A Stirring Legacy: Retirement Wishes Overflow for Campus Legend

Stephen Lappen, who worked at Babson College for decades, is retiring.

The Babson community recently delivered a flood of well-wishes for Stephen “Woody” Lappen, Babson’s veteran coffee slinger who announced he will retire after helping thousands of Babson students, faculty, and staff greet each day with a smile and a cup of joe.

The social media outpouring is unsurprising given Woody’s nearly iconic status on campus, where he has worked for nearly 40 years. ‘Getting your coffee from Woody,’ was listed as a legendary Babson College experience during the College’s centennial celebration.

Honoring Woody: Make a gift to support adding a plaque at Reynolds Campus Center to honor Woody.

We gathered the most notable send-offs shared by Woody devotees on Instagram that reflect how important he will always be to the Babson College community.

The messages ranged from reverential:

Stephen ‘Woody’ Lappen: serving up coffee at Babson since 1984.

“Woody! The most loved man on campus with a truly infectious positive and happy attitude. Even more beloved than the Beaver himself. Few people in this world treat everyone they come across with kindness, and Woody is at the top of that list.” — @rossgale

“Congrats Woody! Your retirement is definitely bittersweet, you have been and always will be a legend on campus. Best of luck and enjoy your new ventures!” — @zgrossrevenue

“To the most beloved man on campus, congratulations on your retirement Woody and wishing you so so so much happiness in the next chapter of your life. Thank you for always lightening up our mornings with that smile always beaming.” — @_abdullahzahidc_

“Absolute Babson icon and legend.” — @browniesandbottles

To personal:

“My experience wouldn’t have been the same without him—and to think thousands and thousands would say the same. Here’s to the next chapter.” — @malpal_11

“Your gentle presence and sincere care for others are gifts that brighten the day of everyone you encounter. Thank you, Woody, for putting your joy and kindness out into the world. Happy, healthy retirement! ❤️👏❤️.” — @instagraham329

“You positively impacted the daily lives of the entire Babson community, you have a lot to be proud of.” — @jalilabouchareb

He was dubbed the greatest of all time:

“🐐” — @collinhanley

“Woody! You’re the best! We had many great years at Babson and I hope you really enjoy your retirement. Stay safe and be well.” — @AndyTheJourneyGuy

Woody announced his retirement in early December.

“Woody! The BEST! Enjoy it.” — @dansparty

And lauded for his infectious smile:

“Thank you for always lightening up our mornings with that smile always beaming.” — @_abdullahzahidc_

“Thank you for bringing a simile to everyone’s face at Babson!” — @jrobitaille

No matter what name you know him by:

“Woody’s name is Stephen?!” — @bradleyditch

“Who is Stephen Lappen???? Never heard of him …” — @dhanno

All expressed gratitude for his kind, constant presence on campus.

“Thank you for all the coffee, smiles and conversation Woody ❤️congratulations and happy trails for a well-deserved retirement.” — @tlmcshera

“Thank you for all the warmth and joy you put into the world, and how welcoming you always were every time I introduced you to a visitor or a new employee! Happy retirement to our very special guy!!!!” — @jskspaintings

Thank you, Woody, for your service and your smiles.

Comments have been lightly edited for clarity.

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