Proudly led by Cadet Brigade General Dick Power, DMSB '63, a group of 2,500 cadets cascaded down Huntington Avenue dressed in uniform for the weekly ROTC parade. The march started at the Greenleaf Building, now known as Centennial Common, and ended at Fenway Park. Alumnus Power remembers these Northeastern University moments and others very fondly. He says his time as a business administration student, minoring in “ROTC,” readied him for success as a military leader, highly-valuable business leader, and world citizen. 

The Power of ROTC

Power says that, in the 1960s, Northeastern's ROTC program had a considerable presence on campus, and about half of Northeastern's student body were cadets. “In the spring semester, Monday was drill day, which meant that all 2,500 cadets arrived on campus, transforming Northeastern into a sea of uniform,” he recalls. 

After graduating Northeastern, Power, like many of his fellow students, went on to advanced camp to achieve commission into the military. He was uniquely prepared for this next step in his service journey because of the robust ROTC program and the meaningful leadership opportunities he had at the university. He recalls, “Most folks go to advanced camp having only been in charge of 10 people. I entered an advanced camp with the experience of leading 2,500 people.” In addition to that, most other cadets at advanced camp went between their junior and senior year of college, whereas Northeastern students went after graduation. So Northeastern students, like Power, went equipped with a baccalaureate degree, years more of ROTC preparation, and were generally a few years older. This level of readiness is substantiated through Power's success in the military.

The Power of a business education

Power was commissioned in 1963 to the Signal Corps – a branch of the United States Army that creates and manages communications and information systems for the command and control of combined arms forces. He was also afforded the opportunity to go to graduate school right away – an experience in which he is most grateful for. In 1965, Power earned his MBA from Babson College. 

Power feels his Northeastern undergraduate degree and his MBA uniquely prepared him for the roles he took on in the service. When he was later stationed in Germany for two and half years he was the Signal Officer  Leader who managed specialty logistics operations. At Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, he was the project manager for four-and-a -half years for the largest program in the Signal Corps. It was a $4 billion program, the biggest in defense history at the time, and was the only program that delivered results on time and on budget. Power largely credits his success in this role to his business education. 

Throughout his time in the service, Power was stationed in Germany, Vietnam, New Jersey, Kansas, Saudi Arabia, and the District of Columbia. He highly values the experiences he has acquired throughout his military life and has brought those lessons and insights to his career and the Northeastern community throughout the years.

The Power of giving back

Power retired from the military in 1992. He describes the shift to civilian life as “changing his military uniform to the business uniform.” Since 1993 he has been a Certified Financial Planner. As a retired Army Colonel, Power uses his expertise to provide free financial advice to military families. He is also involved with Homes for Our Troops, an organization that provides free housing to disabled vets. When looking back on the impact the Army left on him he says, “The Army taught me how to bring people together to accomplish something. I apply that philosophy to my career and personal life.” 

Power remains connected to the business school to this day. For instance, every semester he joins Associate Teaching Professor Paul Chiou's finance class to share his wisdom with the next generation of financiers and business leaders. “I am incredibly amazed by the school's advancement over the years. When I look around the classes I give guest lectures to, each group of students are more talented than the last,” he says. He sees a promising future for Northeastern and the contributions the university has made and continues to make on the world stage. 

The Power of Veteran's Day

And when he walks by the university's Veterans Memorial while on the Boston campus, he is reminded by the insurmountable contributions made by our service members and his friends. “Veterans Day is an important time to recognize the contributions that so many millions of men and women have made to the freedom of the world. Many have given their lives on this quest,” he says. Power served on the committee that brought the Veteran's Memorial from ideation into existence. The memorial was made possible by a generous contribution from Neal Finnegan, DMSB'61, H'98, Chair Emeritus of the Northeastern Board of Trustees.

As he reflects on his time at Northeastern and life thereafter he explains, “I got my foundational skills from Northeastern, leadership skills from my ROTC and military service, and my values from my support system.” 

veterans day 22 web feature
Veterans Memorial. Taken by Matthew Moodono. (2005).
From left to right: Unknown, Dick Power, DMSB'63, and Neal Finnegan, DMSB'61, H'98 sing the “Alma Mater” at the Alumni Celebration Dinner. (2005).
Dick Power, DMSB'63, guest lectures with Associate Teaching Professor Paul Chiou‘s undergraduate finance class. (2022).