The Presidential Medallion is the university’s top honor. It symbolizes excellence, commitment, and contribution, and is a permanent representation of the holder’s dedication to advancing Northeastern.
When selecting a recipient for this honor, the university looks to people who are shining exemplars of Northeastern’s academic and research excellence.
UC’77, H’08, Trustee and Chair Emeritus,
Northeastern Board of Trustees
Henry’s devotion to higher education is indelible to the countless students he has helped and to the university he continues to serve so generously. Since graduating with a degree in accounting in 1977, he has supported 30 funds, two of which he personally established, and is the lead donor to the Women Who Empower Scholarship. As a champion of the Torch Scholars program, he has made it possible for many first-generation college students to launch successful careers. One unique tradition is marking the retirement of his friends and colleagues by making significant contributions to funds in their honor. Henry was elected to the Corporation in 1991 and to the Board of Trustees in 1995, where he served on eight committees, chairing the Development Committee and the Financial Affairs Committee. He became chair of the Board in 2012 and served until 2017. A visionary entrepreneur, Henry has more than 25 years of operating experience and 18 years of private equity experience in the consumer/retail sector.
Prior to co-founding LNK Partners, a consumer-focused private equity fund, in 2005, he was a venture partner at Apax Partners, where he was a senior member of the U.S. Consumer and Retail Group. Henry led the successful buyout of Star Market and served as chair and CEO until its sale. As the first president of Staples, he built the company from a startup into a global leader in office supply retailing. Henry is currently on the Board of Directors of Schweiger Dermatology, PVH, and Northeastern, and has served on the boards of nine other notable businesses. In May 2008, he received an honorary degree, Doctor of Commercial Science. The entire Northeastern community is deeply indebted to Henry for his passionate leadership, generosity, and advocacy.