The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News

The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News

The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News



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George Matthews, namesake of Matthews Arena, remembered as devoted Northeastern alum, successful entrepreneur

George Matthews, the former chairman of the Northeastern Board of Trustees. The Northeastern alum, who died Jan. 11, was well known for being the namesake of Matthews Arena, among other achievements. Photo courtesy Northeastern University archives.

George Matthews, former chairman of the Northeastern Board of Trustees and namesake of the historic Matthews Arena, died Jan. 11, according to a Northeastern Global News, or NGN, article. He was 93.

Matthews was born Feb. 13, 1930, in East Boston, where he was a student in the Boston Public School system. He graduated from Northeastern in 1956 with a double major in business administration and industrial engineering. Matthews joined the school’s board of trustees in the 1980s and was elected chairman in 1989, according to an obituary posted to He served until 1998.

During his time on the board, Matthews spearheaded an effort to renovate Boston Arena, which the university purchased in 1979. It was renamed the George J. and Hope M. Matthews Arena in 1982 after Matthews and his first wife, according to the Northeastern Athletics website.

The university awarded Matthews an honorary doctorate of humanities in 1986 for his work as chairman of the board.

He was inducted into the Northeastern Varsity Club Hall of Fame in 1989 for his contributions to the Northeastern athletics program, specifically women’s athletics.

“George Matthews was a perfect alum,” Neal Finnegan, Matthews’ successor as a chairman of the board, told NGN. “In George we had a person who had come up through the school in a non-routine way — and he made the school a part of his life.”

Matthews was the founder and chair of numerous organizations and companies, including The Registry, a company that hires interim senior leaders on university campuses across the country.

According to’s obituary, the former chairman was also the founder of the United States Football League and co-founder of the Club of Madrid, a non-profit organization committed to promoting democracy in the international community.

Matthews is survived by his wife, Kathleen Waters; his daughters, Karen Matthews, Maureen Matthews and Kathleen Matthews; his son, Kevin Matthews; his sister, Ann Regan; and his brother, Wallace Matthews Jr.

His funeral service was held Jan.15 at Visitation Parish in Manchester-by-the-Sea. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Visitation Parish in Matthews’ honor.

About the Contributor
Val O’Neill
Val O’Neill, Managing Editor
Val O’Neill is a third-year journalism major with a minor in photography and one of the deputy campus editors. She has previously been a staff writer and staff photographer and is excited to bring new ideas and continue her participation on The News. You can follow her on X/Twitter at @vqon717.
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