Annual 5k race raises more than $1.5 million in memory of Northeastern’s Ryan Shaw

By Maeve Lawler Globe Correspondent, Updated November 3, 2023

The starting line at the 2022 raceRYAN SHAW MEMORIAL 5K FACEBOOK

Many who knew Ryan Shaw remember the late Northeastern University student for his love of family, passion for entrepreneurship, and artistic talents.

In short, he was more than one-in-a-million to them.

The Ryan Shaw Memorial 5K has raised more than $1.5 million since its founding in 2017, a year after the 18-year-old from Wakefield died from bacterial meningitis.

On Saturday, his family, fraternity brothers, and friends will lace up for the seventh annual race. Around 800 participants are expected for the race that begins at noon at Artesani Park on Soldiers Field Road in Brighton.


Ryan died in May 2016 of bacterial meningitis after his freshman year at Northeastern. Shortly after, a group from his college fraternity, Pi Kappa Alpha, started the 5k race in his honor.

Brendan Slattery, who graduated from Northeastern in 2020, and met Ryan while they studied abroad together in Dublin during their first semester of college.

“Our base goal was to … create an event that would outlast each of our tenures at Northeastern,” Slattery said.

”We intentionally made it a very central piece of [the fraternity’s] annual programming for the purpose of having a group that would be very invested in its continuation and its success in years to come,” Slattery said.