Babson Launches Largest Fundraising Campaign in its 100-Year History

Shaymaa Gaafar

Babson has announced the most ambitious fundraising campaign in its history, with a goal of raising $300 million and tripling the percentage of alumni who make annual donations to the college over the next four years.

“As Babson celebrates our historic Centennial year, we are committed to investing in the next generation of people and programs that will create economic and social value everywhere,” said President Kerry Healey. “Through the philanthropic generosity of Babson’s alumni and friends, the College will extend its impact and leadership, and remain at the forefront of entrepreneurship education.”

Even before its public launch, Babson’s campaign reached significant milestones. Alumni and friends have committed more than $188 million during the campaign’s quiet phase, bringing the initial total to almost two-thirds of the goal. Between 2013 and 2018, total commitments to the College have grown from $10.4 million to a record-setting $67.4 million.

Jamie Kent
During the campaign launch, Jamie Kent ’09 debuted a new song, “Give it All.”

On May 16, College volunteer and donor leadership gathered to mark the official launch of this important endeavor. Students Shaymaa Gaafar MBA’19, Max Feber ’21, and Allison Amaral ’21, a global scholar, shared the impact philanthropy has had on their Babson experiences. Heidi Neck, academic director of Babson Academy, spoke of philanthropy’s impact on faculty—and how that, in turn, ripples out to the world. And, Jamie Kent ’09 debuted a song he wrote to honor the campaign.

A Campaign for Babson’s Second Century

The campaign seeks to increase the accessibility and affordability of Babson to students from diverse backgrounds and from around the world. Under President Healey’s leadership, Babson recently began meeting 100 percent of first-year students’ demonstrated financial aid need for the first time in history. Babson also has established need-based, full-tuition scholarships for its new Global Scholars Program. To date, donors have given $20.9 million that has supported 47 global scholars from 30 countries.

More than half of the campaign’s goal will be dedicated to improving the student experience through scholarships, internships, study abroad opportunities, athletics, and extracurricular programs.

The campaign’s other main priority is to support the work of Babson’s faculty: To attract and retain the world’s foremost thought leaders in entrepreneurship education, the college is endowing senior positions, establishing new faculty ladder opportunities, and expanding its centers of academic excellence. During the campaign’s quiet phase, a generous gift to the campaign created the Bertarelli Foundation Chair for Family Entrepreneurship and launched the Institute for Family Entrepreneurship to rekindle Babson’s historic commitment to supporting family enterprises.

The Weissman Foundry at Babson College
The Weissman Foundry at Babson College.

Campaign gifts already have generated historic levels of funding that are transforming Babson’s campus for the benefit of faculty and students. Thanks to the generosity of Robert Weissman ’64, H’94, P’87 ’90, and his wife, Jan, P’87 ’90, a new interactive studio space, known as the Weissman Foundry, opened last fall. The Foundry is a collaborative project environment that is shared by students from Babson, Olin, and Wellesley colleges. A spectacular indoor garden and atrium, known as the Babson Commons, was dedicated yesterday and will provide informal gathering space for students and additional classrooms promise to transform the Babson student experience. A new park in the heart of campus, that includes the restored iconic Babson World Globe and the Fountain of Flags, will be named in honor of President Healey. The park and the Globe restoration were fully funded through philanthropy.

Record-Breaking Alumni Participation

“We are enormously grateful to the many alumni and friends who have already answered Babson’s invitation to support this campaign,” said Advancement Committee Chair Craig R. Benson ’77, H’03. “Babson’s next century will be marked by the investments made by so many generous gifts which will be critical to meeting our entrepreneurial vision.”

While building momentum in anticipation of the campaign, Babson has raised its annual alumni participation rate to new heights at a pace unheard of among other colleges and universities. From 2013 to 2018, the number of donors to Babson has increased by 74 percent, and alumni participation has increased from 15 percent to 30.5 percent. The campaign goal is to reach or surpass 40 percent participation.

Global Scholar Allison Amaral ’21 shares how philanthropy made his Babson education possible.

Alumni participation is seen by many as a good barometer of how graduates view their school, as a vote of confidence in the school’s future impact, and as a general indicator of academic excellence. Achieving 40 percent alumni participation would place Babson in the top 1 percent of all colleges and universities in the United States.

“Babson pioneered entrepreneurship as an academic discipline, based on the revolutionary belief that entrepreneurs can be made, not just born,” said Marla M. Capozzi MBA’96, chair of Babson’s Board of Trustees. “This campaign will allow us to continue to innovate toward a future that extends entrepreneurship and amplify our impact on the world. We thank our global community for their support and generosity.”

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