Babson Board of Trustees Honored with Prestigious National Award
The Babson College Board of Trustees recently was honored as one of the four recipients of the 2024 John W. Nason Award for Board Leadership by the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB).
Established in 1992, the prestigious Nason Award is presented to governing boards in higher education that demonstrate exceptional leadership and initiative. Honorees this year were chosen from a wide array of diverse nominations from four-year public and private colleges and universities, two-year institutions, and institutionally related foundations.
“While we have long known and appreciated the commitment and leadership of our Board of Trustees, it is a special moment to see this sought-after award bestowed upon them,” said Babson President Stephen Spinelli Jr. MBA’92, PhD. “This important recognition is a testament to their enduring legacy at Babson.”
In accepting the honor at a presentation during the Board of Trustees meetings Friday, Chair of the Board Jeffery Perry ’87, P’23 praised the College’s trustees and leadership.
“This recognition is a testament to the collective efforts of Babson’s leadership, reflecting our commitment to advancing the mission of the College,” he said. “As Chair of the Board, I greatly appreciate the dedication of our trustees, who contribute in many ways to guide the institution toward greatness. Every trustee, past and present, demonstrates unconditional engagement.”
At the presentation, Mary Papazian, executive vice president at the AGB, commended the board for leading in a time when many are questioning higher education’s value proposition, noting that Babson is countering all market trends.
“The Nason Award selection committee believes that the Babson College Board of Trustees’ courageous leadership, commitment to best practices, and elevation of student success make it a model for other colleges and universities nationwide,” she said. “The action and qualities that you demonstrate are more essential than ever. Your courageous approach embodies the ideals of responsible governance for which AGB is known.”
Under the leadership of Perry since 2021, the Babson board has helped the College to reach new heights, including surpassing the $500 million mark in campaign fundraising and being recognized as the 10th best college in the country by The Wall Street Journal.
“The John W. Nason Award is not just a symbol of accomplishment; it is a reminder of the great responsibility we have in steering Babson College through the disruptive landscape of higher education.”
Babson Chair of the Board Jeffery Perry ’87, P’23
“Since I returned to Babson, the board has continuously pushed our community to ascend to the next level of excellence across higher education,” Spinelli said. “They have been vital partners in formulating and advancing our strategic plan. They inspired us to look beyond that plan and set the framework for our Greatness Agenda, which is rapidly advancing our capacity to educate the next generation of entrepreneurial leaders with revolutionary and transformative assets like the Herring Family Entrepreneurial Leadership Village.”
The No. 1-ranked school for entrepreneurship for the past three decades, Babson is driven by its innovation and aspiration, as evidenced by the announcement last fall of the Babson ELevates campaign, raising the bar to a new goal of $750 million.
“The John W. Nason Award is not just a symbol of accomplishment; it is a reminder of the great responsibility we have in steering Babson College through the disruptive landscape of higher education,” Perry said. “Our collaborative leadership approach, rooted in living our shared values statement, and our commitment as a board to balance generative, strategic, and fiduciary roles is being recognized.”
In honoring the Babson College Board of Trustees, the AGB wrote:
- “Continuously aspirational and driven by innovation, the Babson College Board of Trustees partnered with the College’s leadership team to define a ‘greatness agenda’ that concentrated the entire institutional leadership and strategy on a set of aligned goals for the future. These goals, ranging from fortifying the College’s role as a trendsetter in entrepreneurship education to fostering campus belonging and futureproofing the institution’s business model, also generated specific plans to expand and elevate student success in the form of new lifelong learning strategies, an enhanced Herring Family Entrepreneurial Leadership Village (a living and learning community), and a superior residential campus experience.”
The other recipients of the Nason Award were the Oakton College Educational Foundation Board of Directors (Illinois), the Saint Peter’s University Board of Trustees (New Jersey), and the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire Foundation Board of Directors.
“While we have long known and appreciated the commitment and leadership of our Board of Trustees, it is a special moment to see this sought-after award bestowed upon them. This important recognition is a testament to their enduring legacy at Babson.”
Babson President Stephen Spinelli Jr. MBA’92, PhD
“Like presidents and other higher education leaders, governing boards are constantly looking for inspiring stories to celebrate, emulate, and reflect on,” said Ellen Chaffee, AGB interim president and CEO. “The selection committee felt these four nominations deserved recognition for the work they have done for their students, their communities, and their institutions and foundations. I am deeply impressed by the honorees’ achievements, and I look forward to seeing where they go next.”
Recipients of the 2024 awards will be honored March 26–28 at AGB’s National Conference on Trusteeship. The Nason Award is named for higher education leader John W. Nason, who served as the chair of the National Japanese American Student Relocation Council and helped more than 4,000 interned students continue their college studies across the nation during World War II.