$50 Million Gift Boldly Expands Entrepreneurial Leadership at Babson College
Arthur M. Blank ’63, H’98 is a founder, a doer, a leader, and a philanthropist. Best known as the co-founder of The Home Depot and the owner of the Atlanta Falcons, he has a broad family of businesses as well as a family foundation. Blank also is a member of Babson College’s Academy of Distinguished Entrepreneurs® and is a proud alumnus who believes in the power of giving back.
Today, Blank is putting that power into action.
In partnership with The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, Babson College announces a $50 million grant that will establish the Arthur M. Blank School for Entrepreneurial Leadership. This is the largest grant ever given in the 25-year history of the Blank Family Foundation, and is a transformative investment for the College. The new Arthur M. Blank School for Entrepreneurial Leadership will be defined by entrepreneurial action and values-based leadership on a global scale.
The grant comes as Babson College, the No. 1-ranked entrepreneurship educator for more than a quarter-century, caps its Centennial year and celebrates Global Entrepreneurship Week.
The Case for Entrepreneurial Leadership
Entrepreneurial leadership is needed now more than ever before. As jobs and entire industries evolve, people at all stages of their lives and careers must think and act like an entrepreneur in order to thrive. “As the best school for entrepreneurship, Babson is uniquely positioned—even obligated—to shift the paradigm and lead the change that today’s environment demands,” says Babson College President Stephen Spinelli Jr. MBA’92, PhD.
At the Arthur M. Blank School for Entrepreneurial Leadership, “every member of Babson’s global ecosystem will have the opportunity to build and practice the skills needed to address grand challenges,” says Spinelli. “Learners will change the world through the innovations they introduce, the problems they solve, the jobs they create, and the sustainable values they instill in the organizations they impact.”
“The best companies provide world-class service to their customers and their communities,” says Arthur Blank. “The next horizon of business education is equipping and connecting more entrepreneurial leaders who create solutions and growth by putting people first, leading by example, and giving back to others, especially those in need.”
Introducing the Arthur M. Blank School for Entrepreneurial Leadership
This partnership between Babson College and the Blank Family Foundation lays groundwork that will transform and define entrepreneurship education for generations to come. The new Arthur M. Blank School for Entrepreneurial Leadership will provide:
- Need-based scholarships to increase access and affordability for promising entrepreneurial leaders who would not otherwise be able to afford college
- A newly endowed faculty position, the Blank Chair in Values-based Entrepreneurial Leadership, which is now accepting nominations and applications for the inaugural appointment
- New experiential learning opportunities where learners will problem solve in uncertain, rapidly changing, technology-driven conditions
- An “Entrepreneurial Village,” dedicated campus space for community members to come together to create solutions and growth opportunities through collaborative learning and experimentation
- Greater access to Babson’s renowned entrepreneurial centers and institutes, including award-winning cocurricular activities and global networks
- Funding for applied research that generates practical, actionable outcomes to expand the global understanding of entrepreneurship, and addresses societal challenges
Arthur Blank’s Six Core Values
During the course of Blank’s more than five decades of entrepreneurial leadership, he has followed a set of six core leadership principles that have guided the Blank Family of Businesses. These values—Put People First, Listen and Respond, Include Everyone, Innovate Continuously, Lead by Example, and Give Back to Others—will be the founding principles of the new Arthur M. Blank School for Entrepreneurial Leadership.
These core principles are the bedrock of Blank’s business success, and will position a new generation of entrepreneurial leaders to make a meaningful impact on business and society.
“At Babson College, value creation is central to our mission,” says Spinelli. “Leading by example, listening and collaborating, and giving back are the defining characteristics of great entrepreneurial leaders. Arthur Blank’s principles exemplify Babson’s belief that creating and stewarding sustainable economic and social value is an essential part of the relationship between business and society.”
“As a world-class leader in business education, Babson College is perfectly positioned to blaze this new path,” says Blank. “I’m continually inspired by Babson students, faculty, and its global alumni network. I’m excited to see how they will continue to change businesses and communities for the better.”
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