Centennial Celebration Brings Distinguished Entrepreneurs Back to Babson

Academy of Distinguished Entrepreneurs

In 1978, Babson launched the world’s first entrepreneurship hall of fame: the Academy of Distinguished Entrepreneurs® (ADE).

Since its inception, the ADE has inducted more than 100 internationally renowned entrepreneurial leaders who have contributed significantly to the development of free enterprise throughout the world. To celebrate the College’s Centennial, Babson has invited all academy members back to discuss the future of entrepreneurship.

“The Academy of Distinguished Entrepreneurs unites many of the world’s most accomplished business leaders and creates a platform for the collaboration and connection that is central to entrepreneurship,” said Babson President Stephen Spinelli, Jr. MBA ‘92, PhD. “We are pleased to welcome so many members of the academy back during our Centennial Celebration to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurial leaders.”

Welcoming Back Past Honorees

Among the 20 Academy members returning to Babson this September:

  • The Honorable Craig R. Benson ’77, H’03, Chief Executive Officer of Soft Draw Investments, former Chairman & Chief Executive Officer at Cabletron Systems, Inc. and former Governor of the State of New Hampshire
  • Arthur M. Blank ’63, H’98, Owner and Chairman of Blank Family of Businesses, Co-founder of The Home Depot
  • Gustavo A. Cisneros ’68, H’19, Chairman of Cisneros
  • John J. Cullinane, President of The Cullinane Group Inc.
  • Robert J. Davis MBA’85, General Partner of Highland Capital Partners; Founder, Former President, and CEO of Lycos Inc.
  • Gururaj “Desh” Deshpande, President and Chairman of Sparta Group LLC
  • Jaime Gilinski, Chairman, Banco GNB Sudameris SA
  • John Hatsopoulos for the late George N. Hatsopoulos G’20, Co-founder of Thermo Electron Corporation
  • Diane Hessan, Founder and Chairman of C Space
  • John C. Merritt ’61, Owner and President of Dockside Marine Supply; Former Chairman and CEO of Van Kampen Merritt Holding Corp.
  • Geoffrey E. Molson MBA’96, Owner, President, and CEO, Montreal Canadiens
  • Douglas G. Rauch, Founder and President of Daily Table; Former CEO of Conscious Capitalism; Past President of Trader Joe’s
  • Peter J. Sprague H’88, Former Chairman of National Semiconductor Corporation; Chairman and Founder of Satellite Displays
  • Howard H. Stevenson P’03, Sarofim-Rock Baker Foundation Professor emeritus, former Senior Associate Dean, Director of Publishing and Chair of the Harvard Business Publishing Company
  • Harry Susilo P’96 G’24, Founder and Chairman of the Sekar Group
  • Diane von Fürstenberg, Fashion designer, philanthropist, Founder and Chairman of DVF Inc.

“I look forward to coming back to Babson,” says von Fürstenberg, fashion designer and founder of fashion company DVF. “It’s been exactly 40 years since Babson inducted me into the academy as the first woman ever. I still remember that day so well.”

The entrepreneurs will engage with the community in a series of conversations during the Centennial edition of College’s global entrepreneurship summit, Babson Connect: Worldwide, from September 18–20. Now in its fifth year, the summit provides attendees a one-of-a-kind opportunity to hear from global business leaders and exchange ideas with Babson community members from around the world.

Posted in Community

More from  »