leaving the beautiful campus of NU, I relocated to New York City to pursue my life-long dream of working in the music industry as a marketing manager. Somewhere along the way, I fell into web writing and social media management and now serve as the social managing editor of an entertainment media brand.


How did Northwestern help you with your current career?

Northwestern taught me the importance of setting goals and pursuing them relentlessly while taking advantage of any and all resources available. Each academic calendar brought on life-learning challenges that have molded me into the professional I am today.


What are some of your favorite memories from being on campus?

  • Waking up every Saturday morning to teach and rehearse new songs with the gospel choir, NCE.
  • Showing off my purple pride at NU Homecoming and football games.
  • Enjoying spoken word performances and gatherings at the Black House.
  • Eating amazing stir fry at the 1835 Hinman and Plex dining halls.

How connected are you to Northwestern today, and why is that important?

I stay in touch with all things NU through newsletters as well as the Northwestern Club of Greater New York City. For me, it’s important to remember where I come from, where I’ve been and how they play a vital role in where continue to go.

What do you love about the young alumni ski trip?

I appreciate being able to reconnect with fellow Wildcats from all over the country and world. It’s alway fun to see who else we’re all connected, even if it’s just by living in the same dorm on campus.

What’s one thing you want to tell Northwestern seniors?

Enjoy all the facilities, time and resources available to you right now! Don’t get too caught up in stressing about your career or future. Your intelligence has brought you this far and will continue to take you even further. 

Since the Northwestern Network Mentorship Program launched in January 2016, more than 5,000 students and alumni have signed up for the opportunity. Mentorship leads to personal and professional success, as one mentor pair Lola Asensio ’00, ’14 MS and Natalia Okon ’17 MS, can tell you firsthand. You can sign up for the Northwestern Network Mentorship Program at


#NUConnects in Taipei, Taiwan

Northwestern | Connects 2017 brought together hundreds of alumni in more than 60 cities around the world for a night of networking, reminiscing, and celebrating Purple Pride. Check out photos from the event, read the Storify and relive the night, and learn more about Northwestern | Connects here.

Forbes magazine released its sixth annual 30 Under 30 list this month, honoring 600 emerging leaders across 20 industries. This year's list recognized seven Northwestern alumni innovators and featured one alumnus from last year's honorees as an "All-Star Alumni."

Jacob Allen '16 MBA and Marie Dandie '16 MBA

Allen and Dandie cofounded pilotED Schools, originally an after-school program to "develop strong identities in black and brown scholars." After finding success outside of the classroom, the pair plan to launch their own K-8 "identity-based" charter school in 2018.


Huanyu Cheng '11 MS, '15 PhD

Currently an assistant professor of engineering science and mechanics at Pennsylvania State University, Cheng earned both his master's degree and PhD at Northwestern. During his time at the University he helped research the first stretchable lithium-ion battery. His claim to fame now: developing electronic tattoos that dissolve into the human body.



Timothy Downing '08

Downing graduated in 2008 with a degree in chemical engineering from the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Now an assistant professor at the University of California, Irvine, Downing studies stem cell and tissue engineering.



Lexie Komisar '09

A founding member of IBM's Digital Innovation Lab, Komisar ranked with the best of consumer technology leaders. She earned a degree in political science and global health from Northwestern in 2009. She previously worked in digital health and innovation for the Clinton Foundation.



Adam Struck '10

Struck, who was honored in the venture capital category, started his first business after graduating from the Judd A. and Marjorie Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. He sold that company, Long Island Beverages, and has since founded his own fund, Struck Capital. In a new release, Struck said, “Four years of exploration (at Northwestern) allowed me to figure out not only what I wanted to do — but most importantly, what I did not want to do.”



Drew Tolly '13 MS

Tolly works in analytics—specifically, writing algorithms for Caterpillar to make their machines smarter. The data scientist earned a master's degree in integrated marketing in 2013 through the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications.



In addition to these honorees, Forbes listed Cary Hayner, a PhD candidate in chemical and biological engineering and the cofounder of SiNode Systems, a startup with roots at Northwestern, as an "All-Star Alumni." Hayner had previously made the list in 2016 for his work in improving lithium-ion batteries.

Northwestern University and the Northwestern Alumni Association invite you to reflect on our community’s many exciting accomplishments in 2016. Watch this video for a small sample of the ways we reimagined campus spaces, charted new paths, connected our community, and celebrated excellence this year.


Watch the video here.



