Dear members of the Northeastern community,

The past semester was unlike any we have ever experienced. Faced with the most dangerous public health crisis in a century, our community joined together, adapting to ensure that Northeastern remained safe, open, and unwavering in our mission. From constructing a world-class Covid-19 testing facility to innovating new learning technologies, from reimagining life on campus to juggling Zoom meetings with family obligations, you proved that, while the pandemic’s challenges have been daunting, they are not insurmountable.

On this Thanksgiving, I wish to give my heartfelt thanks to all of you.

To the faculty members who continued to educate our students and conduct game-changing research, and to the staff who kept all our global campuses safe and operational—thank you for everything you have done to make this unprecedented semester a success.

Just as importantly, thank you to our students. Through your maturity and impressive sense of collective responsibility, you protected the pack. You and your parents made it clear that you wanted your education to continue uninterrupted, and you took the necessary steps to write this success story with us.

In thanking you, I am reminded of my first Thanksgiving as a graduate student in Boston. Sharing the holiday with new friends and mentors, I learned that the power of Thanksgiving is in the shared sense of belonging and fellowship.

I believe community is Northeastern’s true source of resilience. When we support a classmate with a kind word, when we safeguard one another by wearing a mask, when we collaborate to solve a common challenge—these actions remind us we do not stand alone. We are united, and unique: A community of learning engaged with the world, committed to advancing knowledge, improving lives, and creating a healthier, sustainable, secure future for all humanity.

For all you do to make Northeastern so exceptional, you have my most profound gratitude. I wish you and your loved ones a safe and joyful Thanksgiving.


Joseph E. Aoun