Northeastern’s annual Huntington 100 event saw another class of all-star students join an elite coterie of current and soon-to-be alumni, who together have made an indelible impact on the university through their work.
“It’s not easy to be a member of the Huntington 100,” Joseph E. Aoun, president of Northeastern, said at the kickoff of Tuesday’s ceremony, adding that being picked to be part of the exclusive group is “about your values.”
“That you represent Northeastern’s values,” he continued. “And it’s about leadership. Now you have a responsibility to uphold these values wherever you are.”
This year, there were more than 1,300 students nominated by faculty, staff, advisers, coaches, employers and other students—the most ever in the program’s 17-year history.
Joseph E. Aoun, president of Northeastern, kickoff off Tuesday’s ceremony, meant to honor the next class of Northeastern’s Huntington 100.
Satwik Kamarthi, a 25-year-old graduating master’s student studying artificial intelligence, was among the inductees. Having spent six years as an undergraduate and a master’s student, Kamarthi spent countless hours serving as a mentor to other students. He said his extensive campus and community involvement was the reason he was nominated.
“I feel very honored to be among all of these students,” Kamarthi said. “I know a couple of today’s inductees personally, and I feel lucky that my accomplishments will be recognized alongside theirs.”
The 2023 induction ceremony returned to its usual location on the top floor of East Village, where students, faculty, performers, administrative staff and university leaders convened to honor the achievements of a select group of pupils who typify the university’s mission, ideals, values and academic plan. The formal event included dinner and dessert for student inductees.
This year’s inductees ran the gamut of academic and professional accomplishment, and included students who’ve delivered TedX talks, presided over Student Government Association and the Graduate Student Government, founded various student organizations and participated in professional sports leagues, including the NHL.
The 2023 induction ceremony returned to its usual location on the top floor of East Village, where students, faculty, performers, administrative staff and university leaders convened to honor the achievements of a select group of pupils who typify the university’s mission, ideals, values and academic plan.
One student worked in a refugee camp providing aid to Syrians displaced by the Syrian Civil War. Another student, Ryan Westmoreland, was drafted by the Boston Red Sox before a blood clot issue forced him to undergo multiple surgeries. Overcoming the odds, Westmoreland would later play professional baseball in the Dominican Republic.
“There are many reasons you were selected to receive this honor,” said Nitya Kedia, a business administration and economics student at Northeastern, who served as emcee. “You are academically strong, intellectually impressive students. You are globally engaged through study abroad, dialogues, international co-ops and other experiential learning opportunities.”
Jada Howard, a fourth-year graduate in December, was also inducted in this year’s class. An international affairs major, Howard said she “self-developed” her own co-op; conducted research in social justice, race and racism; and mentored other international affairs students.
“I was hoping that I would one day become a member of the Huntington 100, so it kind of doesn’t feel real,” Howard said.
Opening the induction ceremony was a musical performance by a member of this year’s Huntington 100 class, Timothy Van Bloem, who played an original number titled “Beautiful Dancer” on keyboard. Van Bloem is a member of Northeastern’s renowned a cappella group, the Nor’easters, and is also a leading member of Green Line Records, where he spearheaded the launch of Good Dog Licensing—the first and only student-run music licensing organization housed by a U.S. college or university, Kedia said.
The event’s keynote speaker was Manny Cruz, a prior Huntington 100 inductee who serves as the state’s first Afro-Latino state representative for the 7th Essex District.
An elected school committee member, entrepreneur and community leader in Salem, Massachusetts, Cruz graduated with honors from Northeastern with a degree in political science. He previously served as the legislative aide for former state Reps. Juana Matias and Paul F. Tucker, focusing on issues of education and immigration policy.
“I’m humbled to be standing here today,” Cruz said. “I remember fondly this room seven years ago, and the friends that joined me and the folks I didn’t know. When I read some of the reasons some of you were nominated, I was beaming with tremendous pride.”
Roughly halfway through the evening, the honorees’ names were read aloud, and one by one the students rose to join the presenters on stage. Per tradition, the 100 star students were provided regalia and were asked to sign the Huntington 100 book to complete their induction.
“Many of you have conducted groundbreaking research; led student organizations; started your own businesses; and contributed to our Division I athletic teams—even playing at the professional level,” Kedia said. “All of you have made a profound impact on our campus community and should be very proud of your achievements.”
“Listen, do you know there is a group of Huntington 100 worldwide, and they’re now connected to you?” Aoun said. “They’re connected with you and with each other. Now you represent the leadership of this institution.”
Tanner Stening is a Northeastern Global News reporter. Email him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @tstening90.