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Joseph E. Aoun

President, Northeastern University

Published onApr 19, 2019
Joseph E. Aoun

From the day I began my studies with Noam, he treated me and all the other students as peers. While he engaged with us and challenged us, he also expected us to engage with and challenge him. Coming from academic traditions that emphasized seniority and authority, I found this spirit of intellectual reciprocity to be wonderfully liberating and empowering—Noam valued his students as partners and as fellow contributors. To a young scholar for whom English was a third language, his confidence was a constant source of empowerment. Indeed, he helped me discover that the hard work of adapting to a new idiom unshackled my thinking. I learned to value bold innovation and embrace risk.

Noam gave the world a new understanding of how we see ourselves and of our most innate capacity—language. He also gave me the confidence to see the world and myself differently. I will always be grateful for such priceless gifts.

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