Speeches and Public Remarks

Speeches and addresses given by President Aoun

President Aoun 2023 Commencement Address

May 12, 2023

Introduction Good afternoon! Graduates, families, and friends, welcome to Northeastern University’s 121st Commencement exercises! It is great to be with you today to celebrate the Class of 2023. Graduates, please rise to thank your families, partners, and friends for all they have done to help you reach this moment. Let’s give them a round of  Continue Reading »

Boston College High School Commencement Address

May 21, 2022

Good morning!
Thank you, President Regan, Principal Lewis, members of the board of trustees, Congressman Stephen Lynch, faculty and staff, alumni, families, and friends. Unlike many previous Commencement speakers, I am not an alumnus of BC High. Perhaps that’s why I didn’t get the memo to wear a tuxedo. I have never seen a group of better-dressed graduates, and I spent 25 years living in Hollywood.

2021 Commencement Speech

May 24, 2021

Good morning, everyone! Let me say something important right at the start: Class of 2021: You did it! Congratulations! It’s wonderful to see all of you here in person. And I know that some of you are joining us virtually. Rest assured that you are here with us too. We feel your presence on this  Continue Reading »

President Aoun’s letter to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on F-1 visas

March 6, 2020

The Honorable Chad F. Wolf Acting Secretary Department of Homeland Security Washington, D.C. 20528 Dear Secretary Wolf: On behalf of thousands of international students currently enrolled at Northeastern University, I write to urge the Department of Homeland Security to provide immediate relief to students holding F-1 visa status who—following the guidance of state and local  Continue Reading »

President Joseph E. Aoun’s Golden Door Award acceptance speech

November 22, 2019

Good evening, it is a special honor for me to be here with you. Alex and Rahmattulah, who are here tonight, came to this country as refugees and became clients of the Institute. They gave me the following advice about my remarks. “Talk about your journey,” they said. “It will show people that if you  Continue Reading »

Commencement 2019: Reinvent yourself so that you can reinvent the world

May 3, 2019

Good morning, and welcome to Northeastern’s 117th commencement! Welcome to our Golden Graduates, who finished their studies more than 50 years ago. Golden graduates, please stand. Let’s give them a round of applause. Graduates, I want you to picture yourselves in those golden gowns 50 years from now. Imagine our world in 2069. You will  Continue Reading »

President Aoun’s Legion of Honor Speech

October 2, 2018

Introduction Monsieur le Ministre Jean-Yves Le Drian, Monsieur l’Ambassadeur Gérard Araud, Monsieur le Consul Général Arnaud Mentré, Excellencies, dear friends. Bienvenus à Northeastern. Monsieur le Ministre, je suis très honoré de recevoir la légion d’honneur. Je suis surtout honoré de la recevoir d’un éducateur qui croit á l’importance de l’éducation publique et d’une personnalité politique  Continue Reading »

CGIU Opening Remarks

October 13, 2017

Good evening everyone, and welcome to Northeastern! Thank you President Clinton for that generous introduction. It is wonderful to have you back at Northeastern. I would also like to thank Chelsea Clinton for her tireless dedication to the Clinton Global Initiative University. Important causes need champions. Chelsea, you are the unrivaled champion of CGIU. I  Continue Reading »

President Aoun’s banter with Frasier the Human Support Robot at Northeastern’s 2017 Commencement

May 5, 2017

Commencement remarks 2017

May 5, 2017

ISEC Grand Opening

April 3, 2017

A Tribute to the Dream: Northeastern’s Annual Tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr.

January 17, 2017

Northeastern President Joseph E. Aoun encouraged the hundreds of students, staff, and faculty gathered in Blackman Auditorium on Jan. 17, 2017, for the university’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. convocation, to actively embrace the diversity and inclusion that are the bedrock of Northeastern’s mission.

3rd International Congress of Educational Innovation at the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education in Mexico City, Mexico.

