A First Look at the Herring Family Entrepreneurial Leadership Village

The Global Outreach Studio at the Herring Family Entrepreneurial Leadership Village. Photo by Nic Czarnecki/Babson College

The Babson College community was buzzing over the first sights—and bites—of the Herring Family Entrepreneurial Leadership Village (HELV). 

During a special community hour event Wednesday, the first of three this month, students, staff, faculty, and friends enjoyed a sneak peek of the HELV, the first-of-its-kind living and learning community dedicated to entrepreneurial leadership. The visionary village incorporates innovative new spaces and opportunities to learn, explore, connect, and collaborate. The HELV also will house the largest residence hall on campus and be the new home of Foundations of Management and Entrepreneurship (FME). 

David Mei ’25 and other students were hanging out in the HELV’s Village Coffee House, which provided pastries, iced oat milk maple latte, and rosemary-infused Arnold Palmer iced tea lemonade. “It’s great to see the space in person,” Mei said. “Everybody’s been really excited to see what they’ve been building. Now being in it, it looks amazing.” 

Meanwhile, Avery Butt ’26 already was making use of the interactive Global Outreach Studio, studying for her accounting class. “I was excited to check it out and see what the new space is going to look like,” she said. “I love it. This is a great space. We don’t have anything like this on campus.” 

‘Massive Innovation Space’ 

Visitors also explored the HELV’s three state-of-the-art classrooms, co-curricular lounge with study rooms, collaborative and breakout spaces, and outdoor patios. “This is a massive innovation space,” Zach Breitbard ’26 said. 

“I was lucky enough to be walking around with two of my students, and they’re over the moon excited about it,” said Wendy Murphy, associate dean of the undergraduate school and a professor of management.

“Everybody’s been really excited to see what they’ve been building. Now being in it, it looks amazing.” 

David Mei ’25

The HELV was made possible by the generosity of the name gift from the Herring Family and the founding gift from the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, as well as a growing list of other donor supporters. These significant investments in the College’s strategy will establish Babson as the convening place for entrepreneurial leaders, from all around the globe.  

Additional spring sneak peek events at the HELV with free snacks and drinks are scheduled for April 25 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to meet the College’s registered dietitians, and for April 30 from 10 a.m. to noon for students to enjoy finals treats and a coffee talk with the Arthur M. Blank School for Entrepreneurial Leadership

“Seeing it all come together and seeing students in here feels great,” said Ava Mullin, community and engagement coordinator for the HELV. “We want this to be a hub for them and a place that they can come to study or hang out. With the whole community, there’s a little bit of buzz going on about it, and hopefully that grows.” 

Fueling Breakthrough Ideas 

Students raved about the feel of HELV, praising its “casual vibe” and abundant natural lighting as an ideal place to gather for group projects or for food and coffee, as well as a hub to fuel collaboration, creativity, and breakthrough ideas. 

“This is definitely going to breed a new type of startup environment, like eTower has,” Mei said, referring to the College’s living-learning community for entrepreneurs. “I think the more chill the area and the environment can be, I think the more that those creative ideas will just come.” 

That also makes the HELV the perfect home for FME, the hallmark Babson course, utilizing the classrooms, breakout rooms, and collaborative spaces in innovative ways as first-year students develop, launch, and manage new startup ventures. “It’s going to really facilitate the kind of discussions that FME is meant to facilitate,” Murphy said.  

“I’m excited. It’s a very collaborative space. It’ll be so nice to hang out with friends here. It’s going to be an awesome space,” said Rachel Greenleaf ’25, a resident assistant for the HELV who also serves as an FME mentor. “I’m just excited to see the community grow. I think people are really excited with the café feel. They’re always excited about food options on campus.” 

Check out photos from inside the HELV and the first community hour event: 

Posted in Community, Entrepreneurial Leadership

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