Entrepreneurial leaders know how to harness the collective power of people to solve problems and achieve great things.
Entrepreneurial leaders also know how to continually reach new objectives to elevate their impact in the world.
And, entrepreneurial leaders know how to express appreciation for their collaborative achievements and toast their successes. That’s exactly what the Babson community did October 19, joining together to celebrate surpassing a major milestone in the Centennial Campaign—$500 million, making it the most successful campaign in the College’s history.
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The confetti-capped celebration at the Len Green Recreation and Athletics Complex was a night of appreciation for the generosity and commitment of alumni, friends, faculty, and staff. It also was a night of aspiration with an eye on an even greater impact and a new goal of $750 million with a rebranded campaign, Babson ELevates, emphasizing the “EL” for entrepreneurial leadership.
“In a time when colleges around the country have struggled to foster engagement and support critical fundraising initiatives, the Babson community came together like no other,” Jeffery S. Perry ’87, P’23, chair of the Board of Trustees, told the gathering. “Your dedication to Babson has given the College a competitive advantage in higher education. And the world is taking notice.”
The success and impact of the campaign was further cemented just weeks earlier when Babson was ranked the 10th best college in America by The Wall Street Journal.
“Babson has truly elevated to a new tier of greatness across all of higher education,” President Stephen Spinelli Jr. MBA’92, PhD said. “This monumental achievement shows that the world is validating a Babson education and recognizing the power of entrepreneurship like never before.”
Launched in anticipation of the College’s 100th anniversary in 2019, the Centennial Campaign was the most ambitious fundraising effort in Babson’s history, and it far surpassed its original goal of $300 million.
The response to the campaign has been astounding in its breadth and scope—nearly 36,000 donors making more than $525 million in total commitments—providing key investments in everything from student scholarships and faculty support, to academics and athletics, to transformational improvements in campus facilities, to an enhanced endowment.
“Our campaign has touched virtually all aspects of Babson. It is an investment in our mission of educating entrepreneurial leaders,” said Deborah L. De Santis ’85, P’26, vice chair of the Babson Board of Trustees. “But a campaign is about more than numbers. It’s about impact on people, places, and programs.”
“Our campaign has touched virtually all aspects of Babson. It is an investment in our mission of educating entrepreneurial leaders. But a campaign is about more than numbers. It’s about impact on people, places, and programs.”
Deborah L. De Santis ’85, P’26, vice chair of the Babson Board of Trustees
It’s the people, more than anything, that Babson celebrated on this night—the people who stepped up to support the College, and the people impacted by the campaign, most notably, its students. “The campaign has given us the resources to keep finding new ways to elevate (the student) experience to a higher level,” said Lawrence P. Ward, vice president and dean of campus life. “Please know that you are literally transforming lives.”
Several students and recent alumni took to the stage to describe specifically how they and their classmates have benefited through scholarships, increased academic opportunities, athletics, and the overall student experience. And, they offered their heartfelt thanks to the community. “We don’t have to wait to start making a difference around the world,” said Sofia Caffer ’26, a Natalie Taylor Scholar. “You have given us the resources to do it now.”
Faculty members also shared their gratitude for the support. The investments in faculty, said Ken Matsuno, Murata Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of the College, ensure “that future generations of Babson students will continue to change the world in profound ways.”
Edward Chiu, the Governor Craig R. Benson Endowed Senior Vice President for Advancement, underscored the College’s gratitude, thanking donors for the overarching and expansive impact of their support. “The magnitude of your generosity has propelled Babson into our second century,” he said. “And, in true Babson spirit, we set our sights even higher through Babson ELevates.”
The Centennial has passed, and the campaign has hit its marks, yet the work is not done to fulfill the College’s loftiest ambitions to develop entrepreneurial leaders impacting communities everywhere. With waves of undergraduate, graduate, and executive students prepared and poised to change the world, the ripple effect is both immense and inspiring.
“Our past success is now fueling our aspirations for the future,” Perry said. He announced a new phase of the campaign with a new total campaign goal of $750 million “to further elevate Babson to a new level of greatness.”
Under the banner Babson ELevates, the new phase will target several key initiatives, including cementing the College’s footprint in entrepreneurial leadership; launching its position in technology entrepreneurship; embracing lifelong learning with expanded access to practical training and increased opportunities for alumni, companies, and families; and building out the transformative Herring Family Entrepreneurial Leadership Village and other collaborative workspaces.
“We believe our future in Babson’s second century will be centered on empowering the next generation of entrepreneurial leaders.”
Donna Levin, CEO of the Arthur M. Blank School for Entrepreneurial Leadership
“We believe our future in Babson’s second century will be centered on empowering the next generation of entrepreneurial leaders,” said Donna Levin, CEO of the Arthur M. Blank School for Entrepreneurial Leadership, a product of the transformational $50 million gift by Arthur M. Blank ’63, H’98 in 2019. “With the momentum we have created in just a few years, I’m already excited to see what we can collectively do next.”
At the celebration, as confetti was falling, corks were popping, and buttons were bursting, the entrepreneurial leaders of the entire Babson community—alumni, students and staff, faculty and friends—excitedly embraced the opportunity to elevate the College’s greatness.
* As of October 5, 2023