December 12, 2016

President Aoun addresses the impact of AI and robotics on the economy and the workforce, lays out “robot-proof” innovation ideas for higher ed

2016 National Competitiveness Forum

December 9, 2016

2016 National Competitiveness Forum in Washington, DC. Northeastern University President Joseph Aoun and Northrop Grumman CEO Wes Bush are discussed how industry and higher ed can work together to address the skills gap and develop a pipeline of talent that will help grow a stronger economy.

To architecture students, President Aoun underscores shifts in education toward being personalized, robot-​​proof

December 8, 2016

During a presentation to Professor George Thrush’s “Understanding Design” class, Pres­i­dent Joseph E. Aoun dis­cussed every­thing from how higher edu­ca­tion has changed in the past decade to the vision that brought the soon-​​to-​​be-​​completed Inter­dis­ci­pli­nary Sci­ence and Engi­neering Com­plex to life.

A conversation with President Aoun: part 2

April 19, 2016

In the second installment of our conversation with President Aoun, he tackles his priorities at Northeastern, what’s next for the institution, and the importance of constantly innovating.

A conversation with President Aoun: part 1

November 16, 2015

We sat down with Pres­i­dent Aoun to dis­cuss a wide range of topics. Based on a long list of questions—many sub­mitted by mem­bers of the North­eastern community. The first dis­cus­sion focused on the president’s per­sonal journey.

Remarks by Joseph Aoun, President of Northeastern University

November 16, 2015

President Joseph Aoun addresses the community at a campus vigil in the wake of the 2015 Paris terror attacks.

State of the University speech 2015

October 27, 2015

Good afternoon and welcome!

Each year, we come together to take stock of where Northeastern has been, and where we are going next. Continue Reading »

President’s Convocation 2015

September 8, 2015

Good morning, everyone! I see that we have a group here that is undecided or undeclared about choice of major.  By definition, this means the rest of you think you know exactly what you want to do.  You may have heard that, on average, U.S. college students change their majors three times.  I was mentioning  Continue Reading »

President’s Remarks 2015 Commencement – Morning Ceremony

May 8, 2015

Good morning!  I’m pleased to welcome you to Northeastern’s 113th commencement exercises. Graduates: savor this moment!  Today, we honor your impressive accomplishments. Parents, families, spouses, partners, and friends: we are celebrating a tremendous day for your graduates. You have supported them through a journey that culminates here. Thank you for helping them reach their destination.  Continue Reading »

A Tribute to the Dream: Northeastern’s Annual Tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr

January 15, 2015

Students, faculty colleagues, staff, and friends. Welcome to you all. And thank you, Yoruba, for your remarks and for spending time with our community yesterday. You remind us that the battle for civil rights has many frontiers. Dr. King wrote, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” This is a powerful statement. In recent  Continue Reading »

President Aoun Reflects on Mayor Menino

October 30, 2014

“Today, Boston lost a great leader, higher education lost a great champion, and I lost a mentor. Mayor Menino not only welcomed my family and me to Boston, he taught me firsthand about the power of partnerships and the value of being close to the people you represent. “I will miss his wise counsel and  Continue Reading »

2014 Commencement — Morning ceremony

May 2, 2014

Good morning! It is my privilege to welcome you to Northeastern’s 112th commencement exercises. Graduates: this is your moment! We are here to honor your outstanding accomplishments, and to celebrate you. Parents, families, friends, spouses, and partners: we are witnessing the fulfillment of dreams – the dreams of our graduates, and your dreams for them.  Continue Reading »

2014 Commencement — Afternoon ceremony

May 2, 2014

Good afternoon! It is my privilege to welcome you to Northeastern’s 112th commencement exercises. Graduates: this is your moment! We are here to honor your outstanding accomplishments, and to celebrate you. Parents, families, friends, spouses, and partners: we are witnessing the fulfillment of dreams – the dreams of our graduates, and your dreams for them.  Continue Reading »

State of the University speech 2013

October 22, 2013

Good morning! They really tricked me in the video! It was a lot of fun. Welcome to you all. Our colleagues and students from our Charlotte and Seattle campuses are also joining us this morning. Hello, guys! Let me also acknowledge the members of the Senior Leadership Team, our Deans, Vice Presidents, and Vice Provosts.  Continue Reading »

