Introducing Babson College’s 2023 Commencement Speakers

Side-by-side headshots of Tim Ryan and Reshma Kewalramani

Two extraordinary entrepreneurial leaders at the forefront of improving the lives of people in distinct ways will serve as speakers at Babson College’s 2023 Commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 13.

Tim Ryan ’88, U.S. chair and senior partner at PwC, will address the undergraduate ceremony, and Dr. Reshma Kewalramani, CEO and president at Vertex Pharmaceuticals, will address the graduate ceremony. Each will be awarded an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree.

LEARN MORE: Babson’s 2023 Commencement ceremonies on May 13.

“Tim Ryan and Dr. Reshma Kewalramani are outstanding examples of entrepreneurial leadership, and we are honored that they will address our Class of 2023 to share their insights and inspiration,” said Babson President Stephen Spinelli Jr. MBA’92, PhD. “Commencement is a wonderful celebration of our graduates and our community, and we look forward to welcoming them to campus this spring.”

Undergraduate Commencement Speaker

Tim Ryan ’88 has more than 30 years of diversified experience serving clients across the globe. A forward-thinking leader committed to driving human-led, tech-powered outcomes to build trust in society and solve important problems, he has a proven record in advancing strategy, growth, collaboration, innovation, and upskilling.

Headshot of Tim Ryan
Tim Ryan ’88, U.S. chair and senior partner at PwC

Ryan has reimagined PwC for the modern era, leading a complete digital transformation and launching a bold new strategy—The New Equation—by bringing the best people, capabilities, and technology together to help clients build trust and deliver sustained outcomes in a rapidly changing business environment. Recognizing that trust is more important than ever, he founded PwC’s Trust Leadership Institute to convene senior executives and thought leaders to navigate the most complex trust-related issues, identify the opportunities, and take action as leaders and as organizations.

As a Babson-educated entrepreneurial leader, Ryan excels at not only identifying opportunities but also mobilizing people and resources to create solutions and implement actions. As one of the nation’s leading business executives supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), Ryan is passionate about driving change and founded CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™, the largest CEO-driven business commitment to advancing DEI in the workplace, with 2,400 CEO signatories. He subsequently founded CEO Action for Racial Equity to promote scalable, sustainable policies and corporate best practices to address systemic racism and social injustice.

Graduate Commencement Speaker

Headshot of Reshma Kewalramani
Reshma Kewalramani M.D., CEO and president at Vertex Pharmaceuticals

Reshma Kewalramani, M.D., FASN, is the Chief Executive Officer and President at Vertex Pharmaceuticals, a Fortune 500, global biotechnology company. She trained in internal medicine and nephrology before entering the biopharmaceutical industry, where she has dedicated her career to discovering and developing new medicines.

During her tenure, Vertex has expanded its success in treating cystic fibrosis (CF), with CF medicines that hold the potential to treat patients as young as one-month old and as many as 90 percent of all patients diagnosed with CF. Building on that work, Vertex’s R&D pipeline now has treatments in eight disease areas in the clinic, across multiple modalities including small molecule, mRNA, cell and gene therapies. The goal is to deliver best-in-class medicines to transform if not cure these diseases. Under her leadership as CEO, Vertex has consistently been recognized as a best place to work, including by Science magazine, The Boston Globe, Newsweek and Fortune.

Dr. Kewalramani completed her internship and residency in internal medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital and her fellowship in nephrology at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital combined program. She received her medical degree, with honors, from the seven-year medicine program at the Boston University School of Medicine. She is an alumnae of the Harvard Business School, having completed the General Management Program. Dr. Kewalramani has received a number of distinguished honors and awards including the Harvard Medical School Excellence in Teaching Award, the International Institute of New England Golden Door Award, the New England Council New Englander of the Year, and the Asian American Business Development Center Pinnacle Award.

Additional Honorary Degrees

In addition to its Commencement speakers, Babson will bestow two additional honorary degrees during its graduation ceremonies:

Martha DiMatteo Vorlicek ’81, senior advisor at HarbourVest Partners LLC, will receive an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree during our undergraduate ceremony. Vorlicek served as a Babson trustee (2009–2021) after an earlier stint on the Alumni Association Board. She also served on the Babson Connect Worldwide Advisory Board for the College’s Centennial in 2019, and she was an inaugural member of the Circle of Distinction in 2019.

Richard W. Sorenson MBA’68, P’97 ’00, former president of Carling Technologies Inc., will be awarded an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree during our graduate ceremony. Sorenson served as a member of the Babson Corporation (1996–1998) and as a trustee (1996–2001) and was an inaugural member of the Circle of Distinction in 2019. Both the Sorenson Center for the Visual Arts and the Sorenson Theater were named in his honor.

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