Northwestern Gear Now Online lets alumni shop on the Web.

From left, NAA officers Alan Wolfson (McC80), Ava Harth Youngblood (McC79) and Marshall Grossman (WCAS70) model apparel available through Grossman says that when he wears the NU brand, fellow alumni introduce themselves to him.

Photo by Franklin Habit

Note: This article is included here for archival purposes. The NAAShop linked to below has been retired. Please visit the NAA Marketplace instead.

Looking for the perfect gift for the alum who seems to have everything? Check out

The Northwestern Alumni Association’s online specialty store, carries a variety of Northwestern-branded merchandise — both apparel and gift items such as Cross pen-and-pencil sets and leather business portfolios. The selection includes bibs and teddy bears for infants, shirts and jackets for casual and sporting events and car and sports accessories that show off your purple pride. Alumni shoppers not only show pride in their alma mater when they wear or use a purchase, they also help to fund alumni programs. Proceeds from purchases help support NAA programming.

NAA launched the site last May in response to alumni requests for specialized Northwestern products. A survey in fall 2002 indicated that alumni were interested in buying high-quality products that promote the University, provided they could shop easily — at any time and from anywhere in the world.

Browsers can view photos of products for sale online by visiting and using the quick links to search by category or price range. To purchase products online using Visa, MasterCard or American Express, users must register for a password that provides access to the secure shopping site.

In addition to buying online at any time, shoppers can call a customer service line (800-317-4514) weekdays between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. CST. Products are shipped anywhere in the United States via United Parcel Service and delivered within one to three days. International shipping charges and delivery times vary by destination.

NAA has contracted with Geiger Catalog Merchandising to create the NAA collection and handle customer service and fulfillment. The Lewiston, Maine–based promotional products distributor began as a calendar publisher and went on to become the exclusive distributor of the annual Farmers’ Almanac.

Currently about 20 products selected on the basis of alumni feedback are available through the Web site. “From future feedback, we’ll be able to choose new products and update our line,” says NAA marketing and communications director Elizabeth Smith (GJ00). is the latest component of NAA’s online Marketplace, Web pages linking alumni to NAA’s business and corporate partners that offer exclusive products, services and discounts to alumni and contribute a percentage of sales back to the association. By visiting the Marketplace site,, alumni can find information on such specialized products as the MBNA Northwestern MasterCard; the official Northwestern ring offered by Traditions USA; Signature Wines, a collection of fine wines specially labeled for Northwestern; and gift packages for a variety of occasions provided and shipped by

The site also provides information about group insurance. Marsh Affinity Group Services, a division of New York City–based Seabury & Smith, offers special rates on medical and life insurance. Liberty Mutual gives discounts on auto, home and renter’s policies. In addition, alumni paying off student loans can check the Marketplace site for a link to Nelnet, a student loan consolidation company. Travelers can take advantage of Avis car rental discounts and special alumni rates for a number of hotels.

“Our affinity relationships are especially practical for our younger alumni who are just starting out in their careers,” says Cathy Stembridge (GC00), NAA executive director. “It provides an easy way for them to support the alumni association while receiving the benefits of their alumni status.”

— Michele Hogan

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Last updated  Wednesday, 09-Apr-2008 12:20:41 CDT
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