RAISE Podcast: Diane MacGillivray, Northeastern University

On this episode of the RAISE podcast, Brent connects with Diane MacGillivray, Senior Vice President for University Advancement at Northeastern University. Check out this recap featuring our favorite takeaways from the episode, and how to tune in yourself!



Here are some highlights from the episode…

Diane really does not like working from home. She’s grateful to have been allowed to work from her office at Northeastern every day since June 1st. 

Diane applied to one college, Boston University. She took a leap of faith and enrolled site-unseen. 

As a student at BU, Diane interviewed the notoriously prickly President, John Silber. He told her she was unprepared for her interview. 

Diane served a brief stint as the Ombudsperson of the Liberal Arts College at USC. 

Diane completed a mid-career Master’s Degree in 19th Century British History.

One of Diane’s tidbits of wisdom: If you’re passionate about something, pursue it. Take it on, see where it goes, and others will be excited to join and lead themselves.

About Diane

Diane MacGillivray is the only person from Anaheim, California to apply to Boston University (and only Boston University) and enroll site-unseen. We don’t have the data to back this up, but we are pretty sure this is a fact.

Diane’s journey to the northeast was largely unplanned. She grew up as a classical ballet dancer, and attending college was her back-up plan. As fate would have it, she adored the idyllic brownstones of Boston University’s campus, found her niche working at the student newspaper, and fell in love with New England. 

After graduating from BU, Diane landed an entry-level position in admissions at the University of Southern California. She thrived working with young people, and loved the energy and buzz of the college campus. After a few years, she allowed herself to give in to the fact that working for a university could be her long-term career. 

Since that realization, Diane spent fourteen years working at USC in various roles in admissions, undergraduate advising, and advancement. She has experience in the full life cycle of a student, and she describes how the student and family experience with the college is similar to the philanthropist experience with the college. She points out how the elements of acquisition, retention, and growth are so important at all stages of the student and alumni experience. 

In an industry where turnover is high and many folks jump from institution to institution to advance, Diane has worked at Northeastern for just as long as her USC stint. She explains how she likes to see things through and to be a part of the individual and institutional stories that develop after consecutive years of working with students, families, and donors. 

Diane has been working from her office at Northeastern every day since June 1st because she simply cannot be physically far from the students, faculty, and college mission that drive her work. On this episode of the RAISE podcast, Diane reminds us that leaps of faith can launch us on a new and successful path; that we should always remember that we have as much to learn from the students on our campus as they do from us; and that as advancement professionals, we should disrupt our own thinking. It’s good for us. 

Want to keep in touch with Diane? She can be reached by good, old-fashioned email at   d.macgillivray@northeastern.edu.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments