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Morton Schapiro's Presidency

Explore highlights and achievements from the past 11 years. 


Morton Schapiro inaugurated as Northwestern’s 16th president

Schapiro receives a “NU Survival Kit” that includes a roll of quarters for downtown parking meters from then-Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl, a supply of warm clothes from the Northwestern Alumni Association and a picture of The Rock from the Associated Student Government. John Legend performs in a concert at Welsh-Ryan Arena, and New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman speaks at the event. Watch a video of the event highlights.

March Through the Arch

A new tradition is born as the Class of 2013 and transfer students March Through the Arch during Wildcat Welcome for the first time. Read about the tradition's origins.


“Conversations With the President”

President Schapiro and University leadership update the community on the state of the University at this inaugural event.

Nobel Prize in Economics

Weinberg professor Dale Mortensen – along with Peter Diamond, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Christopher Pissarides, London School of Economics and Political Science, United Kingdom – are recognized for their analysis of markets with search frictions.


Distinguished Secondary Teacher Award

 President Schapiro begins a new tradition, inviting graduating seniors to nominate high school teachers who have had a transforming impact on their lives. Teachers are recognized each year at commencement.


Lacrosse wins 7th NCAA championship

Women’s lacrosse wins their seventh NCAA title in eight years, beating Syracuse 8-6 in the championship game.

First commencement at Northwestern University in Qatar

The first class of students at Northwestern University in Qatar graduate in Doha, Qatar.  


Wildcats end 64-year bowl drought

Led by coach Pat Fitzgerald, the football team beats Mississippi State 34-20 in the Gator Bowl – their first bowl victory in 64 years.


President Barack Obama visits campus

President Obama speaks at Cahn Auditorium, becoming the first sitting president to visit Northwestern since Dwight D. Eisenhower. Watch highlights from the visit.


Nobel Prize in Chemistry

Weinberg professor Sir Fraser Stoddart -- along with Jean-Pierre Sauvage, University of Strasbourg, France, and Bernard L. Feringa, University of Groningen, the Netherlands – are recognized for the design and synthesis of molecular machines. Read about the groudbreaking achievement.


First NCAA tournament bid

In their first ever NCAA tournament appearance, Northwestern's men’s basketball team defeats Vanderbilt in the first round before falling to top-seeded Gonzaga in the second round.

Billie Jean King

Billie Jean King, global sports icon and pioneering advocate for equal rights and opportunities, delivers the Commencement address, telling graduates, “It is time for your generation to win and to shape the future.” Watch her full speech.


NUSO tours China

The Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra conducts a three-city tour of Asia showcasing 87 of the Bienen School of Music’s top undergraduate and graduate student musicians.

President Joe Biden visits campus

President Joe Biden (then former Vice President Biden) visits campus, encouraging students to embrace policies to narrow the income gap in a speech at the Kellogg School of Management.

“A Starry Night”

Acclaimed alumni from the School of Communication come together to pay tribute to the school’s storied past and celebrate its exciting future in a variety show, hosted at the new Ryan Fieldhouse. Watch highlights from the evening.


“Caravans of Gold” debuts

“Caravans of Gold, Fragments in Time: Art, Culture and Exchange Across Medieval Saharan Africa” opens at Block Museum, setting an attendance record its first day. The exhibit later traveled to the Smithsonian Institute and the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto. View the exhibit page.

Marking 150 years of women on campus

The University hosts a year-long celebration and commemoration marking 150 years since women could enroll at Northwestern. Learn more about the catalysts who shaped the University.


Northwestern hosts Global U7+ Summit

Dozens of University presidents from around the world join the U7+ summit to explore solutions to critical global issues. The event largely took place virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


President Schapiro Announces Departure

President Morton Schapiro announces his 13-year term will end August 2022.