Babson President Emeritus Brian M. Barefoot ’66, H’09, MP’01 and his wife, Pamela P. Barefoot MP’01, have made a $2 million gift to establish the Pamela P. and Brian M. Barefoot Athletics Director position and to inspire other donors to endow as many of Babson’s other 22 coaching positions as possible.
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The gift includes a challenge for Babson to raise an additional $1 million in endowed funds for athletics during the coming months. Their latest commitment is in addition to their ongoing support for the annual Brian Barefoot Athletics Challenge that seeks to increase donor participation for athletics through matching gifts.
“Brian and Pam’s lifelong support for Babson Athletics and our outstanding student-athletes is extraordinary,” said President Kerry Healey. “Generations of Babson students and coaches have benefited from their generosity, and we are honored to name our Athletics Director position in recognition of their support.”
Having a named, endowed Athletics Director’s position reinforces the importance of this leadership position within the athletics program and puts Babson on the same footing as many Ivy League and other top-tier collegiate programs.
In recent years, Babson has made significant investments in its coaching staff. And when the Babson Recreation and Athletic Complex opens in August of this year, the College will have a training and student-athlete development facility that rivals those of any of the colleges with which it competes.
“This gift is a game changer for Babson Athletics,” said Senior Director of Athletics and Athletic Advancement Michael Lynch. “Brian has been a catalyst for excellence in a variety of ways throughout his career, and this significant investment will help us to challenge the best in Division III,” he said.
“I am personally thrilled that the Athletics Director’s position will be named in honor of Brian and Pam,” Lynch continued. “The AD is someone who advocates for all student-athletes regardless of their chosen sport, which marries perfectly to who Brian himself has been throughout his life. He is simply passionate about all sports,” he said.
Since he was a young boy, Barefoot has been involved in athletics. Initially engaged with basketball, football, and tennis when he transferred to Babson from Union College, he got a job in the gym and played soccer, basketball, and tennis. He was a three-sport letter winner, co-captain of the soccer team, and a member of a No. 1 ranked tennis doubles team.
He often jokes that his job at the gym helped keep him out of the library while he was a student at Babson. When he became Babson’s president, the joke was on him, since the president’s office is located inside the College’s library.
“Athletics allowed me to be competitive without being obnoxious,” Barefoot said. “To be successful, you need to know how to work with other people; how to motivate them; how to take setbacks and recover from them. Student-athletes learn all of those skills and that really sets them up for success in life,” he said.
“To be successful, you need to know how to work with other people; how to motivate them; how to take setbacks and recover from them. Student-athletes learn all of those skills and that really sets them up for success in life.”
Brian M. Barefoot ’66, H’09, MP’01, Babson President Emeritus
The Barefoots wanted to endow a position because they believe that such gifts are among the hardest for the College to raise, but also among the ones that have the most impact.
“Gifts for financial aid and buildings are important, but by endowing a staff position, we are helping to ensure that funding for the Athletics Department will remain strong in perpetuity and hopefully inspire others to follow our lead,” Barefoot said.
In 2017, Babson created the Brian M. Barefoot Award in his honor at the Athletics Hall of Fame dinner. The award will be given in the future for exemplary dedication and contributions to the advancement of the Babson athletics program. He received the Cruickshank Alumni Leadership Award in 1994 and the Paul C. Staake Award in 2008.
Barefoot, who was president of Babson from 2001 to 2008, also served on the Board of Trustees, including as Chair from 1996 to 2001, and currently is a member of the Global Advisory Board.
Barefoot was the mayor of the Town of Indian River Shores, Florida, from 2013 until 2018. He was responsible for overseeing the town’s fiscal and organizational matters. Since March 2009, he has been a senior advisor at Carl Marks Advisors, which provides consulting and investment banking services to middle market companies.
The Barefoots have three children: John R. Barefoot II, MBA’01; Katharine Howell (Barefoot) Herrick; and Marjorie Miller (Barefoot) Matchak.
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