It's official: The Wildcats will take on Pitt in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl on Dec. 28 in New York, NY!


The Northwestern Alumni Association has partnered with Sports & Entertainment Travel, the University’s official bowl travel partner, to offer travel and game-day packages that will make it easy for you to cheer on the ’Cats in person. Packages include travel accommodations, game tickets, and additional opportunities to celebrate with your fellow Wildcats fans.


To learn more about the NAA’s bowl packages and purchase your package today, visit

This Giving Tuesday, November 29, 2016, come together with thousands of other Northwestern alumni, parents, and friends to show real support for the causes that are most meaningful to you. No matter the amount, no matter the area to which you give, you can make an impact on the University that made an impact on you. This year, with your help, we’ll make a difference across our campuses, demonstrate our Purple Pride, and show the world how #CATSGiveBack.


Visit for more information and to learn how you can give back. Be sure to also:



Dan Diem '87 MBA

In 1981 and fresh out of college, Dan Diem ’87 MBA left his home state of Michigan and accepted a job with Follett Corporation, which managed the bookstore in Northwestern’s Norris University Center. Dan’s time on campus showed him all that Northwestern had to offer, and when he began thinking about business school, the Kellogg School of Management quickly became his top choice.



Today Dan specializes in project management, serving as a consultant who helps companies in multiple industries complete projects more efficiently. Dan found mentors over the years—including many Northwestern alumni, business associates, and peers—and he credits them with helping him chart his career path and inspiring his commitment to give back, especially to the University. “I so appreciated their support,” he says, “and can’t imagine not continuing to ‘pay it forward.’”

For years, Dan has been an active part of Northwestern’s volunteer and donor community. A current regional director on the Northwestern Alumni Association (NAA) Board, he serves on the NAA Ad Hoc Mentorship Committee, helping to strengthen and support Northwestern’s alumni and student community. The committee has been instrumental in this year’s launch of the Northwestern Network Mentorship Program, designed to cultivate meaningful, professional mentor and mentee relationships between accomplished alumni and current students or fellow alumni. The program now engages a community of more than 4,700 people. Dan is also a regular participant in the Northwestern Mock Interview program, which helps prepare Northwestern students for the job market.

Dan also supports the University through gifts to the NUGALA Scholarship, theater, and athletics—areas where he can have a direct impact on Northwestern students and their experiences. On November 29, Dan will participate in #CATSGiveBack, Northwestern’s campaign to engage in #GivingTuesday, a global day of philanthropy. By spreading the word about Northwestern’s positive impact and his own reasons for giving, he hopes to expand that impact on students, future leaders, the arts, and more.


It was good to see you, Wildcats! Homecoming and Reunion Weekend was truly unforgettable this year. Below are just a few posts to capture how memorable a time it was.


Whether you came back to Evanston or participated as a digital attendee, take a look back on #NUReunion 2016:


We've already made plans to see you again next year! See the latest for #NUReunion 2017, including the Homecoming game announcement, here. #GoCats



Additional #NUReunion coverage:



Connect with the Northwestern Alumni Association on social media:






Stay up-to-date on the latest news, events, and more in the Northwestern Alumni Association space in Our Northwestern.>>


Danny Callison '16

Danny Callison ’16 knows firsthand how important financial aid is to many Northwestern students, which is why he is passionate about giving back to the University.



Originally from Seattle, Danny admits that Northwestern wasn’t on his radar, but his mother encouraged him to learn more about the University. With the support of financial aid, Danny headed to Evanston in fall 2012 and was immediately impressed by the scope of Northwestern’s academic programs and its diverse student population. “Having world-class journalism, music, theatre, and engineering programs all in the same university offered me the opportunity to be surrounded by talented and interesting people from all backgrounds,” Callison says.



Callison also immersed himself in student life. As an avid music fan, Callison cites Dillo Day and the A&O concerts—where he enjoyed musicians such as Danny Brown and Chance the Rapper—as two of his favorite memories from Northwestern. Callison also participated in Northwestern’s study abroad program, traveling to Argentina during his junior year.



Callison didn’t wait until graduation to start giving back to Northwestern. He served as co-chair for his Senior Class Gift, a program about which he continues to feel passionate. The Class Gift program lets students “show the University administration what programs they care about and devote their financial resources toward them,” says Callison.