Letter to Sec. Chuck Hagel urging the DoD to reinstate tuition assistance to active-duty service members

October 6, 2013

The Honorable Chuck Hagel Secretary of Defense 1000 Defense Pentagon Washington, DC 202301 Dear Secretary Hagel: On behalf of more than 100 active duty women and men currently enrolled at Northeastern University, I respectfully request that you reverse the Department of Defense’s (DOD) decision to halt the processing of Military Tuition Assistance (TA) program applications  Continue Reading »

Keynote Address, Meeting of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada

June 27, 2013

The Rise of the Rest Keynote Address by President Joseph E. Aoun 2013 Meeting of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada Ottawa, Ontario June 27, 2013 Thank you and good afternoon. Today, I would like to talk to you about the rise of nontraditional learners in higher education. These nontraditional learners—part-time learners, midcareer  Continue Reading »

President’s Remarks 2013 Commencement – Morning Ceremony

May 3, 2013

Good morning! Welcome to our 111th Commencement exercises. Thank you all for joining us today. Graduates, we are awed by your dedication and amazed by your achievements. Above all, we are excited about the future you will create for yourselves—and for all of us. Parents, friends, and loved ones: this is your day, too. We  Continue Reading »

‘A Model for Society’

February 4, 2013

An Address to the Northeastern Community 02.04.13 Good afternoon. I want to thank you for being here. I believe that this is an important moment—for me personally and for our community. You are all familiar with our mission: We seek to educate students for a life of fulfillment and accomplishment; and we seek to create  Continue Reading »

2012 Commencement Remarks

May 4, 2012

Experiential Learning Is a Way of Life As president of Northeastern University, it is my honor and privilege to welcome you to the 110th commencement exercises. Graduates: We salute your accomplishments. We share in your joy. This is a day to celebrate all that you have achieved, and to imagine all that lies ahead. Parents,  Continue Reading »

Robert E. Muh Alumni Award Lecture in the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences at Massachusetts Institute of Technology

October 26, 2011

The Future of American Higher Education in the Global Knowledge Marketplace I’m deeply honored to receive this award, especially in the company of so many friends, teachers, and colleagues. Tonight, I’m going to talk about American higher education in the global marketplace. I’m going to assert that engaging in globalization is a profoundly disruptive endeavor  Continue Reading »

2011 School of Law Commencement Remarks

May 27, 2011

Let your passion and compassion enable you to improve lives Members of the Class of 2011, I offer you my sincere congratulations.  My faculty colleagues, our trustees, your family and friends all share in your joy and take pride in your accomplishments. Kristin Doeberl, Christopher Logue, and Professor Rashmi Dyal-Chand, thank you for your thoughtful  Continue Reading »

2011 Commencement Remarks

May 6, 2011

Embrace risk, take responsibility, and change the world I would like to welcome you to the 109th Commencement exercises at Northeastern University.  It is an honor and a privilege to be here with you today. To our graduates:  It has given all of us great joy to support your transformation from accomplished individuals into even  Continue Reading »

2010 School of Law Commencement Remarks

May 28, 2010

Ask Questions in Search of the Truth Members of the class of 2010, I offer you my sincere congratulations. My faculty colleagues, the trustees, your family and friends all share in your joy and take pride in your accomplishments. Phil Hancock, Noah Kaufman and Professor Hackney, thank you for your thoughtful words. Professor Koh, thank you  Continue Reading »

2010 Commencement Remarks

May 7, 2010

Leading in a Time of Revolutions   As President of Northeastern University, it is my distinct honor and great privilege to welcome you to the University’s 108th commencement exercises. Graduates: We are proud of you. We salute your accomplishments. We share in your joy. This is a day to celebrate all that you have learned  Continue Reading »

