I am extraordinarily proud of Northeastern’s Class of 2011. Your academic accomplishments, commitment to service, and growth as global citizens speak to the transformative power of the Northeastern experience, as well as your motivation and impressive talents.

I’m pleased to announce that two of your peers in the junior class have been awarded prestigious scholarships that recognize their leadership and academic success. Matt Cournoyer, a political science and international affairs double major, has been named a Harry S. Truman Scholar. A leader in Northeastern’s Model United Nations and Model Arab League programs, Matt will receive a scholarship for graduate study in a public service field.

In addition, José Orozco, a biochemistry major and mathematics minor, was recently named a Barry M. Goldwater Scholar. Chosen from nearly 1,100 top mathematics and science students across the nation, José will receive a scholarship to continue his education at Northeastern.

These awards come at a time when your intellectual depth and creativity have been on special display. Earlier this week, more than 300 students presented the results of innovative investigations in numerous fields at our 10th annual Research and Scholarship Expo. Notably, undergraduates represented more than a third of all presenters – a sign of our success in expanding research opportunities.

In addition, ten seniors – Martha Lefferts, Maxine Roca, Rani Pimentel, Kenneth McGrady, Jennifer Mitchell, Samantha Sokup, Kay Beach, Kadeen Tyndale, Brian Nelson, and Lindsay Tremblay – have been recognized with Northeastern’s annual Compass Awards. These awards are given to students who exhibit exceptional leadership, service, academic integrity, and commitment to the University.

These are but a few of the impressive members of the Class of 2011. Each of you is poised to make an impact on the world and in the lives of your fellow men and women.

Senior Andrew Baummer has established the Pyxis Foundation, which works to educate poverty-stricken children in Nicaragua, Guatemala, and other nations. Ann Polaneczky is joining the global health organization Partners in Health, and will assist in Haiti’s reconstruction efforts.

A number of you have joined Teach for America to improve public education for our nation’s most disadvantaged students. Serrano Legrand, a finance and social entrepreneurship major, will be teaching middle school mathematics in Atlanta. Stephanie Crisp, an English major and Spanish minor, will educate students in Miami.

Many of you have leveraged your co-op experiences to secure professional positions at global corporations and institutions. Computer engineering major Dan Gonyea, who completed a co-op at one of Microsoft’s research campuses, will now join the company full-time. Amanda Strobel completed a co-op in Goldman Sachs’ Boston office and now has been offered a full time job. Mia Roque has accepted an offer with Barclays Capital, where she completed her third co-op in the firm’s Infrastructure Analyst Program.

Still others will continue their studies at some of the most competitive graduate schools in the nation. Marquis Cabrera has been accepted to Yale Law School; undergraduate student body president Ryan Fox has been accepted to Harvard Business School; Sarah Tishler has committed to Duke Law School; and Stacey Gold andKaitlin Ostrander are both headed to Tufts Medical School.

As we review your accomplishments, I extend thanks to the faculty colleagues and to staff throughout the University who have played a significant role in your success.  I am deeply grateful for all they have done to set you on your distinguished paths.

To the Class of 2011: I look forward to celebrating your achievements with you, your families, and your friends at Commencement on Friday, May 6th.

To the Northeastern community: I hope you will join us at our Academic Honors Convocation on Thursday, April 21st in the Curry Center Ballroom, where we will recognize outstanding undergraduates, graduate students, faculty and staff colleagues.

And to all our students: You make Northeastern what it is – a place that fosters success, encourages innovation, values leadership, and reaches out across intellectual, cultural and global boundaries. We are proud of all of you.

Joseph E. Aoun