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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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Northeastern honors program renamed, revamped after $5 million donation

Jessica Xing
The office door of the newly renamed John Martinson Honors Program. Northeastern renamed its honors program after John Martinson, who recently donated $5 million to the program.

Following a $5 million donation, Northeastern announced it is renaming the university’s honors program to The John Martinson Honors Program, according to an email sent to honors students Feb. 19. The program will also undergo changes the university says will improve experiential learning and other opportunities for honors students.

The change comes after John Martinson, venture capitalist and founder of Martinson Ventures, donated $5 million to the program, according to a Northeastern Global News, or NGN, article

“Your outstanding and well-run honors program with a substantial number of programs and 3,000 students makes you in the top quartile or so in the honors college nationwide,” Martinson said at a reception in East Village, or EV, Feb. 20 celebrating his donation, according to the NGN article.

The donation will give honors students “increased access to [Northeastern’s] wide variety of unique and innovative opportunities and can take advantage of our robust academic, global and community experiences,” the email to honors students said. 

The “revamped” honors program will focus on providing first-years with more experiential opportunities that build their network, according to NGN.

In addition to living in “Honors Living Learning Communities” in EV, first-years will be required to take an “Honors Discovery course” and complete a third learning experience within honors, “ranging from additional honors courses and study abroad experiences to undergraduate research and community service opportunities,” Becca Berkey, interim director of the honors program, told NGN.

Once students complete their first year in the program, Berkey said, they will receive an “Honors badge” that allows them access to upper-level and experiential courses, upperclassmen housing options and an alumni network, among other perks. 

Northeastern is not the first college honors program in the country to receive a donation from Martinson. His name is attributed to at least five other honors programs at colleges across the country, most prominently Purdue University, as well as Rowan University, Southern Illinois University, the U.S. Air Force Academy and the New Jersey Institute of Technology.

Martinson, a graduate of the Air Force Academy, Purdue and Southern Illinois, donated $25 million to Purdue, $5 million to Rowan, $4 million to Southern Illinois and $3 million to the New Jersey Institute of Technology for each school’s respective honors program. 

Martinston’s donation will specifically support further integration of the co-op program, as well as increase opportunities for global experiential learning, Berkey told NGN.

At the Feb. 20 event, Martinson underscored his admiration for the co-op program because venture capitalist companies often only hire those who have up to 10 years of experience. He said he was looking forward to creating pathways for Northeastern students to get into the venture capital world through co-ops, according to the NGN article. 

“The John Martinson Honors Program remains committed to experiential learning, and now more than ever, is designed to help our students make an impact in the world,” the email read.

About the Contributors
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.
Jessica Xing
Jessica Xing, Photo Editor
Jessica Xing is a third-year graphic design major with a minor in journalism. She has previously served as deputy photo editor and design editor and is excited to continue working with photographers for The News this semester.
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