State of the University Address: Investing in Our Core Values

September 30, 2009

Investing in Our Core Values Good afternoon. I am very glad to be here. First, I want to thank my colleague Steve Morrison and the Senate Agenda Committee. The working relationship between the Faculty Senate and the administration has been very productive and has enhanced the University as a whole. Three years ago, we all  Continue Reading »

Commencement Address, Anatolia College, Thessaloniki, Greece

June 24, 2009

Opening Remarks It is my great pleasure to be here with you today on this very special occasion. I bring with me greetings and best wishes from Northeastern University. As you know, Northeastern and Anatolia are partners in an exchange program that is mutually beneficial. This fall, 67 Northeastern students will come to your beautiful  Continue Reading »

School of Law Commencement Address: Question Your Certainty

May 22, 2009

Good afternoon. We’ve had wonderful speakers today: Your classmates Scott Stillman and Matthew Sweet, Professor David Hall, and our distinguished commencement speaker Steve Oleskey. I am now going to exercise poetic license and paraphrase them—and give you a charge.This institution deeply believes in diversity in all of its forms—gender, ethnicity, and cultural background. We also  Continue Reading »

State of the University Address: Innovation in a Time of Retrenchment

October 15, 2008

First, let me start by thanking my colleague Steve Morrison and the Senate Agenda Committee. Their work has been exceptionally productive this year, especially in terms of helping our new provost, Stephen Director, to learn about our culture, and about what we are doing and what still needs to be done. So I thank you,  Continue Reading »

The World Financial Situation

October 13, 2008

In recent days, our attention has been drawn to an extraordinary financial crisis that is affecting economies around the world. As an academic community, we are all stewards of Northeastern for future generations. Many of you are wondering what effects this situation may have on the university. The truth is that we do not know  Continue Reading »

Commencement Address: The Freedom to Shape Your Own Future

August 28, 2008

Graduates, you heard two magnificent speakers—absolutely magnificent. They didn’t come to you with recipes; they came to you with pearls. They didn’t tell you what you should do; they talked about themselves, and about what they do. You can think about those pearls as a necklace. You are going to form your own necklace, and  Continue Reading »

School of Law Commencement Address: A Message of Humility

May 23, 2008

I’m going to share with you two thoughts. The first is based on a speech that the Honorable Justice Breyer gave two years ago, and I was fortunate enough to hear it. He was extolling the virtue of looking at other legal systems in the world. And he did it in a way that was  Continue Reading »

Commencement Address: Bringing Leadership to a Global Society

May 2, 2008

Part I It is my honor and my very great pleasure to welcome you to the 106th commencement exercises of Northeastern University. Graduates: We truly are proud of you. We salute you, and we share in the joy of your accomplishments. This is the day to celebrate all that you have learned, for that knowledge  Continue Reading »

The World is Not Flat

February 20, 2008

To the Students of Northeastern: This is the first communiqué in a series that I will be sending in the coming weeks addressing issues of importance to students and the entire Northeastern community. Each and every week I have conversations with students, faculty, and staff that are rich, compelling, and relevant. I encourage all of  Continue Reading »

Experiencing the Power of the Arts at Northeastern

December 5, 2007

Art at Northeastern is the meaningful collaboration between creative expression and the real world. Its power to reveal the unknown lies at the heart of Northeastern’s endeavor to inspire and celebrate creativity in all that we do. Last week, I had the opportunity to experience the power of music to bridge cultures at the Melody  Continue Reading »

Our Commitment to Environmental Sustainability

April 12, 2007

To the Northeastern Community: Environmental sustainability is an issue of local, national, and global significance. The consequences of inaction would be shared by all humanity. Therefore, all individuals and institutions share responsibility for taking action to create a sustainable environment. The leadership of Northeastern University is fully committed to this effort. Over the last several  Continue Reading »

Inauguration Address

March 26, 2007

Thank you, Chairman Finnegan. Thank you to the esteemed platform guests for your warm greetings and remarks. I am very appreciative of your participation in this event. Thank you to all the members of Northeastern’s governing bodies, alumni, students, faculty colleagues, members of our administration and staff, friends of the university, and the many delegates  Continue Reading »