Alumni Club has lounge, view

By Matt Collette

Northeastern alumni now have a new home when they return to the university.

The Alumni Center, located on the sixth floor of 716 Columbus Ave., features a lounge, a meeting room, the Faculty Club, and breathtaking views of Northeastern and Boston.

Jack Moynihan, vice president for alumni relations, welcomed Northeastern alumni to the new center at a town hall-style meeting last Thursday. Moynihan said the alumni relations department is working to build a lifelong bond between students, alumni and faculty.

The facility, which used to be the top floor of a cigar factory, showcases art work by the Northeastern community. The lounge has two e-bars, a large television, and coffee and drinks ready for visitors. Additionally, it is home to nearly every issue of Northeastern’s yearbook, The Cauldron.

Calling students needs his “No. 1 priority,” Moynihan discussed programs in the works that would directly aid students.

Co-op Connections, which allows students leaving Boston for co-op to have a network of Northeastern graduates to serve as mentors and contacts in their new city, is one program Moynihan and Vice President for Student Affairs Ed Klotzbier have developed, he said.

“Co-op is our DNA, it’s what we do; it’s what sets us apart,” Moynihan said.

Moynihan said he wants co-op students to be able to sit down with alumni in their new setting and to feel like they have a Northeastern connection while away from Boston.

Moynihan said the job of Alumni Relations “is part fundraising and part ‘friendraising’ – we are here to service what you want, when you want it.”

Alumni Relations is working to establish 14 regional alumni chapters like the center in Columbus Place, which should be in cities across the nation by the spring, he said. Within a few years, Moynihan said he plans to bring the total to 32.

Alumni Relations is about building a community between alumni, students, and faculty, he said

“‘All Together Now’ – our motto – we believe in that,” Moynihan said. “And that’s what we’re trying to communicate, that all together spirit. That’s what we’re trying to get out of this.”

Not afraid to try new ideas, Moynihan said his office plans to reach out to students in any way it can.

“For two nights in December, we’re going to bring in couches,” he said. “We’re going to make this a student place where they can come in and study. We’re going to bring in pizza. And the whole floor is wi-fi, so they can bring their laptops.”

Moynihan said a strong alumni community can be difficult to build, so he and his team are starting to connect with students before graduation.

“We need to do a better job to show [students] that they are part of a family, part of a bigger picture,” he said. “We want to be there for them during their student years and post-graduation.”

Christina Alexis, a 2004 graduate, said she attended the town hall meeting “as an introduction to see what the alumni community is like and to see what the benefits are.”

Alexis hopes she will be able to connect with the Northeastern community through the Alumni Relations office, and said she thinks students will see even more benefit from a Northeastern education when they see where alumni have gone.

Impressed with the new alumni center, Alexis said it was “a great home away from home for alumni when they’re taking classes here.”

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