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Strength in Numbers

Members of NU Loyal give to Northwestern year after year, and their gifts have impacted more than 1,500 areas across the University.

NU Loyal members David Leuchter and Dulce Vasquez pose together in the stands at a Northwestern football game at Wrigley Field, smiling for the camera. Leuchter is wearing a Northwestern jacket and scarf, and Vasquez is wearing a hat with a Northwestern N. A large crowd is visible in the background as well as several football players on the field.
NU Loyal members David Leuchter, left, and Dulce Vasquez Image: Photo courtesy of David Leuchter and Dulce Vasquez

Spring 2024

Alumni, parents and friends support Northwestern in many ways, from cheering on the Wildcats to making philanthropic gifts. Anyone who makes a gift of any size for three or more consecutive years is recognized as a member of NU Loyal, the University’s largest giving society, with more than 42,000 active donors. 

Some members, like Dulce Vasquez ’08 and her husband, David Leuchter ’07, have been giving since they were students or became alums. When Vasquez, a philosophy and political science major at the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, was about to graduate, she gave $20.08 to Northwestern as part of her senior class gift. Sixteen years later, she is unwavering in her support. 

“As a formerly undocumented Mexican American woman, I found the Northwestern experience transformative,” says Vasquez, who is assistant vice president of strategic advancement at Arizona State University. “Growing up, my family was on food stamps. I certainly was not able to pay out of pocket to attend Northwestern without a scholarship.” 

“Having a diverse student body is essential for every student to see beyond their unique perspective.” — Wendy Wilson

Vasquez relied on financial aid and the Gates Millennium Scholars Program to fund her education and graduated debt-free. Today she says, “I give back because I want more students who come from backgrounds like mine to be able to access Northwestern.” 

Leuchter also has been a dedicated donor since earning his degree in civil and environmental engineering from the McCormick School of Engineering. “The time I spent at Northwestern was foundational to my life now,” says Leuchter, who is vice president and western U.S. area manager at Mass. Electric Construction Co. “So many friends and important connections in my life, especially Dulce, are a direct result of my time there.” 

Vasquez and Leuchter give regularly to Northwestern Engineering, the Wildcat Fund and University scholarships. They shifted their support to the Student Emergency and Essential Needs Fund during the pandemic. Vasquez is also a founding donor to the student performance group Mariachi Northwestern. 

Another longtime NU Loyal member is Wendy Wilson ’89, who has been giving to Northwestern for over 20 years. As an English major at Weinberg College, Wilson benefited from scholarships and received financial aid. Today she regularly gives to the University’s scholarship fund. “Having a diverse student body is essential for every student to see beyond their unique perspective,” says Wilson, who worked most recently as vice president of marketing at ChargePoint. 

When Mary Olson-Menzel ’02 MBA, founder and CEO of MVP Executive Development, began giving to Northwestern five years ago, she chose to support the professional school that helped her take steps to advance her career path: the Kellogg School of Management. The NU Loyal member also stays connected with fellow alums through the Kellogg Executive Women’s Network and volunteers through Northwestern’s Alumni Admission Council. 

“Kellogg gave me the incredible learning and life experiences that helped shape me into the executive and the person I am today,” she says. 

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