After graduating this past spring, Callison stayed in Chicago to work as a business process analyst at Aon, where he specializes in project management, training, and change management. He is inspired to continue giving back to Northwestern and plans to give to the programs that had the greatest impact on him as a student, including financial aid, Counseling and Psychological Services, Alternative Student Break, and WNUR, Northwestern’s student-run radio station.



On November 29, Northwestern will participate in #CATSGiveBack, the University’s one-day fundraising drive on Giving Tuesday, a global day of philanthropy. Callison says he’ll be supporting Northwestern on this day and hopes that other alumni will too. “Northwestern’s greatest strength is its people,” he says. “Financial aid is what allows so many interesting and talented people to come together to create this vibrant community.”


Landon Hegedus '17


Since 2007, Northwestern’s Summer Internship Grant Program (SIGP) has provided grants to 942 students participating in unpaid summer experiences. Over the last two years, donors have contributed nearly $520,000 to the program. Landon Hegedus ’17, who received SIGP support in both 2015 and 2016, shared his thoughts about how the grants supported his learning and career exploration and made a difference in his life.


Landon is a jazz studies major and arts administration minor from Austin, Texas. To explore his interests in performance and public relations, Landon studied saxophone with top musicians in New York and interned at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He says both opportunities helped him gain “the kind of experience I believe I need to be a functioning freelance musician in the 21st century.”




His internships: “In 2015, I went to New York City and took private music lessons with teachers who are professionals at the top of their fields. My idea was, if jazz is a language, what better way to immerse myself than to be where it is predominant? In my effort to be a well-rounded musician, I declared a minor in arts administration and decided to pursue that further by working as a public relations intern at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, where I handled press materials, wrote press releases, and compiled media lists and clippings.”




The impact: “As a high schooler, I had friends in music who went to art camps, but I never had the opportunity to do that because of my family’s financial status. Since coming to Northwestern and receiving SIGP support, I’ve been able to pursue all the different aspects of being a professional musician.”



To learn more about internships and other learning opportunities for students, visit or contact Jamie Strait, senior director of development for parent giving and student affairs, at 847-467-6912.

EVANSTON, Illinois -- Northwestern will host the Penn State Nittany Lions on Oct. 7, 2017, at Ryan Field, as part of the 2017 Homecoming and Reunion Weekend celebration, the University announced.


Additional information regarding events planned for that week, including reunions, will be unveiled at a later date.


The Wildcats host the Indiana Hoosiers this Saturday, October 22, at 11 a.m., in Evanston for Homecoming 2016. Single-game tickets are available online at or by calling 888-GO-PURPLE.

For more information, see here.

Mentorship experience enhances Northwestern alumni network in Indonesia


Edward Lontoh '01 LLM (left) and Blaise Hope '12

Born in Tokyo, Medill graduate Blaise Hope ’12 wanted to eventually return to Asia to build on his international and business interests. But after taking Professor Jeffrey Winters’ course Southeast Asian Politics—where he became fascinated by Indonesia’s economic potential and broad demographics—Hope decided to move to Jakarta right after graduation to pursue his media career.

At the Jakarta Globe and BeritaSatu English, Hope gained print, digital, and television experience with a focus on business news. While his education had prepared him to effectively navigate a changing media landscape, he sought advice on how to live and work in the country. Through the Northwestern Alumni Association’s Northwestern Network Mentorship Program—which has more than 4,500 alumni and students from 58 countries and 89 industries—Hope connected with corporate lawyer Edward Lontoh ’01 LLM, an Indonesian native who has advised him on local business and cultural practices.

“As a Westerner working in the East and especially in a subtle business culture like Indonesia’s, you are always looking for signs to divine the best approach to a given situation,” Hope says. “Talking to Edward has helped clear the mist. On top of that, he has introduced me to investors who are in a position to work with me. It's invaluable.”

For Lontoh, serving as a mentor has given him an opportunity to help a recent graduate with the transition from college to work, which was a difficult experience for him, along with many other benefits. “My participation has deepened my connection to Northwestern and expanded my networking significantly,” he says.

Hope, who became editor-in-chief of the news website Brilio English in September, sees mentorship as an extension of his education and would like to mentor Northwestern graduates who move to Asia. “There are no familiar faces when you move to a very foreign country on your own,” he says. “Northwestern ties you to people in a way that cannot be replicated. I love Northwestern and I want to be part of the network.”

Northwestern has never produced a United States president, but the University has come close, says University archivist Kevin Leonard. Leonard, who will discuss Northwestern’s influence on the presidency during Red, Blue, and Purple: Wildcats in Politics as part of Reunion Weekend 2016, will share stories about some key players in American politics with ties to the University.



Since its establishment in 1851, Northwestern has left many marks on state and national politics. In addition to mobilizing students and Evanston residents to vote, Northwestern alumni, faculty, and administrators have always worked in and around presidential politics. President Barack Obama and US Senator John McCain both spoke at commencement ceremonies at Northwestern and received honorary doctorates.



Adlai Stevenson II ’26 stands at the commemoration of the new Lakefill on Northwestern’s Evanston campus.

Going back in time, Adlai Stevenson II ’26 JD is one of a few presidential candidates who earned a Northwestern degree. Stevenson served as the 31st governor of Illinois from 1949 to 1953 and as US ambassador to the United Nations under President John F. Kennedy. Stevenson won the Democratic presidential nomination twice—in 1952 and 1956—but lost both times in the general election to Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower.



William Jennings Bryan 1883 JD addresses a crowd at a rally at Northwestern.

William Jennings Bryan 1883 JD graduated from what was then called the Union College of Law at Northwestern. He served two terms in the US House of Representatives for Nebraska before President Woodrow Wilson appointed him secretary of state at the start of World War I. Bryan ran three times for president as the Democratic nominee in 1896, 1900, and 1908.




George McGovern MA '49, PhD '53 stands on Northwestern’s Evanston campus.

George McGovern ’49 MA, ’53 PhD ran as the Democratic presidential candidate in 1972 against Richard Nixon. McGovern served in the US House of Representatives from 1957 to 1961 and the US Senate from 1963 to 1981 for South Dakota. During his time at Northwestern, McGovern studied history—he was even an assistant professor in the history department. He would later say his training as a historian often shaped his outlook on domestic policy.




Richard Gephardt '62


Another Democratic presidential candidate, Richard Gephardt ’62, ’92 H, ran twice for the Democratic presidential nomination, losing to Michael Dukakis in 1988 and to John Kerry in 2004. Gephardt served 28 years in the US House of Representatives for Missouri, including as majority leader from 1989 to 1995 and minority leader from 1995 to 2003. During his time at Northwestern, Gephardt served as senate president in student government. Today, Gephardt chairs the National Endowment for Democracy, a nonprofit organization aimed at advancing democratic institutions. He is president and CEO of Gephardt Group, a private lobbying firm.



Quite a few Northwestern alumni have influenced the presidency and political scene in other ways. For example:



  • Lee Huebner ’62 served as special assistant to the president and deputy director of the White House writing and research staff under Richard Nixon. Later, Huebner became publisher of the International Herald Tribune in Paris—the world’s first international newspaper—and president of the American Chamber of Commerce in France. Huebner also taught classes as a professor in Northwestern’s School of Communication and the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communication for 12 years.


  • Arthur Goldberg ’30 JD, ’63 H served as US secretary of labor in 1961 and as a Supreme Court justice in 1962 under John F. Kennedy. During his time on the bench, Goldberg was known for his advocacy for repealing the death penalty and increasing the right to privacy. Lyndon B. Johnson nominated Goldberg as US ambassador to the United Nations in 1965 to succeed Adlai Stevenson II. 


  • Phyllis Elliott Oakley ’56 served as US assistant secretary of state and was the first female spokesperson under Secretary of State George Schultz. A senior foreign service officer, Oakley served in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, and was married to US Ambassador Robert Oakley. Oakley has been a visiting professor in Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences and will be speaking at “Who Are You Because of NU?” during Reunion Weekend on Friday, October 21.


  • Patti Solis Doyle ’99 MBA is a political strategist who worked on presidential campaigns for both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama and on Hillary Clinton’s 2000 senatorial campaign. In 2008, Solis Doyle served as chief of staff for vice presidential operations under Vice President Joseph Biden. She is also a contributor to CNN on politics and a winter 2016 resident fellow at the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics.


  • Northwestern alumni have made a considerable impact in state and local government as well. Harold Washington ’52 JD served in the US House of Representative for Illinois and as mayor of Chicago from 1983 to 1987. Washington was a member of the Illinois House of Representatives from 1965 to 1976 and Illinois Senate from 1977 to 1980, where he worked to strengthen the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to protect black Illinoisans from housing discrimination.



For more ways Northwestern has influenced the American presidency, join Kevin Leonard at Red, Blue, and Purple during Reunion Weekend 2016. Can’t make it to the event? Follow along on our Twitter feed by checking #NUReunion.